letters revisited…

To all:

My life has been disrupted by recent family tragedy – two deaths on the same day, and so the words just aren’t there. I wish I could share some wonderful story or funny little tidbit – but I’ve neither the time nor the energy… for now.

Please know I read your posts on my phone, and will swing by as I can.  I’m not leaving wordpress behind, just modifying how much I use it.

And so, I thought to revisit a few stories I wrote from when letters to rosa was a brand new little blog. Some of you may have read this -for others, this will all new material. It’s good, I think, to look back to where it all began.

Sending my love to all of you…


(this was originally titled, The Uncles)

Dear Rosa,

Eight children – six boys your daughter, my grammy, had. What a brood. But then, Catholic families had lots of children. My best friend in Northfield was but one of 11!

You lived just across the street from Grammy and I can only imagine you were a help. Such shenanigans they must have engaged in…  I wonder, Rosa, look at how you’ve aged in this photo – see what thirty hard years have done. Sad to think, you would soon be buried. That’s you with Clarence. He wouldn’t live even as long as you did.

They grew into strong men, my uncles, all that served with pride in World War II. Each one has a story to tell and later I’ll share some of them with you. For now, I thought I’d share how they impacted my life.

Vibrant, loud, crass, my grammy’s house would be transformed when they converged from all parts of the country. Roger from Georgia, Hiram from New Hampshire, Earle from Burlington and Everett and Clarence from just nearby. What an event it would be when all gathered and how grumpy Grammy would become.  I spent the better part of my childhood there, only to be kicked out when she cooked dinner for them. Strange and harsh how us grandkids were never welcome, but we weren’t her children, we weren’t her “boys.”

You raised her to be fierce and loyal. Sad, that you wouldn’t know, Rosa, that her grave marker simply says “Mother.”

Grammy would fire up the special kerosene stove in the side pantry and cook up a storm. The dining room table would be pulled out, cleaned of all her beloved knick-knacks and set with the fine china. And then they would arrive.

Such an event that I could only watch from a distance. My cousin, Marcia, and I would wander Northfield and grumble. We didn’t need her, we’d find our own source of fun.

But we never did. The uncles got Grammy for the weekend and we were told to stay away.

They’d leave my father a long list of chores. Fix the roof, Henry and paint the living room. It always pissed my mom off when they’d go and dad was left to do the work. He did it without complaint, though, she was his mother. And he was the baby of the family.

You would’ve been proud of them, Rosa, and pained to know how many died young and how many were taken by the alcohol.

I miss them all.


11 comments on “letters revisited…

  1. I’m sorry you’re going through such a difficult time. My thoughts are with you and your family. I’m happy you reblogged, it gave me a chance to understand a little better where you’re coming from. Take care.
    K xxx

  2. Hi neighbor I have an award over here for you Have a wonderful Sunday!

    • thank you sweet Eunice. I’m sorry it’s taken so long to respond. I’ve been struggling with two family deaths on the same day and back to back weekends of funerals. the last of the family has left – but life just refuses to get back to normal. We buried a baby last weekend – my niece’s sweet Violet.
      I’ll accept your award a bit later – but thank you for the wonderful sentiment.
      It’s appreciated.

  3. Thinking of you and your family and praying, too. I’m so sorry for your loss.
    Good idea to reblog. I missed the first go round, and it helps me to understand. Hugs! ~Lori

    • thanks Lori – still trying to find words to put together a new post. Hopefully later today…
      hugs right back.
      Sue (and sorry for misspelling your last name… it’s Little Lori Lipsky!)

  4. Oh, Susan! I’m so sorry to hear that your life has been touched by tragedy. The death of a child is especially hard to accept. May the new life of spring give you hope and courage.

    • Hi Connie- I’m so glad you stopped by. A glitch with wordpress has made it impossible to load a few sites – yours is one of them. I’ve been able to read your posts on my smartphone, but commenting just doesn’t work. I hope you are well and writing and enjoying the spring.
      thank you for the very sweet words.

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