Wednesday, June 20, 2007

New Friends & Really Old Memories

So, I was watching Cathrynn & Liv play with Mallory, a sweet 10 y/o girl from around the block. They love, love, love the attention. And adore her. So, I try to keep out of they way of their games of childhood. It's like a glimpse inside my own backyard. Chasing, hiding, drawing, biking, no planned fun - everything just evolves.

Tonight I was in the laundry room, keeping an eye on them & glueing some beads to a box in a hobby that Frank thinks is ridiculous while there's still cleaning to be done. It's my sanity these days. I like the focus of it. And it's such a forgiving craft - no tearing out stitches... my oh-no's become part of the design. And more importantly, it's a time to process my thoughts, remember details of the hospital visit with Gramm, venture into the next few weeks and the end of her life & suffering.

So, in the middle of all that, I'm watching the girls and realize that Mallory and Cathrynn are the exact ages that Dee and I were when she was hit by the car. And, I'm suddenly trying to put the two of them in the same roles and make sense of it all. I really don't think about it anymore. The pieces are fuzzy. Why did we, the younger siblings, walk Kim to her friend's house? Why was Glady there right after it happened? Was she supposed to pick us up and babysit us? Where were mom & dad going that night? Why don't I remember mom and dad at the accident scene? Did they blame me and I've blocked it out?

I remember walking back to the house. It seemed like slow motion and there were people everywhere - parting the sidewalk to make room for me. To stare at me. Was Kim with me? Was I alone?

I saw Terry, the teenager from next door, and saw her tears for Dee. I don't think I cried though. Was I in shock? I remember going up to the house to pack and seeing the bathwater in the claw foot tub. Clean water, ready for someone.

I know mom came to visit us that night (was Kim with me?) at Glady's house and listening to the accident report on the radio the next day. It was either here or in a newspaper article that I learned that I was almost hit too.

When Frank was going to Pat for dental work and they were having fun, comparing notes about dating me, Pat told him that I was messed up b/c of the guilt I was carrying around about Dee and the accident. I was floored. I guess that was around 1990 and her life was really a mess. I carried my guilt way too long. It wasn't until she met Mikey and got married and started a somewhat normal life that I was able to accept that her life and decisions weren't my fault anymore.

I want to call Kim and ask more about what she remembers but no need to dig this all up now. Although she'll be thrilled to talk about anything that was wrong in our childhood. For now, there's enough crap rising to the top. Maybe later I'll ask and see what happens.

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