Saturday, December 16, 2006

Highs and Lows

I’m going to a pretty special celebration Saturday afternoon, my Aunt Alice and Uncle Bill’s 60th wedding anniversary. 60 years. Wow. Aunt Alice was my mother’s favorite sister. They were very close, and I’m close to both of them because of that strong relationship. My Uncle Bill is my favorite of all of my uncles on either side. They are a perfect match. My aunt is a bit of a shrew, but I love her. She gripes about everything, gets into everyone’s business. Knows everything. For the longest time I couldn’t figure out how these two people meshed. Uncle Bill is quiet, gentle – the most peaceful man I’ve ever known. It was quite a shock to me when I discovered that this giant of a man had been a Ranger in WWII, had participated in one of military histories greatest rescue missions – the freeing of the Bataan Death March POWs from a Philippine POW camp. I could never picture him with a gun. But, anyway, I finally got it a few years ago (well, more like 20) when we (mom, dad and I) were taking a car trip with them to San Antonio. Aunt Alice was going on and on about something or other when suddenly from the front seat came a quiet voice “Enough”. She stopped. I stared. When I later asked my cousin about this she smiled. “Dad gives mom a long leash and then when he’s had enough he says so, end of story.”

It’s going to be difficult going to this party though. People are coming in from out of town that weren’t able to make it to mom’s funeral. Her sister, for example, who we told that if she had to choose between coming for the funeral or coming to this celebration that mother would have wanted her at the party. And mom’s brother who has been ill. I’m going to have to face the “I’m sorry” stuff again. I’m going to have to face their grief. I also have to give out one of mom’s last gifts. Mom had this bracelet, a gold filigree-type wrist band with her name etched on a small gold base. Mary. Alice and Bill have a grand-daughter named Michelle who lives in Oklahoma. She’ll be there tomorrow. What does this have to do with a bracelet with “Mary” on it? Michelle’s middle name is Mary and she was named after mom. She’s the only one with that name and mother promised her when she was a little girl (Michelle is now 35) that when mom died the bracelet would go to her. So I have to deliver it to her – a woman who adored her Aunt Mary.


On a different note – there’s a game on tonight and all I have to say about it is PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE win.

Be sure to come by Sunday for a special post.

26 comments:

Brandy said...

I'm sorry *cringe* that you'll have to go through all the condolences when it's still so fresh. I am glad that you have an uplifting gift to give, the bracelet to your cousin. Just try to focus on your Aunt and Uncle, their celebration in making their lives together for so long. I wish I had uplifting words to give you. I do wish for you to have a good time. I, um, well, have a surprise for you. It should arrive sometime next week. I wasn't going to tell you, but you sounded like you needed a cheering up! Anyway, have fun(?).
GOODNIGHT BAILEY!!

Bailey Stewart said...

It's not a cat is it? LOL

Brandy said...

I wouldn't do that to you!! Well, I might. But, I didn't!

raine said...

I'm glad you're going, Bailey.
Be good for you to be around people you love.

Bailey Stewart said...

Brandy - whew!

Raine - yeah, I decided to listen to you. Don't get used to it.

Bailey Stewart said...

Oh, and btw - is anybody else having problems getting into Marty's blog?

raine said...

...yeah, I decided to listen to you. Don't get used to it.

Hee-hee-heeeee...
That's one more corrupted... :-D

Bailey Stewart said...

*snort*

I'm so glad it hasn't all gone to your head.

Sandy J said...

I am also glad you are going.
Will be thinking about you.

Dru said...

{{{{Bailey}}}}
It's good that you're going. It will be good for you and you'll be representing your mom when you give the bracelet to Michelle. I hope you have a good time with your family.

--Dru Ann

catslady said...

I think you're going to be glad you went - being around family and celebrations like that don't happen very often. I think that's wonderful that you are fulfilling your mom's promise with the bracelet. That doesn't happen very often either.

Jill said...

I too have a surprise for you next week. I'll be thinking about you tonight.

Dennie McDonald said...

I think we all had an Uncle Bill - I did and he was my favorite; he died on my 17th b-day and it broke my heart! But he was the coolest old dude and I will always remember his white handlebar mustashe (sp??) and the ever-present smile underneath it!

(((Hugs))) on the party...

GO COWBOYS!!!!

Devon Ellington said...

Best wishes for a lovely party, even with all the mixed emotions.

And I'm sure Michelle will treasure the bracelet.

christa said...

It will do your heart good to be around people that loved your mom

Toni Anderson said...

Oh--I hope it is a great party. I hope all the good things come out, all the happy memories. And what a lovely inheritance for Michelle.

My grandad is leaving me a sideboard--1950's tortoishell veneer thing. I am the only one named to have anything in the will except mom, who gets everything else (as she should). How the devil do I get a sideboard to Canada? LOL.

Olga said...

60 years is amazing. I don't think I know anybody who've been married for that long. Bailey, hugs about what you'll have to face at the party, and please e-mail me if you ever need me.

Lexi said...

Enjoy the party and let other people take care of you.

Jordan Summers said...

I think you might find that this will be more of a celebration of life than a depressing event. Celebrate joyously. Allow yourself to enjoy the party and the season. :)

Susan said...

Bailey, I hope you have a terrific time being with your family. It will do you good to get out and party a little.

I had an Aunt Alice who sounds just like yours and her first husband was named Bill, too!

Sue aka MsCreativity :-) said...

Thinking of you.

Hugs,
Sue :-)

Siobhan said...

I hope all goes well at the party. I think it's wonderful that you're giving the bracelet to your cousin. (((Hugs)))

ruby55 said...

I know it will be hard for you to take the condolences with equanimity. The wound is still very fresh. But I think that giving that bracelet to your cousin--maybe you can do it publicly as a special moment for all of them to think of your mother and what she meant to everybody--might focus the feelings so that you won't have to go through to many condolences on your own. It will give everybody a moment to think especially of your mom and, I hope, take the particular pressure off you. Ask whoever it is hosting the party, if you know her well enough, if you might do it that way. It will then become a part of the whole gathering in which you all think of the joys and the sorrows of the past year.

Your uncle and aunt sound like great people, especially your uncle. I bet that's how he approached the war too--quietly for the most part and when something had to be done he made sure it happened before sinking into "invisibility" again.

I wish you much joy for the afternoon though there will be a lot of pain too because you're there without your mom. I hope you have someone that can act as a bit of a buffer in case things become too hard to bear.

I think there's an e-mail I found on one of the computers that has been offered to me instead of this batty one that might put a smile on your face. I hope I can figure out how to send it to you.

I'll pray for strength and peace for you in the matter of your mom and for joy in being with people whom you obviously love.

I'll be there with you in my thoughts and prayers. You'll be all right. Take a moment all to yourself or with a very good cousin or whatever if things begin to get overwhelming. God bless you. I know He'll be watching over you.

ruby55 said...

Oh, I forgot. That's today already. Time is losing its meaning.

Bailey Stewart said...

Brandy/Jill - now I'm worried. *looking around furtively*

Susie said...

Oh, *sniffle* no words, I have no words... (((bailey)))

I do hope you enjoyed the party. And, I know how special that bracelet will be for your cousin, Michelle. A bittersweet moment in celebration of you aunt and uncle and the reminders of your mom's passing not so long ago.

Enough said...