Nostalgia.

When we reminisce about “the good ol’ days”.

My good ol’ days weren’t.

But I was kind of cute back then!  So were my siblings.

So let’s not reminisce….just visit a couple of photos from days gone by…

This first photo shows my siblings, step-siblings at that time, and I, with my Grandma. This is my father’s mother ~ except my father was adopted. He was taken in by my Grandmother when he was a baby but he never knew his adopted father, who died before he was born. My Grandma had 9 kids, including my father, and my aunts tell me that my father was spoiled because he was a baby and so much younger than the rest.

That is my older sister sitting on the left side of the photo; I am sitting off to Grandma’s right, by myself. *sniff*… Beside my sister is my ex-stepbrother, then my brother and next to him, my ex-stepsister. It sounds stupid to write “ex”…. and if you noticed, my sister and I don’t exactly look like my brother. He was adopted and is a true Canadian – native, indian, First Nation….aborignal ~ whatever the politically correct word is to call them nowadays. To me, this guy is just my brother. I never noticed his colour but I do know he suffered mightly as we grew up, from those around us who were prejudiced. It is shameful how they treated him and I hope they have lost a lot of sleep over the years, thinking about him!

I used to visit my Grandma in the summer, when she lived on the farm. It is where I had my first taste of tea…or perhaps it would be easier to say that a tea bag was passed through all the sugar in my v-e-r-y watery tea! Grandma was old from the time I could remember and she had a tweety bird that used to chirp.

My grandmother died when I was in the Army. She had been dying for years….she had medications galore and medical problems galore and was always “just about to die”. It was kind of a surprise when she really did! She had eagle eyes and could spot danger from far off; for me that was when I was visiting when I was 17 and my uncle had slipped some rum into my coke. Grandma, from across the room with poor vision and admist the chatter and company, suddenly said in her loud voice, “Now there isn’t anything in that coke that isn’t supposed to be, is there? She’s too young, you know!”. She obviously knew my uncle well!

Another favourite memory of mine happened when I attended a family wedding. Grandma had a seat at the head table which was shaped like a “t”, with the tall portion extending out onto the dance floor. When the wedding meal was over and the dancing was starting, the tables were moved…except everyone sort of forgot Grandma in the middle of the dance floor! When a couple of the uncles went to move her you could hear her plaintively cry out, “No ~ I want to stay here! I can see everyone from here!”. I would love to have her around still. The conversations we would have!

***************************************************************************
Here, my brother and I pose beside an obviously dead bear. Or maybe my mother hoped it wasn’t really dead! We were driving across the country, from B.C. to Ontario, in an old yellow car called Big Bertha. It looked like a freakin’ Big Bertha too! There was my sister, my brother and I in the back seat with whatever possessions we owned and I’m sure we were testing my mother’s patience to the max! It was hot that summer and there wasn’t any air-conditionning…. I do kind of remember this bear and those teepees. It was just another stop on our cross-country journey. My brother looks like he is ready to take off just in case that bear shouted “boo!”!

***************************************************************************
Here are the three of us siblings, as wee folk. I’m the one with the terrible knock-knees. I’m already wearing glasses and I think I have my patch over my eye too. I was born with turned-in eyes and after using an eye patch to strengthen the weak eye, I had eye surgery to straighten my eyes. I was quite young back then and my mother told me that when she came to the hospital the next day to see me, she could hear me screaming from the moment she stepped foot in the hospital. Upon arriving to my room she saw I was tied down in bed and had been that way for quite some time. Being very young, I was poking at the bandages after surgery, which in effect, blinded me, and in order to keep me from pulling them off, the hospital staff tied me to my bed. Not nice, eh?
You have to admit though, we sure were cute! My sister is the oldest, one year older than I am. My brother is one year younger so I’m the deprived middle child, acting up for attention. I still blame it on that!

***************************************************************************
Here I am with my extended siblings, again. My brother is on the far left and my sister beside him. Then, the tiny one is my ….ex-stepsister, then me, then my ex-stepbrother.

Let me explain that! My father has been married three times. His third wife’s parents never knew about the second marriage….and he had some explaining to do to them when my sister and I showed up for a summer vacation the year I turned 14. Why he never told them about us I don’t know. It’s just the way his warped world works.

Anyway, my sister and I are the product of his FIRST marriage. My brother was adopted during this marriage as well. The marriage didn’t last long; things went south the day they got married. My father then married his second wife ~ she had 2 kids from her previous marriage. Her oldest son is mentally challenged, a result of oxygen deprivation at birth, I believe. The little girl was so darned cute! This marriage was also not a happy, or long one. One fine Christmas Day, my father and his wife overdosed and were rushed to the hospital. My mother, in town to visit us, was horrified when she called xmas day only to have the RCMP answer the phone and ask who she was. I remember the time up to and including the police and ambulance showing up. At the age of 5 or so, I called the police for help. I remember nothing after that though and until last year I didn’t know it happened on xmas day although I knew it was in the xmas season.

That marriage broke up. It was a very short one to start with. Now, that stepmother ended up getting involved with the lawyer representing her, so that lawyer dropped out and someone took over. My father believes that lawyer ripped him off for some reason….I don’t know everything.

My father moved on to wife #3 and that marriage lasted many years. They have been separated for a long time but remain excellent friends. Perhaps that is all he was meant to have ~ women friends. Anyway, there’s a neat twist to this, if you can follow along. That second wife was granted a birthday wish one year. She decided she wanted my mother to visit her….wife #2 is very easy going and friendly. So my mother goes out for a visit…and guess what?

Guess what????

My mother and the lawyer fall in love.

YES.

REALLY!!

My ex-stepmother graciously moved out and my mother moved in with us 3 kids. Meanwhile, LAWYER’S 3 kids from HIS first marriage live with THEIR mother…

So…follow along, please. Wife #2 and then Wife #1 ends up with the lawyer. We joked for years that maybe my father’s 3rd wife was next in line…. My mother and the lawyer are still together, by the way, many happy years together. I can’t say the same for us 3 kids. You wouldn’t believe me if I told you some of the things…. but here’s one thing to pique your interest:

I ended up living on a sailboat with my sister, mother and lawyer. When I was 12 we moved onto the boat for a 2 year adventure. I took school by correspondence and did I ever mention I hate boats? I’ve always hated boats ~ even before this wretched adventure. Maybe sometime I will tell you about those adventures.

My friends tell me I ought to write a book. Or a soap opera. I doubt anyone would believe the story and besides, it would start World War III within the family and I’d get my ass sued by everyone still alive!!!! Hmmm…now that sounds like a challenge…

Advertisements