Showing posts with label memories. Show all posts
Showing posts with label memories. Show all posts

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Salt and Pepper Shakers

       Roland and I decided that we needed to replace our disappearing salt and pepper shakers for something that would be easier to fill and easier to spot.  I think the ones we ended up with will get lost in the shuffle as the ones we have currently, but they will be easier to fill.

       I was reminded of how many sets of salt and pepper shakers my brother and I had given to my mom over the years.  So many times her birthday would fall during our family vacation - or shortly thereafter.  Patrick and I would pick out gifts from the souvenir shop of wherever we happened to be.  I don't recall all the sets we gave her except for ones that were shaped like feet.  I don't recall ever having used them.  Mom said she did not need the constant reminder of how out of shape she felt.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Medication: Often Trading One Problem for Another

               It's been a year since Jeanie passed - not that I dwell on dates when people died.  Her mom does.  She's always posting the birthdays and death dates of those who have passed on.  Some days are better for her than others.  I think some days may be worse for her than they were for Jeanie.  I can't say for certain since most of the correspondence I've had with them has been through facebook.  I didn't even have that with Jeanie those times that she not only unfriended me but blocked me as well.  Apparently, it was the medication disrupting her otherwise rational mind.  It not only shattered her own emotions, but I had allowed myself to become upset as well.  I may never know the entire scheme of things; I did learn so much more about her at her funeral than I had ever known about her before.

          Biff had tried to explain it to Roland who either misunderstood Biff or perhaps Biff hadn't explained it well enough or really hadn't understood it himself.  By the time it got to me,  there were things lost in translation or miscommunications and until the day of her funeral, I did not know, wasn't aware, hadn't understood that Jeanie had been molested as a child. 

          One of her brothers had announced it over the pulpit.  It was shocking and seemed out of place for a speaker to make that the topic of discourse at a funeral - and yet I understood his emotions and the pain of the entire family.  Jeanie had been traumatized.  It left some thick emotional scars that still have not healed.  It was both disturbing and extraordinary at the same time - not the topic itself but for the love and concern that the speaker not only had for his sister but several generations of children and adults who have also been traumatized by one they should have been able to trust.  A person who should have been there to protect her and care for her.  It was sickening and so much of what he said had a profound ring.  I wondered if their other sister had been molested as well.

          Jenna had chosen to assist in the nursery, which I was truly grateful for as the subject was uncomfortable to me - I knew it would be for her as well.  And yet his talk was truly from the heart.  It was still disconcerting to learn what had happened and his plea to talk about it.  

          I knew Jeanie had been seeing a psychiatrist.  I knew it was for some kind of abuse - though I had thought it had been inflicted on by her ex-husband.  He was never even mentioned. I didn't realize it had stemmed all the way back to when she was five.  A time of innocence that she had attempted to live out again.  How difficult it must have been for the family when she would ask why her parents looked so old.  And where were her siblings?  And who was the stranger named Biff?  And where did the baby come from?  Of course, if she thought she was only five, she wasn't going to believe that Biff was her husband or that she had given birth to the baby girl.  Two of her sibs had already passed on before her and the other two were living in other states.

          We had a few family get-togethers when we would see Jeanie. Twice I remember her feeling flushed and excusing herself.  Two other times I remembered when she genuinely seemed happy. That is who she really was.  Happy.  Full of life.  Unfortunately, we didn't get to know that person.   She would cancel appointments with us.  Sometimes Biff would show up by himself.  He wasn't allowed to take Ally her first year.  Jeanie was quite possessive of Ally.  She would get verbally abusive towards Biff and her mom.  That was the person I saw.  The one that was sick.  The one that had become violent through medication.  I think when she realized who she had become, it wasn't worth taking the medication.  And so she chose to suffer as silently as she could and tried hard not to upset the rest of the family.

          I was included in that "rest of the family" and did not understand what demons she'd been dealing with. I was aware that there had been demon's in Biff's life but did not know to what extent.  I admire Biff so much for putting up with it.  He knew that the outbreaks were not her fault.  He stayed with her and blamed himself for not being there to catch her when she fell.  It wasn't his fault.  It wasn't medicine's fault.  We don't know if it was her death that caused the fall or if she died when she landed or on the way down.  The autopsy revealed that there were seven clots in her lung. 

          Some days her mom is accepting and knows that Jeanie is better off in another world where she doesn't have to take medicine to overcome emotional or physical pain.  She is free.  And she is with a brother and their sister.  But there is still a hole.  A void.  A longing.  An emptiness.

