Tuesday, December 10, 2013

My Uncle Wes is My Guest Blogger Today ♥

When my mom's brother, Wes, spoke at her funeral services last year, he told the sweetest stories of her. I asked if he'd mind writing a blog post for me so that I could share those stories with my readers in a little different approach to Team Teal Tuesday. I know it wasn't easy for him to write, but I think he did a great job.

So, without further adieu, please welcome my awesome uncle, Wes.
♥ ♥ ♥
Marti {age 17}, Wes {15}, Kathy {8}, Grandpa, Sue {10} Grandma, Ken {12}
Christmas Day, 1959
I have a lot of images from my early years - not quite refined enough to be memories. A constant in those images is Marti; I sense her presence over me in a nurturing way. As the memories become more definite, so does the nurturing. As the third born to her second born, I guess her desire to care for her little brother was very strong.
 
I can remember her anguish when I stepped on a nail; I can remember walking to the store, hand in hand, down a sidewalk in Tolleson, Arizona. My strongest memory of her early nurturing comes from my first day of school.  I'm not sure why that event is so clear, but I know she took me to my first classroom and checked on me several times during the day. I think she stayed close that first week. I can recall her happiness when I had made my first friend - that probably relieved her of some responsibility.
 
Our early years were close with Marti being the boss-er and me the boss-ee.  I think these respective roles continued until the day we each realized she was no longer looking down at me nor me looking up at her. I shot up in height and she shot up in maturity and we started growing apart. Besides, I now had a younger brother in drastic need of being picked on. By the time Marti reached her teenage years, our relationship had resolved into one of her telling me to leave her alone and me not being able to do that.

And then overnight it seems Marti was interested in boys other than her brothers. I was still at the "kissing girls is yucky" stage and just couldn't grasp her fascination with guys that I thought were universally wimpy. But this relationship of ours which had deteriorated to "stay out of my face" status, was about to turn a corner that would present a windfall of sorts for me: Marti was ready to approach Mom and  Dad about going out on a date with a boy.

I can remember Marti's emotional high when she asked for and was granted permission to date.  I have fonder memories of the dive her spirits took when she was told I had to go along on the date.  Quite honestly, at first I wasn't thrilled.  But then I realized I would have more opportunities to go to town and see movies. An added bonus was Marti was suddenly very, very nice to me. I think she realized I could jam up the works by telling Mom and Dad I didn't want to go.  At any rate, when the first date finally arrived, I think I was excited about it. 

Los Banos, Calfornia only had one movie theater, The Crest, and it was about the only thing couples could do on dates. Or so I thought. After a very short while of dating, a routine was established:  Marti and her date would drop me at The Crest while they went to "find a place to park." Without fail she would tell me, "Meet you in the lobby after the show." As this went on I felt that I was walking in tall cotton; life was great. On our post-date drives home, Marti would talk about the movie. For years I didn't realize that she really didn't talk about the movie - she was just getting enough information from me to cover her absence if anyone asked.

Of course we all know how this phase of our lives ended: she found the guy she wanted to spend her life with and I discovered that kissing girls was definitely not yucky. 

In the following years I had opportunities to play big brother to her as the little sister in need.  But life eventually took us in different directions and we didn't have the closeness that was so important to both of us in our early years. The accident of our birth order resulted in a special relationship that, in spite of my love for my other siblings, could never be duplicated.

As her last days approached, I would like to think I was able to repay a very small part of that nurturing she provided me; nurturing that turned out to be so critical to me becoming the person I am today.

You often hear people say, when talking about the lives they've lived, that they have no regrets.  I am of the belief that a life without regrets is a life not lived. To my last day I will have in my stack of regrets the knowledge that I could have been, should have been closer to my sister; I think she had me in her stack.

18 comments:

Jo said...

What a beautiful post, it really has bought tears to my eyes. It's lovely to read exactly how it was and not as seen through some rose coloured glasses. I can certainly feel the closeness, the same closeness I share with my 2 brothers and 2 sisters and I know they are in my stack too, maybe being in the stack makes better memories xx

Susi said...

Such a lovely post. I to am teary eyed at the moment. I have 10 siblings and while we are close for the most part, there are things we all need to work on. Thanks to your Uncle for sharing!

scrappyjacky said...

Such a wonderful post....it certainly brought a tear to me eyes....and memories of my brother who I too have lost.

Patty Branco said...

Thank you for sharing this with us Wes and Deb

Sian said...

An absolute pleasure to read and appreciate. About two minutes ago I said to myself - I need to email my brother. then I started reading blogs instead. I am now going to stop reading and start writing..

Audrey said...

Oh Deb & dear Wes, where to start? Your post moved me to tears. I was ready to cry before I even started reading because this post is just so special. As I went through my list of blog posts to read today, I skipped almost all of them. They were empty gift guides and silly fashion posts. I guess I'm just looking for meaning and depth. And thanks to you both for putting it out there for me to find. Wes, I know I don't know you but thank you so much for sharing your sweetest of images/memories of Marti. It was so special to read. My husband just lost his younger brother last year and I know how important it is to just keep sharing and remembering how special these people were to us. Marti was one lucky lady to have so many people who loved her so much. Love to you, Deb! XOXO

debs14 said...

Oh my, what a lovely, lovely post. What a special relationship they had. How I smiled when he explained how he was supposed to be a chaperone and how Marti got info on the film for if anyone questioned her, yet next minute I had tears in my eyes. Thank you Wes for your guest post, it was such a pleasure to read.

Ruth said...

I'm another who is a little teary-eyed; what a wonderful post. I really enjoyed the picture Uncle Wes painted of Marti; even though it was bittersweet to read.
Thanks, Uncle Wes, for sharing your memories.

Fiona@Staring at the Sea said...

A truly special post today. How lovely to read these memories even if it was with a tear (or two) in my eyes. Thank you Deb's Uncle Wes for sharing these moments with us.

Alison said...

What a lovely post...a real privilege to read
Alison xx

Amy said...

Hi Wes, it has been a pleasure to hear some of your recollections of Marti - thanks for sharing them here :)

Maria Ontiveros said...

That is so beautifully written. Wes, you are a wonderful storyteller. And a loving brother - the warmth just shines through your post. I am blessed with five brothers and sisters. The bond/closeness I feel to each one is different from the others. But your post reminds me to treasure each one.
Thank you,
Rinda

Irene said...

Loved reading your Uncles story. It made me realize how much my brothers mean to me.

Karen said...

Awesome post Uncle Wes - I too have tears in my eyes.

Barbara Eads said...

Thanks, Wes! I loved your story. I, too grew up in a large family. I was the oldest of 7 and the "boss." Even in to adulthood, that has come in handy. Sounds like you were a wonderful brother.

Gail said...

What a lovely post. Thank you so much Wes and Deb for sharing it. I think I'll go call my sister.

Sinead said...

This is such a beautiful and emotional post Deb, your uncle has a way with words and the strong bond between he and your Mom is so evident. Thank you for sharing. Take care xx

Lisa-Jane said...

Gosh what a beautiful post. How lovely that he has such wonderful memories and that he can pass them onto to you so eloquently.

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