Friday, September 8, 2017

How To Say Hello

Living in the apartment next to us in the big city was a man with his two young children. The oldest was a girl and the youngest was a boy. Occasionally the father's girlfriend was there with her daughter also. We did not visit back and forth but we were on a "smile and say hello" basis.

When my family moved to the big city they took an apartment on the first floor of our building. My sister and the girl next door to us became close friends.

My husband had a younger brother about the same age as the girls. He still lived back here with their parents but visited every year when they came to the big city to visit.

I stayed in touch with the girl next door even after both families moved from the building. She was a nice girl who had been given some rough knocks in life.

Years passed and my brother-in-law came to the big city. He wanted some excitement. He also wanted a wife.

He brought his other brother's wife's sister with him. She would be the one. Thankfully it did not work out.

He dated a girl who lived across the street. They were talking marriage. For some reason it did not work out.

Then he connected with the former girl next door. I cannot remember how. Before long they ran off and got married. Then they moved to California.

The girl next door was now my sister-in-law and going to have her first baby. Then my brother-in-law was drafted.

She was all alone in California. I invited her to stay with us until they knew where he would be stationed. I knew she did not want to stay with her father and she did not want to be alone.

She had a beautiful baby boy. Eventually she moved. Then when my brother-in-law came home they moved to Florida. They proceeded to have 6 (yes 6) more children.

They moved to Tennessee. They have a gorgeous home with a bit of land. They have done very well for themselves.

Years passed and my father-in-law died. My children and I came back here for the funeral as did the rest of the family.

My brother-in-law and sister-in-law had a nice big camper with plenty of room for them with all 7 children. They were staying at my sister-in-law's in town so I did not see them right away when we got here.

Much of the family was sitting in Mom's living room when they came out. My sister-in-law rushed toward me.

"Emma, How the hell are you. I'm so glad to see you!" Then she hauled off and slapped my face as hard as she could!

I just sat there in shock. No one ever did that to me before. She sat down and we started to catch up as if nothing happened.

My son later told me that that was a sign of affection in the area where she lived. After the funeral she insisted that I sit with her and we talked for a long time.

So now I know how to say, "Hello." But I will not. Not that way.


  1. Ouch! I'm afraid I might have slapped her back. Ha!

  2. Oh my!
    that is striking for me .
    i have seen few scenes in romantic movies when heroin slaps hard to hero when he tried to joke about his own death etc .

    but one thing is crystal clear here that she cared about you and missed you and unfortunately expressed this in her traditional style

    1. I know she was happy to see me. I hope next time she will not be quite that happy.

  3. Emma, that sign of "affection" was a first for me and hopefully not everyone greets people this way. I can image that this form of greeting could lead to some problems, and glad it did not for yourself.

    1. I had not heard of it before either. Next time I will duck!

  4. I have never heard of that tradition. It could cause a butt whuppin' in some areas of the country :)