Sunday, September 26, 2010

Heidi (Part5)

Daylight came. For my little sister the news of Dad was kept quiet. She was as cheerful as ever.
It was my mom's decision that she was to be moved to a neighbours for a few days. My job was to get it arranged and get her ready early enough so that she would not miss any school time. She was in grade one. She did not question any of this because she had slept over there before. She thought it would be fun and left willingly and happily. But I was not happy about my mom's idea.
The next twos days were full of errands. My brother and I remained home from school. I hardly remember what it was we had to do. I just know it became a blur in my head. There were the visitations prior to the funeral and then the funeral itself.
It took place mid day on Wednesday, a sunny, bright and warm day. I had never been in a limo. What an odd sensation it was. The limo ride was so very smooth and bump less that it felt as though we were floating. It somehow felt fitting. There was a very long stream of cars following us to the cemetery. I had no idea who all the people were. I guessed that my dad may have been famous or something but kept it from us. I still wonder about that huge crowd. Perhaps it was work related?
That afternoon my mom had the support of many other adults at her side. That left my brother and I to be with each other. We watched our mom. It was as if we were spectators at some huge drama. Mom was the lead character. We guessed it was that way because all the adults just seemed to collect together. We were not adults. We stood at the grave motionless just watching.
After the burial there was the reception. And there was alcohol. We watched as our mom fell into a state of drunkenness. No one seemed to mind. We became scared. She was the only parent we had left. We had seen her drunk at some of the parties given at our home. Dad would say she was just having a good time. But this was not a good time event.
So that day was the beginning of a whole new way of life that we would have to adjust to.  Alcohol was going to be Mom's choice of numbing her sorrow (along with pills and cigarettes). And there was her withdrawal into her own world.  She had lost her hero, her lover and we no longer mattered. She had wanted to spare my little sister the agony of losing a dad. Instead she put the three of us into a living nightmare. And it lasted for a long time.
My aunt and grandpa were in no better shape emotionally and stayed at their place
Out of fear I took on the role of caregiver to all of us. My brother became a loner. My sister became a nervous wreck. She was afraid to go to sleep. Her fear was heightened by an idea that we could all disappear like her dad had. Mom had not foreseen that her six year old needed to have some sort of concrete interaction with her loss of her dad. The poor girl believed that human death meant just vanishing over night! What a horror she was faced with.
And I, Heidi, could not fix such serious problems. Help was needed.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Heidi (Part4)

I turned around and let the screen door close behind me. The doctor and coroner were with Mom. His death was not considered suspicious so the coroner issued the papers and recommended that a funeral home be called to collect him. The phone number of one my mom agreed to was handed to me and I went into the kitchen to place the call. It was quite straight forward. Questions about the coroner's findings and the location of the deceased to be pick up. Done.
I reported back to the bedroom to learn what would be next. The coroner begged his leave. His bill would be in the mail.  Mom talked about my going to my grandpa's to let him know. It was his son that had just passed. I would have to cycle there. Mom would wait for the funeral home hearse to come while I would go to Grandpa. The doctor offered to drive me, a kind gesture under the circumstances. We all headed for the front door. After farewells he led me to his car. What a time to have my first ride in a corvette!! It was short. My grandpa lived with my aunt in a nearby apartment complex.
While climbing the stairs to the third floor I wondered what I would say. Then I knocked. It took several attempts. My aunt opened the door.
I just looked at her. She was in a long nightie and had curlers in her hair , planning to look her best for work in the morning I guessed. Then I stepped into their familiar apartment but I felt so torn and lost for words. words that were in my throat but would not come out. I gently hugged her, tears streaming down my cheeks I finally whispered,
" I have bad news."
She seemed to sense the next part and whispered,
 "When did it happen?"
" Just a short while ago. Mom and the doctor tried their best. He didn't respond."
"Thanks for coming now. I'll let Papa sleep 'til morning. It will be very hard on him."
Hard on him? I wondered what she was thinking. It is hard on every one. She continued to whisper asking me to quietly depart so Papa would not be disturbed. I did and with more tears quietly rolling down my cheeks  I made my way back to the corvette.  I thanked the doctor for helping me as he drove. Back at the house I got out while he waited for me to enter it and left. What a gentleman, an Afro-American MD in 1962. How rare.
In the living room I found Mom with my brother whom she had managed to awaken. I wanted my sister join us but Mom requested I leave her alone. Mom felt she should be spared this painful time.
Then the hearse appeared and we watched Dad leave our home.
But not my little sister.
It was around 4:30 am yet sleep was not in us. All sense of timing was gone. Shock and grief had gripped us. We sat in the living room just babbling and sobbing.  But not my little sister.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Heidi (Part3)