          Biff moved on with his life.  He moved in with Claire and they are raising Ally together, although Jeanie's mom would still like to be involved.  She remains in touch with Roland's sister who is a retired nurse and has been in contact and has had a better handle of the situation than either Roland or I.  Jeanie may not have unfriended or blocked Roland's sister.  They stayed in touch. 

          Our youngest son recently texted a family photo or all three boys and their families.  They are with Roland's sister and her husband and two youngest children.  Even after Biff's outbursts with behavior at times and seemingly lack of gratitude,  I was taken aback to hear that it was Jeanie's parents that were providing room and board for Roland's sister and family as my own boys were unable to make room for them.  (Randy lives in the largest space of the three - our old house in WV - which is teeny) I'm happy to hear that they are well liked and that bridges may be mended.  

        For family home evening the other night, we wrote letters to each of the boys.  I finished my thoughts yesterday and mailed the letters along with Jenna's most recent photo from school.  I am so happy to see all of my boys together again.  Jenna's been a little sad that she is not sharing their lives in person.  I guess we all are.  If only we could get all of them to come to Oregon. 

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Picnics in the Freeway and Swimming Downtown

            After we had moved my mom into assisted living, we gutted out her house and set aside things for ourselves and the rest for a massive yard sale.  Corey had returned from Las Vegas to claime what was his and took a lot of what had once been hers.  He said he wanted all the photos.  There were many that I wanted to scan so that I could have digital copies, but I really didn't have the room for all of the hard photographs.  Corey and Joh had more room than any of my mother's other children.

            It was in September of this year that Corey and Joh came to Oregon for a brief visit.  Unfortunately, when they returned home to their house in Las Vegas, they learned that several parts of the house had received water damage due to a flood caused by a broken pipe.  They have since undergone renovation and have been forced to make decisions about weeding out certain belongings.  Through this trial, Corey has decided that he too will scan all of the photographs as hanging onto the physical photographs is no longer a priority.

            As he has been scanning, he has also been sharing various photos.  I don't know seeing them has stirred up a lot of memories for me, or if it's the subject of my classes introducing land development and building costs and so forth, or if it's a combination of both.  I certainly have done a huge amount of time traveling remembering how things were before evolution took over . . . 

            Someone had given my Uncle George the book "Salt Lake City, Then and Now"  

I want that book.  There are several pages that compare yesterdays landscape to today's   04-18-2014
  salt lake traveler

some depict the same familiarity in both photos

Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune A view of Main and South 
Temple, looking north, is seen on May 27, 2014, and again in 1950.

while others locations show different buildings

Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune Looking north east on
Main Street, just south of 100 South, in Salt Lake City, Tuesday
June 3, 2014 and the same view seen sometime in the 1860s.

I made these two pages for Jenna

before we moved to Oregon.  Of course, I do not remember all the landscape that existed before the evolution

but I do have my own memories of certain things that perhaps others may share as well . . . or maybe not.

When I was younger, my mom had signed me up for swim lessons.  My brother, Patrick and I would carpool with the boys across the street.  I don't know how often our lessons were, but the drive was far.  Really far.  It boggles my mind to think how far the Deseret Gym was located from our house.
            The Deseret Gym is no longer there nor are any of the buildings on that entire block (see here) for all buildings were demolished and land preserved until it became the conference center
notice the building takes up the entire block

            It would not be totally accurate for me to say that I used to take swim lessons at the conference center, but I did take swim lessons where the conference center is located.
            Yesterday's lunch triggered another memory about exploring and picnicking in a field that was dug up years later and has become a part of what is known as I215

            Patrick and I had gone with his friend to see the "tree house" he said was there.  We had all packed a lunch and took our little jaunt into the fields just outside of the neighborhood.  The tree house was no more than a single board nailed to one, maybe two branches of a tree.  We all climbed up and sat on the board and ate our lunch.
            Our friend had brought a tuna fish sandwich that had been plastered in mustard.  Gross!  I don't know why I even remember that.

            We used to hold block parties at the dead-end section of mom's old neighborhood.  The entire neighborhood would gather together for food, games,  and of course, one another's company.  I don't know how often or if they still hold them.  The last neighborhood party I remember being in said location was the year that Roland and I were married.

            Well, that's it for this post.  Have to get back to class.  Take an assessment.  Turn in an assignment.  I'm not procrastinating really.  I'm taking a break after having spent so much time trying to figure the text myself.  The lecture is on Wednesdays with a disorganized but nice instructor that I've had before.  Fortunately, I have only one class this mod.