Stay with me, remain here with me
I offered to cook thanksgiving dinner for Jackie and the kids. I got a surprising phone call from my brother Mark. He had much to tell me, as I did to him. But the reason he called, he was going home for Christmas and wanted me to join him.
“Are you freakin nuts?” I was incredulous “They treat you like shit and both of us like bookends.
But he was adamant, he was going.
We exchanged stories about our lives. We were on identical planes and he was ready to go home and face them. I told him to have a great time. He closed by saying I would be in Kenosha for Christmas. His determination and conviction were unsettling.
I retired back to my apartment and my scandalous, unsettled life in North Shore.
I continued to work for the arts, causing disruption with my lack of commitment. I felt I made enough money to make my own hours, but it caused dissention in the troops causing our leader Leo Schwartz to call a meeting on December 19, 1986.
“Nothing short of Illness or Death will keep you from coming to work.
So when the afternoon shift ended, Debra came to get me offering to taxi a co-worker to her home. I asked to use the woman’s phone when we arrived and she , of course, was congenial.
I wanted to phone Jackie to watch his children. My throat was hurting and I was starting to get a fever.
“Dianne, Oh my GOD!, your family is trying to reach you”
My father had been sick waiting for a lung transplant and my grandfather had a stroke and was clinging to life…but that is not what came to mind.
“It’s Mark” I whispered
“Oh, then you spoke to them”
I tried to become as small as I could, I have no idea why I knew it was him. I tried to crawl between the woman’s refrigerator and the wall. Her mother immediately became distressed as I fell to my knees. There is something very unreal about loosing a sibling. I guess you could say that of loosing anyone in your immediate family, but loosing a sibling. You shared a womb with that person, there is not going to be anyone closer to your own DNA, not even your child. You loose a part of yourself.
And now I guess I would be going home for Christmas.
Debra drove me back to work. I went in to Leo’s office to beg off the evening shift.
“Leo, I have a strep infection and my brother died”
“I swear Dianne” Leo sneered at me “you will do anything to get out of work.”
So I sat down in my appointed seat and made calls.
I sold more than I ever had before. One set I sold to a Doctor couple. After hearing me rasp and then telling my story, they came to the office with a prescription for Anti-biotics. I remember selling tickets to Carol and Stephen King. I remember that for obvious reasons.
Leo found his way to me about a half hour after I arrived. “Dianne, I am so sorry, Debra told me. You can leave.”
But I stayed. Debra drove me home, Anna called.
This was such a bittersweet time. You see Anna had fallen in love with Mark when she was just a child of 15 years. He broke her heart and took a woman’s most treasured gift. And I think you can take it from there.
Debra did not want Anna to come over because she wanted to stay with me.
As it went, I ended up alone, in the dark, fighting ghosts and memories. I could not believe Debra had actually manipulated me not having company and then turned around and left me alone.
I made plans to fly home. But Debra did not want me to stay until Christmas. I made flight arrangements with the plan of coming home on December 23rd much to my family’s chagrin.
I cannot recall much about those days except getting to Hanson’s funeral home, much like the funeral home in Road to perdition. As a matter of fact, I was convinced when viewing this movie, it was the same funeral home. The weather, the conditions, everything mimicked the filmtmas with me. To be continued
Music: Shanti Shanti/ Beloved Son/ Watch and Pray
If It Seems Too Goo To Be True On YouTube
Some of the names and characters in this blog are fictitious. This is an acount of actual events. For the few who have given me permission, I thank you. © Truth has witnesses ©DSL
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And that sound, I will never be able to loose that moment. So frightening, so hollow, when my mother cried out like a lioness who lost her cub. It was a sound I shall never want to hear.
And then the curtain opened and Nancy, my best friend, was waiting for me. She had come some 60 miles to be the stalwart friend I truly needed.
I could not look at Mark.
He had gone out surfing that day. He worked for Surf Sushi on Pleasure Point. The weather had been the worst. A man had actually been swiped off a cliff some 700 feet above the shore in San Jose.
Mark couldn’t swim and certainly couldn’t surf. But he went there with his boss from Surf Sushi. From what I am told, he waxed both sides of the board. It slipped out from underneath him, hitting him in the head and he drowned.
He was a comedian and his funeral was the most irreverent.
People had humorous stories and every one was funnier than the last. And surprises revealed when a girl came in laying a lavender rose on him.
“Well, now I know who I have been buying those sterling silver roses for all these years “ My mom whispered.
You see, Mark had been using her credit card every year to purchase these specialized flowers.
My brother Bob and I popped out to the Porte cache to share our grief in private.
After the funeral, the Modriganos had a huge luncheon at St. Mark’s. We then went to the family home where our parents disclosed that we would all be getting a sum of money from Mark’s Insurance policy.
My family was highly distressed that I was not staying for Christmas, but I had promised Debra, and so we said our goodbyes, tears and hugs, I went back to Houston.
Debra picked me up at the Airport.
She then told me she could not spend Christmas with me.
To be continued