Since he refused to respond I leaned over his face and listened.
He was breathing and was in a deep state of sleep. I sat up and glanced down at my fourteen year old brother. He was at that very young adult stage where the limbs and body look misaligned and awkward.
I decided to move on. Across the hall was my little sister, ten years my junior, only six years old. I checked on her. She was fast asleep too. Her soft brown teddy, Chicago, was next to her. I walked out of our room and closed the door. As I walked back downstairs I wondered how they had managed to stay asleep through all the commotion and noise.
Outside my parents bedroom I heard the firemen discussing with my Mom what had happened.
These words sent chills through me. Heart failure. He died? Not possible! No way! The melodies he played earlier began to sing in my head and my eyes swelled with tears. I don't remember how long I stood there until Mom called for me but I knew instinctively that my role as the eldest had just taken on a whole new direction. As I entered the bedroom the firemen exited.
Mom looked exhausted and scared. Now it was my turn to help her.  I was given the number of the coroner to call so that's the first thing I did.
Then I went back to Mom. My dad was making strange gurgling sounds that sounded a bit like the engine of a car revving. It made me want to believe he was getting better. As I sat down next to them, Mom started to talk about her experience. Dad had complained of discomfort around midnight so my mom called the family doctor who was on holiday. A replacement made the house call just before one and had requested my dad go to emerge but my dad, feeling a bit better, said he would wait until morning. The doctor made him promise that Dad would follow through and gave him a shot of something before leaving. Dad would not let Mom sleep. He insisted on telling her what she had to do after his death.
I listened to all this with one ear to the doorbell. It soon rang.
Confused, frightened and wishing I was in a deep sleep like my siblings, I went to the door.
"Yes. "
The doctor and the coroner were standing in front of me.
"Come in please. Just go down the hall to my mom."
I lingered for a moment glancing at the stars.
 At that moment I became very angry with God.
"Why God?"

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Heidi (Part 2)

Was mom calling me?
My sister and I shared one of the upper level bedrooms. My parents had their room downstairs.
Dad was with Mom so why was I hearing her call me?
Now I was wider awake. A gut feeling that something was not right kicked in.
I left the bed and headed to the stairs.
It was another chilling scream. I began to run.
Once at their bedroom I found Mom on the bed leaning over Dad.
She glanced up from her position over him. There was a look of terror in her eyes.
"Heidi what took you so long? Call the fire department. Dad's not breathing!"
My adrenalin began racing through me. I rushed to the kitchen and dialed their number.
After answering their questions and receiving some instructions to follow, I hung up and
headed to the front door to make sure the outside light was on.
Then I stepped outside to check. I glanced up at the sky, noticed the stars and  began to pray.
"Please God help my Dad."
It seemed like a very long time before the fire truck arrived.
I led the men to the bedroom, waiting a moment before racing upstairs to my brother's room.
"Roland," I yelled and shook him.
He was not responding to my efforts to awaken him.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Heidi (Part 1)

