I thought I'd share the story of the time I knew the person I spoke of yesterday. He popping back in for a moment has brought back memories of the story. And no, I've not called him back yet but if I don't I think my mother is, lol.
It all started when the man who owned the house we rented decided to rent out the property across the street in lots for mobile homes. One day a big long mobile home appeared and a man, in his fifties I will guess now, came over and introduced himself. He was the first person I can ever remember meeting from up North, he was from Indiana. He explained that he had moved down first because he had a job in our little town and that his wife and son were coming later. He talked of his son with pride, he was a big shot football player and would make our local football team a legend. Umm, I thought. My father and he sort of hit it off and afternoon he was at our house and pretty soon he was a fixture at our supper table.
I'm not sure how long before his family arrived but when they finally did, his son was arrogant and snobbish. To him I was just a pest . I think he was fifteen at the time. I was twelve. He was plenty good looking though. His mother on the other hand became one of my favorite people in the world. She and I immediately became buddies. She made me feel so special.
The events that happened next have stayed with me all these years. She found a lump in her breast. She went to the Doctor by herself to get the results and it was cancer. She called her husband at work to tell him and he dropped dead right there at work on the phone with her from a heart attack. Can you imagine?
Because we were basically the only people they knew in our town, my parents just took over and helped her get through it. She had to have her breast removed, she had radiation. Her son became withdrawn and so sad and the only person he really had anything to do with was my father. They played horseshoes for hours of every day.
I remember we all watched man walk on the moon for the first time together. I remember the son listened to Neil Diamond all the time. And I remember how my parents gave this family so much that summer. The son went on to play football that year, when his mother wasn't able to go to the games, my family did. When she was able to drive herself to her many Dr.'s visits I went with her and she always treated me to a burger at the Dairy King. Yes it was a Dairy King. And it was a big deal to me, I had never gotten fast food much before that. She convinced my mother to let me finally shave my legs, she bought me little gifts that she knew I would love.
After her treatment she got better and they became less dependent on my parents. She made other friends and her son did too. But the year I turned 14, he finally noticed me as something other than a pest. It was short lived however as one of his big shot high school buddies convinced him I was too young and he really should be dating a cheerleader. (I was not a cheerleader, lol.)
We soon moved to another house and although we still saw them, it was not nearly as often and pretty soon her cancer came back. She had an older son who was still in Indiana and this time he came and got her. She died there. She was brought back to our little Georgia town however to be buried beside her husband. And that was the last time I saw her son. He had joined the Navy by then and had a wife by his side. He stood there in his Navy Whites, as handsome as ever.
And that's the story.
As I think about it, my life mirrors his mother's life somewhat. She had to deal with terrible grief and cancer at the same time. I remember visiting her husbands grave with her and she'd lay down right on his grave stone and cry. I'd always been taught you shouldn't stand on grave stones and it amazed me to watch her unabandoned feelings take over and to see her grieve like that.
And I just remembered something else. His older half brother who had come and got his mother was Mormon. And remember I said he was in Utah? Ummm.
Ok, ok, I know I have to call him. I will. Maybe.