I feel very behind in my A to Z postings. I know I’m not, and that the feeling comes because I’m writing my posts the morning of instead of the night before. Pressure! Early on, I wrote each one the evening before but I’m reaching a point where I have to think, think, think. And then I sprint forward with great energy. That’s how I do a lot of things. That’s why I’m not a very fast fiction writer—I have to think too much and too long.
I’ve chosen James, my dad’s brother and Jerry Lynn’s dad. James was the youngest of my grandparent’s thirteen kids. You know what that means. Spare the rod, spoil the child?
James was a huge part of my life.(See the pic at right.) He was probably the son that looked most like my grandfather—tall and lanky. He drank goat’s milk. Odd that I should remember that. And he was a smooth talker too. That’s what I remember most.
Even as a kid, I cut out models from catalogs and used them as paper dolls. And I loved movie stars—especially Marilyn Monroe. I thought MM was the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen. So when I saw a post card of her on the beach in a two piece swimsuit, I had to have it. I think I’ve mentioned before that I used to write movie stars and ask for their pictures. I had a pretty good collection of them. While this post card wasn’t autographed, it made a nice addition to my movie star stash.
I showed it to my Uncle James. I vaguely remember having a “don’t want to” feeling down inside when James talked me into giving him the post card. I can’t remember what he said, how he talked me into turning it over to him. Told you he was a smooth talker. Imagine my surprise when, a few weeks later, I found my post card torn to pieces beneath a tree near my grandmother’s house. Can you imagine how I felt? Why did he do it? Since this happened before his divorce, I’ve wondered if my Aunt Charlene shredded Marilyn in a fit of anger or jealousy. One of the mysteries of my early teen years. And it seems cruel that when I think of my Uncle James, this is what I remember.
I’m sure we all have memories of this sort. We look back and see how loved ones wasted their lives and talents. Stories like this make us sad, but they can make us stronger. We just need to figure out how. Sadly, this entire family is gone: James, Charlene, Jerry Lynn and Neil. My two cousins left children behind who face their own demons and challenges.
But then, don’t we all?
Do you have any memories that fill you with sorrow? How do they make you stronger? Want to share?