When I visit with someone, I think it’s rude not to introduce or tell you a little about those with me. Whether I want to or not. This will make it much easier for you to understand my blank stares, glares, eye rolls and long exhales when I speak of them. Or complain.
You’ll hear about these people fairly often since they make up most of my, well…let’s just call it joy.
Daddy. And we do call him Daddy. Smart, self-made man. Somehow was able to raise 3 girls and retire rather early with no 401(k) or corporate America telling him how to dress and what to weigh. He always tells me “you can’t impose your values on someone else.” But Lord knows I still try, however right he may be (long exhale). He’s in Hawaii right now lighting a match to my inheritance. Belly-aching because the time change means, to his body, he’s having to eat dinner at 1:30 a.m. In Hawaii. I tossed and turned over that for him while I slept. In Austin (blank stare).
Mother. And yes, we do call her Mother. Entertaining is putting it lightly. She has a nose stud. See? It’s not rare that she’s the life of any party. Whether invited or not. She somehow raised 3 girls while going to school full-time to be a teacher so she could raise other people’s kids. We think she loved those kids more though. They never had their ear pinched till it bled in church and they never fell asleep at the table because she wouldn’t let them leave till they ate that bowl of Lima beans (laughing because it wasn’t me). And they were never, EVER told “I’ll backhand you into next week, young lady. Wipe that look off your face!” She too, is in Hawaii. Probably handing Daddy the matches (glares).
Stacie. The smart sister. Growing up, I was grounded many weekends for referring to her as the family ‘wall flower’ (eye rolls). All of her studying and project doing paid off. She’s done well for herself. She takes care of those she loves without thinking twice. She’s raising my nieces to be tough little girls and she somehow remains graceful and level-headed. The strongest woman I know. She’ll stand her ground till the end. After all…she won the stand-off with Mother over the Lima beans.
Marcie. The special sister. Special because she had heart surgery when she was a baby. And God forbid we forget that. Mother became ‘expecting’ right after I found out where babies come from. I gagged. Parents don’t do that stuff. She is full of love and continuously gives from her heart. Her fight to live in the beginning months has made her strong and compassionate. She is just young enough where she’s in the next generation. That generation I sometimes loathe. But she does her best to remind me she’ll always be the baby (eye rolls, long exhale, glares).
I’m the oldest. And I’m the fun sister. I walk too close to the edge, I push too many buttons and won’t just scratch the surface. I’ve been called ungrateful, demanding, controlling and hard-headed. And I’m fine with that.
However, one thing I’ll never be called is unloved.
They love me because they have to. We’re family.