Saturday, December 26, 2009

Ramblings of a mad woman...

Not since the loss of my mother some 11 years ago have I felt this type of grief. My brother Brad is gone. So young, so vibrant, so vital to so many of us; his wife Paula, his children and grandson, and my family.

Unc as my children called him, has been a vital part of their lives since the day I brought Beth home from the hospital and he held her for the first time. He was a wonderful Uncle, more like a father at times. He rolled in the floor with squealing children, attended birthdays, weddings and took them on trips.

My granddaughter Dorie loved her Unc Unc and just last week baked up a batch of Christmas cookies for him. Earlier tonight we gathered for a family dinner, just the few of us that where here... Paula, Sara, Frank, me and our children and we broke out that can of cookies and ate a few for Unc Unc .

I cannot at this time fathom my life without him. Regardless of time or distance or even our little spats we were always there for each other. As I gazed upon him today all I could think of was that I needed a hug... he gave good ones, so did our dad. None of that half way, barely touching you hug. No his big ole arms would wrap around you and you knew that this person loved you and the world would fade away.

I called my little brother Boo Boo and he called me Gert. Nicknames that we carried proudly for some 40 plus years. He was named after Boo Boo Bear, Yogi Bear's faithful friend who followed him everywhere. My dad gave me my nickname and I hated it growing up, but grew into and soon learned it was a meaningful sign of love.

To say that I will miss Brad does not even touch what I am feeling. I have lost more than a little brother and a friend... farewell Boo Boo Bear I'll see you in my dreams.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Love grows where Patsy goes...

Patsy has always had this incredible way to transform the blandest space into a home; whether it was a trailer, a small 4 room house or the back yard of her present home... her touch can turn the simplest thing into a beautiful masterpiece... of course often with Dave's help.

George, the greatest cat in the world

Thursday as I drove towards Beth's house I saw a dead cat on the side of the road; slowing down and looking I was sure it was George. Named for the great state of Georgia where Dorie adopted him a little over a year ago, he was by far the greatest cat in the world, according to her. I walked into Beth's home and asked where George was and was told he was outside, she had just let him out, why?

Well I told her and off she went to find poor George and bring him back home. Before she left she explained to Dorie, who only wanted to ask why and say but George was the greatest cat in the world... I am not ashamed to say that we all were crying, Dorie, her mom, me and Grandma Betty.

When Beth left, I went and got the shovel and picked out a nice sunny spot by the Chinaberry tree near the swing set and started digging. Beth came back and we gathered round and when we through the first shovel of dirt in Dorie said wait, we needed to say a prayer. So there I stood, freezing in the wind holding a 4 year olds hand praying to God to provide George with butterflies to chase and sun to keep him warm.

As I sobbed out the words I thanked God for George cause he was a good cat and we all said amen and finished the funeral. I slowly walked back towards the house and heard a cat meowing, thinking it was the new calico kitten that Beth had gotten I looked up and saw... GEORGE on the front porch.

I hollered to Beth and told her that we just buried someone else's cat and we all took to laughing and screaming and scared poor George so much that he flew around the house like a bat out of hell! It took us a while to explain to Dorie that the neighbors cat looked just like George, I'm not sure if she was ever convinced and even her Papa asked did we dig up the grave to look.

Nope we didn't, we just counted our blessings and poor Georges too and reflected on what a good funeral we gave that other cat.

Merry Christmas ya'll, Camella

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Christmas Pressure, hmmm I meant Presents...

I'm going to blame my dark mood on the fact that I'm under the weather and was up before 6 taking a breathing treatment and now can't fall back to sleep...

Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas and the whole holiday experience, the lights, smells, hustle and bustle and of course the meaning, the joy of birth, the birth of Christ our lord... I like the traditions too.... those time honored and those that are sometimes newly formed. But sometimes I just like to sleep through it all and wake up in January!

My husbands family gathers each year, 4 generations strong under one roof to eat, be merry (for the most part), exchange gifts, laughter and memories. There are many traditions, some old, some new... Santa coming to visit, Strut Miss Lucy, Jimmy's creations in the kitchen and an ornament exchange between the women of the family.

This year many of us attended the local Christmas parade and that was a lot of fun... if you weren't there or listening to WDOG then you missed a most memorable performance by Beth, Becki, Phoebe and Emily as they paid tribute to Trudy and sang Blue Christmas! (After telling half the state of SC who they were.)

As I watched these young women act like the children they once were, I realized how blessed we are to have our future right before our eyes and it doesn't look half bad, that even at the risk of public ridicule these four women banded together and paid homage to their family in a most silly but loving way.

I hope I live long enough to gather at their homes for the holidays and listen to them tell the stories of Christmas pasts... what a wonderful gift that would be... no planning, no cleaning, cooking....

Merry Christmas!