Rosa · Uncategorized

I found you, my Rosa…

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My Dearest Rosa,

Well, it was a sweet search and one that culminated in a wonderful moment for Sue.

I knew where you were buried, in a little cemetery in Duxbury, Vermont, right alongside your husband, Henry and son, Freddie. It took a while to find you and it was such a charm when I did.

You were there, beneath a shady lilac tree, you and Henry and I was so moved.

My Rosa. My great-grandmother.

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And the little white marker besides yours and Henry’s? It’s your son, Freddie’s. You can’t read his name anymore. 100 years have stolen it away. But, if you look close, you can just make out, “Age 4 years.” Freddie didn’t live long enough, did he?

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And see, Rosa- I thought you might like to know I’ve found you’re mom, Elizabeth. She rests close to me, in Burlington.  Your sister, Hattie,  is there, too.

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I found a measure of peace, knowing you were so well cared for. And the lilac tree- I know where it came from- your daughter, my grammy, must’ve planted it.

She had a matching tree in her yard.

It’s  still there you know, grammy’s lilac tree. Just like yours, it continues to thrive and bring a reminder of the changing of the seasons, the passing of time, and the memory of those who’ve come before us.

Tom-Foolery

A picture is worth a thousand words…

Dear Rosa,

You must’ve heard the expression, “a picture is worth a thousand words”… maybe not as you were poor and I’ve only seen two pictures of you. I thought you’d enjoy these photos of my family, my brothers – all four- and our spouses, my mom and dad, taken some twenty years ago.

Someone got hold of a camera and we all let the laughter fly.

So, here goes…

Let’s all be a moose, that would be good…
And now, randomly jump in the air…
Everyone look somewhere else, that’s the ticket…
Do over…
Now, act like the snobs you all are. Perfect.
and why must it always end this way? Utter chaos..
The Uncles

Clarence and Prince

Dear Rosa,

So, you must have known how much your daughter, Mary, loved dogs.  I was too young to have met most of them, but I remember Prince.

Prince, so grandly named, was a spit of a dog, a tiny chihuahua – and mean, too. In Vermont when we want to emphasize how over-the-top something is, we say “wicked.”

Prince was wicked mean.

One day, Clarence arrived at Mother’s with a gift for Prince. Bought him a small rubber ball on a long rubber string. Mary watched without speaking as he tied the string onto the handle of her good cookstove then sat down in his red velvet rocker and waited.

Didn’t take long for the little mongrel to figure out a good use for that ball.

You’d know the layout of her kitchen, Rosa, but others wouldn’t and it’d be best if they did. The cookstove lined one wall, then there was a pass-through to a side pantry, then Clarence’s chair was tucked into the corner.

So, onto Prince and his new toy…

A perfect size that ball, fit neatly into a mouth full of razor-sharp teeth. A little experimenting and he figured out the rubber string. Clarence watched, narrating as it progressed.

Look at that little twit… his eyes fairly twinkled.

Prince growled and began backing up, with the ball in his mouth.

He’s up to no good… Clarence’s beautiful smile appeared.

A few more steps and Prince cleared the kitchen, passed through the dutch doors and into the dining room.

Clarence held his breath now, and watched Prince back up and take aim straight at him.

He’s gonna let it fly…

One final step and Prince could not get any more give from the rubber string. He growled and yanked, but it wouldn’t go further. So he did what Clarence predicted. He opened his mouth and let it fly.

Clarence ducked as the ball whizzed past. Into the pantry it headed and crashed into all the pots and pans that lined the open shelves. A holy ruckus it made and Clarence just roared.

Gram just sat in her spot atop a tall stool on the other side of the cookstove and grinned.

He’d keep at it, gathering the ball, backing up and launching at Clarence… until the string broke. Clarence simply tied it on again, but it lost some of its charm as the string got shorter and Prince could no longer create havoc with it.

Prince was wicked mean, but he did have a sense of humor. I guess I can forgive him all his nastiness.

He did make my uncle smile.