Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Deborah Lee and Ronald

KY cousin Debbie and I were inseparable as kids because our mamas pawned us off on each other on many occasions.  She lived in town and had neighbor kids to play with like the Troys a house or two down.  All I had was cows and whatnot.  Their house on St. John was state of the art two story clapboard with a guest house in the back.  After they sold it to the Hutchersons, I attended many a party in that little house out back as a teenager.  By that time the Godseys had moved two or three times.  They never stayed anywhere long because they were old school makeover folks who put blood sweat and tears into every home they bought and then flipped it.  The last one I remember, which they never lived in, we referred to as the "new old house" on Main Street in Newbern.  I was invited to explore and still have several items that I scavenged like a pink depression glass bowl.  

Jimbo the builder taught his oldest daughter to embrace the joy of creating things like stained glass and furniture and pretty homes.  Her house sat right next to the railroad tracks and when the train went by you might as well stop the conversation 'til it passed.  She cooked often and we raised our kids together, with her two boys being the brothers she never had.  They moved to KY and bought a to die for house and the whole thing came unraveled.   

Later she married Ronnie who was truly the love of her life.  She had copd and CHF and was on a hefty dose of lasix to keep things under control.  Her application for disability was almost two years old when she died unexpectedly at the age of 56.  Her beloved Ronnie had been hospitalized in Paducah and she had laid off the diuretic so she could get him to the hospital and back for Protime checks.  Her knees were so bad that she was using a wheelchair to get in and out of the clinic with him.  

Deb was always watching cooking shows like Iron Chef and was doing just that the last time we talked.  She shared with me that she had been off the lasix and gained 20 pounds and my radar went off.  "You cannot do that" was my reply.  She promised to get back on the regimen and we went on to do other things on an ordinary afternoon.

The next day I was at work when I spotted Mo in the waiting room of the lab looking pretty distraught.  Nic was with her and he was morose as well.  As she sobbed, we gathered each other in arms and she whispered to me that her sister was dead.  Our sister.  I was in shock and wailed like a banshee.  Later, I ended up on my mama's floor with my head in her lap getting rubs.  It rocked my world.  So did the deaths of Katherine Anne, Mark and Donna.  Mark was mid fifties and the girls were early sixties.  Both of them died at the same age as their father who had a hereditary disorder which they got.  

My neighbor Ronald passed away from cancer and I'm glad I went to visit him last week.  He was in pain and suffering a lot so I didn't tarry.  At least he knew that I cared enough to stop by.  Family and all that.  His service is Saturday and even though I'm working I'll take lunch for visitation at St. Mary's Episcopal.  Some things you just make a way to do.  

I must admit that I always took family for granted as long as my parents were alive.  Now that they're gone, it's up to me to be the elder and try to find the courage and grace that they had somewhere deep inside of my soul.  

And it shall be, always thus and so ~

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