His fingers danced across the keys as he played his old favourites from memory. He had not played his Hohner in quite a while. It was a fitting way to end a lovely Sunday. I drifted to sleep at the sound of those familiar tunes.
" Heidi! Heidi!"
A shrilling scream echoed in my ears. Was I dreaming?
I struggled to awaken my senses
Again,  "Heidi! Heidi!"
I threw the covers off me and glanced over at my little sister who was sound asleep in her bed.
Was I dreaming? Was I really hearing that shouting?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Under the Weather

It's suddenly very cool. After all the heat this cool weather is a bit too cool. too quickly. Sadly Buddy has taken ill. When he's ill we worry because his immune system is weak. I will be taking him to the doc to  get him checked. I want to be sure that his lungs are clear. Pneumonia is always a risk. Sadly I'm sniffling too. School has begun and so has the season to catch those nasty bugs. The expression "under the weather" must have come about because we like to blame the weather for many of our malfunctions, right?

Friday, September 3, 2010


 Today the grey sky opened and rain just poured. In moments here's what it looked like right in front of our home. And hidden somewhere near the backyard the yellow finches are waiting for the deluge to end. I miss their chirps when they're at the feeder. How's the sky where you are?

Thursday, September 2, 2010



A guy goes into the bar and sits down and orders a drink. Other than the bartender, there's no one else in the place. All of a sudden he hears a voice that says, "Nice suit." He looks around and doesn't see anyone and the bartender looks busy washing some glasses. A little while later the same voice says, "Nice Tie." The guy looks around again and doesn't see anyone. He finally asks the bartender if he just said something.
"No," replied the bartender, "it wasn't me. It was probably the peanuts though. They're complimentary."
Thanks for the joke, Patty. My compliments to you for your generosity.
Do you ever think you're a bit nutty? Today I did a nutty thing. I posted photos on my Foto blog using the same subject, similar photos and same title as an earlier post. The nuttier part is that I did this exactly one month apart, on the same (02) day of the month. Not so sure why though. That's what's nutty. So? I often wonder about numbers and coincidences. Do you? Fall is the season for wild and wacky and it's just beginning. Come again soon.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Nutty Jokes

It 's astounding how generous and kind bloggers tend to be. I asked Patty if she had any good nutty jokes and she sent me a couple. But I hadn't learned cut and paste from email. Today I learned the  command c and command v thing along with drag and drop. There's a wealth of commands to master. Nuts, I have too much to remember! Anyway here's a joke;
                                        A Bucket of Nuts
On the outskirts of town, there was a huge nut tree by the cemetery fence. One day two boys filled up a bucket with nuts and sat down by the tree, out of sight, and began dividing the nuts.
"One for you, one for me. One for you, one for me," said one boy. The bucket was so full, several rolled out toward the fence.
Cycling down the road by the cemetery was a third boy. As he passed, he thought he heard voices from inside the cemetery. He slowed down to investigate. Sure enough, he heard, "One for you, one for me. One for you, one for me."
He knew what it was. "Oh my," he shuddered. "It's Satan and St. Peter dividing the souls at the cemetery."
He cycled down the road as fast as he could and found an old man hobbling along with a cane. "Come here quick," said the boy. "You won't believe what I heard. Satan and St. Peter are down at the cemetery dividing the souls."
The man said, "Shoo, you brat, can't you see I'm finding it hard to walk as it is." But after several pleas, the man hobbled to the cemetery.
Standing by the fence, they heard, "One for you, one for me. One for you, one for me."
The old man whispered, "Boy, you've been telling the truth. Let's find out if we can see the devil himself." Shivering with fear, they peered through the fence, but they were still unable to see anything. The old man and the boy gripped the wrought-iron bars of the fence tighter and tighter as they tried to get a glimpse of Satan.
At last they heard, "One for you, one for me. And one last one for you. That's all. Now let's go get those nuts by the fence, and we'll be done."
They say the old guy made it back to town five minutes before the boy.
 Do you know some good nutty jokes??