Welcome to Pondering with a Purpose –
I was in kindergarten and it was Maureen’s job to take me home from school. On this snowy December afternoon in 1964. I told Maureen my brother Lawrence was coming to pick me up and take me to see Santa Claus. Maureen asked if I was sure and I was, my brother would be there.
Maureen was a shy little girl in the eighth grade and only took the job because the nuns told her to. My mother paid her one dollar a week. In her defense she didn’t know any better.
Like I said it was snowing I think it was a blizzard. The twins that were in an upper grade didn’t want me to stand out there by myself so they took me to the convent. I heard stories about the nuns in the convent. I was so scared. But it was actually cool. One of the nuns gave me Chuckles to eat and they let me bang on the piano. My mother picked me up and I think Maureen got in trouble.
It was about six years later when Maureen, Abby and Benny were all hanging out with Lawrence. My brother went off to college and Maureen was the girl he left home. Maureen’s father was Canadian, he had such a beautiful red complexion. (He was a great man. I grew to love him over the years and missed him so much when he had a heart attack and drove into a parkway over pass wall.) Maureen’s mom is white she is a beautiful woman also, always outspoken.
Maureen and her siblings are all beautiful with straight hair. Maureen was still shy. She didn’t like her hair, she didn’t like her smile, she didn’t like… oh the list could go on. The fact of the matter Maureen was and still is a beautiful woman inside and out.
There was this time she wanted an afro. This was the 70’s there weren’t a lot of chemicals for your hair back then. Someone told her to use Ajax and ammonia in her hair. She did and the results was not an afro instead Maureen began wearing a hat all the time. My grandmother and mother would often try to get her to take it off. Maureen got angry with me and I was yelled at for pulling it off one time.
I think it was Lawrence’s third year in college when Maureen became pregnant.
Shot gun marriage!
Maureen had to wear a dress that was way too small for her. She moved in with Lawrence. They got my aunt’s room and I got a big sister. I never ever thought of her as my sister-in-law. I was excited I was going to have a niece, I really wanted a niece. Back then there weren’t sonograms. I was overjoyed and couldn’t understand why there was so much gloom in the house? Maureen told me her parents were disappointed in her. My mom probably was too but she didn’t verbalize it.
It was Christmas week and we were going to have our traditional family New Year’s eve bash the next day. Maureen’s family was going to be there. Maureen had three sisters, two brothers and a niece. Sharon is my age, well two years older and she thought I was stealing her sister away. So she wasn’t too happy.
Five months later Maureen gave us the link that attached our families up to this day. Lil’ Lawrence was born. (Today he has his own Lil’ Lawrence.) Sharon still wasn’t too happy with me stealing her sister. Maureen took us to an amusement park. Sharon, her friend and I asked Maureen if we could go and smoke a cigarette. Maureen said it was okay and we left her with her little brother, sister, niece, my sister and our baby nephew. We didn’t want them to see us smoking. I had a joint and asked Sharon if she and her friend wanted to smoke it with me. We must have taken longer then expected because Maureen yelled at both me and Sharon for taking so long. Sharon and I became inseparable at that point.
This was forty-two years ago. Year by year Maureen became an important part of our family. We share so many memories happy and sad. During my rebellious teen age years I lived with Maureen and Lawrence up state in the college town. It was Maureen that kept my brother from killing me during that time.
When we moved back to the city Maureen went to school while raising her son and obtained a nursing degree.
Thirty-three years ago Maureen, her older sister and I were all pregnant at the same time. This was nine years after Lil’ Lawrence was born. We all gave birth to girls. Maureen’s’ baby girl died of crib death. This was very painful. I felt so guilty that my baby lived and hers died. The kind of personality Maureen had, I said to her sister Sharon, if Maureen offers me the baby’s clothes I won’t accept them. Her younger sister thought I was being selfish and that wasn’t the case. I didn’t want Maureen to see my baby in Cory’s clothes and hurt anymore then she was.
Eight months later Maureen happily announced that she was pregnant. She gave birth to a son and another boy fourteen months later. Nineteen years ago Maureen and Lawrence brought a house. Lil’ Lawrence was in college. The younger boys were still in elementary school. My mother died shortly after. Maureen took the imitative to make sure my grandmother went to the doctor. She worked nights and would spend the whole day at the clinic with Gran.
Today whenever there is a family function Maureen calls and invites me to ride with them. Both Maureen and Lawrence are proud of their children, they are beautiful kids. Last summer they gave Maureen and Lawrence a fortieth anniversary party. The speeches their sons gave had everyone at the bar-b-que in tears. Even Maureen who, never cries even shed a tear. I love my sister-in-law and could never imagine life without her.
I love my brother-in-law too, my sister’s husband. I knew him before my sister too. But that’s another story.