Life Takes A Turn

Discussion in 'Other Reminiscences' started by Frank Sanoica, Mar 28, 2018.

  1. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    Both nephews knew their mother, my sister, was hospitalized in Oak Park, Illinois, Dan being in Kansas, Mike in Arizona, and her brother, me, also in AZ. They both went there before I did, Mike had left, returning to Flagstaff (AZ) where he worked for Northern Arizona University as a Counselor. Dan, the older nephew, born when I was 5, making me a laughing-stock "uncle" at 5, was bedside when I got there. Sept. 1995, Mike was 44, Dan 48, me, 53, my sister Lois 65, turned out, she was on her deathbed, though maybe only she knew........Her daughters, my nieces, all 3, had failed to show up, for a quaint variety of reasons, excuses in reality. Dan was fixing to leave when I arrived, having flown in to Midway (Chicago) and driven to the hospital, he would drive back to Topeka, Kansas, alone. He was then near a troubling divorce; I didn't know until a year later.

    Her husband, Bud, lifelong alcoholic temporarily cured, sat there bedside stoically, dreaming probably of relief. Dan & I consoled her, vowed to see her at home soon, as she lay there with long-term emphysema from a lifetime of cigarettes, possible liver failure from a lifetime of alcohol intake, and very little future left, apparently.

    Quite a "row" happened between Bud & I after Dan left, which I omit for brevity. I had a midnight flight back to Phoenix out of Midway, so arose to leave about 8PM. Now, my sister & I had never been "close", indeed, very "un-close" during the previous decades, so it surprised me that as I bade her good-bye, she beckoned me to her bedside. Our last close conversation had happened 9 years before, when our mother died, and basically addressed her concerns about our mother's money: that I had borrowed and squandered. Now, this conversation was enlightening, though I did not perceive it at the time. She reached out to grasp my hand, surprisingly strongly, and said, "Good-bye, Frank". I missed her fervency, said good-bye, left for the airport.

    Thought I heard my name paged, not sure, at the airport, called my wife in Phoenix; she explained, Mike had called from Flagstaff, he informed her my sister had died shortly after I left the hospital bound for the airport. As she squeezed my hand, the first time EVER, she knew she was dying!

    Chagrined, marooned alone in an airport at midnight, I asked for a refund, explaining circumstances, for my return flight to Phoenix. Denied, pending proof via death certificate. Shit!!

    I got on the plane, flew home, contacted Dan in Topeka, then flew there a day or two later, and he & I drove back to the funeral. This episode was my last exposure to the societally-imposed necessitie of dying. I truly hope that when I croak, no one at all is similarly driven to distraction.

    I never really "knew" my sister closely. 12 years older than me, her activities as a teen bound me to careful observance, she smoked, drank, got pregnant, denounced our parents. I HAD to do better.

    I did not, sorry to say. Thanks for staying this far, glad to get it "off my chest", albeit it to strangers, who really need not hear it, nor need not react to it.
    Frank
     
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  2. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Very Well-Known Member
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    Condolences, Frank.
     
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  3. Kitty Carmel

    Kitty Carmel Very Well-Known Member
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    Yup Frank. There will be no one and I want no one to come running when I die.

    I'm actually sending a few things this week to my brother (the one two years older than me) for his daughters to keep. One item is a hand knit table cloth that someone gave my mother the last time she went to Germany. Knit lace is rarer than crochet and like I told my brother, I don't want it going to the thrift store and sold for a few dollars. It should go to the nieces. It's part of their European heritage.
     
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  4. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    That was very moving, Frank. Thanks for sharing it.
     
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  5. Shirley Martin

    Shirley Martin Veteran Member
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    If she falsely accused you of borrowing and squandering your Mother's money, I can understand your not being close.
    I have siblings who are much older than I am. My oldest brother was about eighteen years older. He was grown and away from home before I can remember. But when we were both grown, we were very close.
     
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  6. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Shirley Martin
    My sister & I were 12 years apart. I always thought (when I got old enough to think it) that I was the classic middle-age mistake; my Mother always denied that, though. I think the fact that closeness never existed between us after she married due to her husband's always bad-mouthing me behind my back, a fact verified gradually by the nephews. No basis in fact existed to explain it: I helped him immensely, installed an A/C whole-house system for them, kept his car running, even painted their house exterior one summer. So profound were his demands on their kids (2 nephews and 2 nieces) to never associate with me, that they shunned me throughout our lives, still do, the girls primarily. Dan, older nephew, always was fairly close, he being the first-born of a different father than the res, Mike, second-born, is still very close; the nieces I have heard nothing whatsoever from in over 20 years, since their mother died. In fact, I'm not at all certain where they live!
    Frank
     
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  7. Kitty Carmel

    Kitty Carmel Very Well-Known Member
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    Wow @Frank Sanoica What dysfunction on your sister and her husband's part. You certainly didn't deserve that.
     
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