Thursday, July 18, 2019
My Parents' House
My parents lived in that house for a long time. Two of my brothers had been drafted into the Army. My sister finally returned home. Two brothers and two sisters were married while they lived there.
My second son was born while my little family had the small apartment there. Then a few years later there was a baby boom in our family. In about a year and a half we had 5 babies in our family. My brother and his wife started it all with my loving niece. She also began a baby boom in her mother's family; they had 7 babies in the same amount of time.
Mom had her garden every year. Besides her vegetables she always had a lot of flowers. My dad had his grapevines and his roses. There were cook-outs which the kids all loved.
Our family flower became the snapdragon. Daddy would pick one blossom and squeeze it on the sides to show his grandchildren how the dragon's mouth would open and close. The kids loved it.
We celebrated holidays in that house. Mom would cook and bake. I mostly baked and contributed some of my goodies.
My niece was so full of love. She was sick all her life but she would take my daughter with her as she went visiting in the neighborhood. My niece had made friends with all the older people who lived in the neighborhood. She would knock on their doors and tell them she just wanted to say hello.
When my niece died my daughter continued the visits as a tribute to her cousin. She told me she knew those people missed my niece and that her cousin wanted her to still visit them. The brother of the woman next door found out that my daughter was making a ball of rubber bands. Any rubber bands he came across would be put on a certain fence post so my daughter knew where to find them. They would promptly be added to the ball.
My niece was 8 when she died. All of us were devastated especially the children who were born in the baby boom. There were 2 new babies in the family. She had pictures of them in her hospital room and was anxious to see them.
My brother was also killed in Viet Nam. It has been 50 years and it is still hard to comprehend. The people of the neighborhood were all so kind. It was touching.
My brother's death was especially hard on my father. They had worked together before my brother was drafted. It was the only time I can remember seeing my father cry.
There were 2 more grandchildren born. Then we began to be grandparents. The way it should be.
Unfortunately my father did not live to see them.
My brother and his wife thought they might be having another baby when my father had a massive heart attack and died.
I hate to end on a sad note. Please know that we all have such wonderful and happy memories of my father. He was a much-loved man.
Everyone from the neighborhood came to the funeral. Everyone from the plant he managed came to the funeral. Not everyone who came could fit inside the funeral home. They waited outside and accompanied him to the cemetery. He would have been proud.