Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Sweetest Thing

My mom called me last night with the news that my brother is in hospital,
with pneumonia.  He is getting the care he needs
and all is expected to be well soon, thanks be to God. 
My mother was so struck by the surprise of her little boy in this situation,
she was dumbfounded.
How can Eddie be in hospital?
I remember him in diapers!  We laughed...I told her I remember that too.
He is my 'baby brother' and her 'baby boy'.
It's not right, she said.  She's the one whose health is a mess. 
And she's not old enough to have a son in hospital with pneumonia,
or a daughter old enough to get the senior discount at the ARC store!
(She had come with us thrift shopping in November -
in part to make sure we would get the senior discount -
and was rather stunned when I 'qualified' on my own.)
What ensued was a tender conversation full of childhood memories -
me teaching him to read, and everytime I'd read
'Oh, Oh, Oh,' he'd say 'No, No, No!'
laughing and sharing the goodness of the man he has become. 
After I hung up I called my Dad. 
My brother & his family had been in Missouri
to celebrate my Dad's birthday with him when he took ill.
I had missed the date and Dad kindly presumed I must have been
out of town when he didn't get a call...
'maybe in the desert', he said.
I admitted to the desert of my mind which gave us both a good laugh.
My Dad filled me in on the details and then, more quietly,
asked to no one in particular, "How can Eddie be in hospital?"
I told him Mom had said the same. 
My brother had been stoic - insisting he'd get better, just give it time.
We laughed at his stubbornness and wondered aloud
where on earth he got that personality trait!  Ha!
He asked about the kids, glad for good news all around,
said he hoped he'd see 7 year old again soon, they grow up so fast.
Memories poured out here too
as we shared how funny/odd it is to get older 'on the outside'
and still feel so much ourselves 'on the inside'
full of the life & thoughts & humor we've known since our youth.
Can't judge a book by its cover!
I have a clear image of my Dad out in the driveway
eternally washing and waxing his car, bent over the side
rag in hand, young and strong,
wearing shorts in the sunshine.
I remember his guitar playing and making up silly songs
in the afternoon under the carport
and softball games in the field by our house
with the car radio turned up, playing tunes he'd sing aloud
'Let me tell you 'bout the birds and the bees
and the flowers and the trees, and the moon up above,
and a thing called love!"
while Mom hit all the homeruns!
'Hey , hey, good lookin'
what ya got cookin'?
How's about cookin' something up with me?'
He said the first picture that comes to mind when he thinks of me
is a little girl, 5,6,7...and every time someone came near me
with a camera, how I'd pose. 
He said it was the cutest thing he has ever seen in his life,
and he laughed.  Then I had stopped doing it, getting older.
Told me he's always missed that.  It was the sweetest thing...

1 comment:

Cizonor said...

Loved reading this post. Such a cute picture. I can't believe you were ever that little, but there you are with the same eyes. Fun to hear about your childhood, and grandpa's youth. It does sound like the sweetest thing...