Saturday, June 24, 2017

Reunion with Rosy

In 2007 I started tutoring with the Cedar Valley Church in the One by One program. The program was started to help the many Hispanic children that were moving into their neighborhood. The program had volunteers tutor first through eighth graders—one tutor for each student. I was assigned a little first grade girl whose name is Rosy. Instantly I liked her and she liked me. She spoke very good English. In fact, she would go to doctor appointments with her mother to act as interpreter. She would bring her homework and we would work on it together.

At the end of her third grade I was getting a little weary of spending every Monday night away from home and decided I wouldn't continue. I took Rosy out to eat to tell  her and that's when she told me she wouldn't be coming the following year because she was going to be in another program. So, at the final night of the program that year, we parted company, and to my chagrin, I never attempted to see her again. Here is my last blog entry which shows Rosy.

Fast forward to this week when I was sorting through more bins and boxes in my garage. In one carton, I came upon the Mexican serape I bought in Tijuana, Mexico, in 1972. I had purchased it to decorate the foot of Hans' bed. We had never used it as a cover up. Suddenly I had an idea to take it to Rosy. It would give me an excuse to see her. So this afternoon I walked up to her door, not positive she and her family still lived there. Rosy's grandmother answered the door and she recognized me right away. Then Rosy came to the door and upon seeing me started to cry. We had a great reunion, reminiscing of the things we had done together outside of the scheduled tutoring sessions. It was just wonderful. She has turned into a beautiful young lady.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Life Is Complicated

Many years ago I learned my dad was not my real dad. This disclosure was significant! For a long time, I kept it to myself because I was embarrassed and ashamed. Then in my later years I shared it with close family members and in my faith story which I gave at many services at my church.

About three years ago, one of my half brothers contacted me and asked if I could have lunch with him and his wife. Of course I agreed. After all, these are friends I grew up with in my church. Around this same time I met up with my half sister at her home in Arizona. We had nice conversations—catching up on each other's family—but the subject of my relationship to them never came up . . . until about two or three weeks ago. My half sister and I were talking on the phone—she lives many states away from me now. She brought up the fact that I had sung at her father's funeral and at the time her mother had advised her not to ask me. She told me her mother said, "You can't ask her because she knows." My half sister said she wanted me to sing because I had such a beautiful voice, and so I was asked and consequently I sang at his service, not knowing he was my biological father. She said a few more things and then I asked her what she meant by, "You can't ask her because she knows." I know what? She was quiet for a moment, and after the silence, I came out with "That I know your father is my biological father?" and she said, "Yes." Then the hush-hush information was out in the open.

I gave all of these details because Tuesday I got an email message from my older half-brother informing me my other half-brother died Monday night. He died suddenly, and unexpectedly. His obituary can be read here.  Later that day I got a phone call from my half-sister with the same news. She and I must have talked for an hour or more. All of this has left me a bit sad. While I wasn't close to him and hadn't seen  him since his mother's funeral in 1996, it affects me. Life is complicated.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

It's Time to Purge

Over the years, I have been a collector—not a hoarder. There is a big difference. I have had spoon collections; Amish decor such as faceless dolls, prayer caps, wall quilt, and even authentic Amish children's used clothes, hung on Amish made wooden hangers; ruby red glassware, milkglass (vases, baskets, etc.); cobalt blue collection of vases and other beautiful cobalt blue pieces; cranberry glass vases and pitchers; DVDs and VHS tapes; long play records; cookbooks (I had over 375 of them!); salt glazed pottery; you get the idea. I have no idea of the dollar amount I have spent over the years for these and other items. Knowing what I do now, I wish I had had more control. But I digress.

I'm now collecting empty bins. It''s a good thing!

Another car trunk full on my way to Value Village
In the last few months, I have begun purging. I have gone through clothes closets, book cases, and bins in my garage. I have made many trips to a local charity and am making progress. I have a lot to go through, but I'm committed to do this.