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Better Laid Plans

Maybe you have been reading my thoughts for a while and maybe this is new to you. I always try to keep things light and breezy. I know I don’t like being the one who is dark and gloomy. Who likes being around somebody who is all doom and gloom? Realistically it’s not possible to be little miss sunshine either but I do try to stay positive.

My husband and I traveled to America for my brother’s Memorial and decided to turn the trip into a month-long vacation. We were hoping to come back on happier terms. You have to make the best of a situation however you come across it. I think that is a no brainer. We wanted to do this trip next year. We had wanted to see all my siblings individually. We are doing this now; it’s just been expedited. I had wanted to be reunited with my brother, Kevin, to hug him and get to know his lovely wife, Lisa, and his step-daughter Sandy. I did get to see Kevin when we face-timed. Nothing though can compare to actually being in the same room with the one you love. I do take solace that I had got to see him even if it was through a video link because I hadn’t seen his face for over 20 years.  We laughed and looked forward to seeing each other. Every thing though changed for us all as it is apt to do.

We are getting to go places that we had never been to before. Adam and I have never been to West Virginia. We have gotten some really great quality time with Lisa and Sandy. I know Sunday the 15th is going to be a very hard day for Lisa and myself. We have been pretty much inseparable since I have hugged her on the 21st of May. We felt as if we had known each other very well even though it had been long talks on the phone or typing on Facebook.  I am dreading the 15th pretty much. We are going to have to part sometime. I know we will stay in contact because Kevin got us together. I feel very strongly about this.

I asked Lisa to join me on a road trip to see my brother Chuck in Philadelphia and my sisters Judy and Margaret in Florida. I would love to take her to see my other sisters in Nevada and California but Lisa has things she has to take care of back in West Virginia. We fly back to Australia on June 24th. The 25th won’t happen for Adam and myself because we will be flying across the international date line. We are used to losing and gaining days when we fly back and forth to the USA. Lisa and I had a great time traveling together down the eastern seaboard of the USA. I had never driven that much in the United States. We even took a trip to NYC with Chuck. Chuck was born in Brooklyn and I had traveled to NYC in 1996 with my mom, my sister Judy, and niece Cassie. Sandy, Adam, and Lisa were the “virgins” in NYC.

We started off in West Virginia and drove to Philadelphia. After Philadelphia we drove to Georgia so Sandy could stay with her cousin Mary. We then continued down to the panhandle of Florida to the city of Crestview. It’s sort of funny but I lived in the Fort Walton Beach area 20 years ago. It was interesting seeing all the changes and growth in the area. I looked forward to showing Adam the places I used to work and play at. We played in the Gulf of Mexico for a little bit. Today we are going to get our hair cut.

On the 15th we fly out to Las Vegas and Lisa returns back to West Virginia. I can’t wait for her to get her passport so I can show her our little piece of paradise. I know we are going to have a blast like we have had here. She has things though that she needs to sort out first before her trip to see us. I do know we are going to see each other again which is making me look forward to the reunion we will have. I know another post will be happening when that happens. After Las Vegas, we are heading to Los Angeles and then it’s back across the Pacific Ocean to Australia for us.

Yes, I know I had better laid plans in my head for our trip in 2015. I meant to take more time to visit friends as well as family but sometimes life happens and you have to make do with that you can. I know things didn’t turn out the way I had expected or desired. It’s not a perfect world. I had to make the most of what I have even with the sad ugly bits. I can build on what I have to make things better even if it’s just a little change.

If I can make someone smile or lighten the load even a little bit than I know I have done something good.

My Family: One But Two

I am the youngest of 8 children. There are two brothers and six sisters. My family is one but two. I know how strange this sounds but there is truth to the statement. Today there are lots of blended families but my family isn’t because of stepchildren. My mom had been married previously before my dad came along. She had 5 children from her first marriage. She didn’t reveal very much to us younger children about her first husband. I do know that my father was very persistent when it came to pursuing my mom.

By the time I was born, the older children were pretty much out of the house. When I say this, I mean my eldest brother was in the Navy and two of my older sisters were married. My other brother and older sister who have the same father, were close to being finished with high school. When we moved from Ft. Sam Houston, Texas to Leesville, Louisiana it was Kevin and us younger 3 girls.

I am very close to Kevin. We may not have stayed in close contact but there is a connection that I have with him. I guess sharing a bedroom until he moved out of our house has a tendency to do that. I was a flower girl at his wedding. I remember Roberta coming to visit us as well. Judy and I had a horrible fight over Roberta once debating who loved her more which is silly but that’s what sisters do when they are young. I know that fight is etched in both of our memories because I hit Judy with my Gerber baby doll which is now a tale we give out when we need comic relief.

Chuck used to come down to visit as well but he was busy getting married and starting his own family. Time has a funny way of separating you from loved ones but the love is always there. It doesn’t matter if you stay in close contact or just think fondly of people you love. My very first memory of my sister Aggie was back in the early 80’s when she came to visit us with her daughter and son. I know she had to have been around and spoken with me on the phone but my real first concrete memory of her was that visit. The eldest sister Michele came to visit us with her daughter, Roberta when Roberta was 5. I remember bits and pieces of that visit too.

When my dad died, please bear with me because my memory can be a bit patchy when I am stressed, my eldest brother, Chuck came from Philadelphia, Aggie, Michele and Aggie’s hubby, Pete drove the three eldest sisters to be there with mom. Roberta came too but I am not sure because like I say my memory gets patchy. I have a tendency to block things out. I know for sure Kevin didn’t come. He couldn’t make it. I had been flown in from Florida to be with dad right before he died. We had to wait a week for his body to be shipped back from Ft. Sam Houston because he died due to complications of Hep C. I can remember us sitting around discussing that we shouldn’t wait so long for a family reunion. It always seems we come together during funerals or sad occasions.

When my mom died, Chuck had just changed jobs so he couldn’t come. Kevin couldn’t make it either. Aggie, Michele, and Roberta came though and that really meant the world to us three girls. Again it was mentioned that we shouldn’t wait so long for a family get together but again time flies by. With in 6 months of my mom’s death, life had changed dramatically for all of us. When I say all of us, I refer to Margaret, Judy and myself. Judy was moving to New Jersey because her spouse at that time had changed jobs. Margaret and I had helped organize the move. Adam came into my life in March and things began blossoming between us in April. The following April, I was leaving the United States to marry Adam.

I fly back to the states or at least try to every 2 or 3 years to visit Judy and Margaret. I flew back for Judy’s 40th.When I came back for Margaret’s 50th, Michele and Aggie came as well to surprise her. It was fun but a seed had been planted in my heart. I knew what I wanted to happen but I wasn’t sure it would ever happen. Last year, we went back and had an Alice’s Clan family reunion. It was only suppose to be a little gathering with us girls but I think my sister, Michele, also wanted our brothers there so she contacted Chuck. I tried emailing Kevin but never got a response. We finally got together that wonderful day last June. I never thought I would be that happy. We even got to talk with Kevin on the phone. It would have been even more special if we had him there. Quite a few of my siblings children were there as well as their child. It was overwhelming but in the most wonderful way. I would like to visit every one again but this time make it more one on one. I want to hold my brother Kevin. I want to feel his hug once more.

It’s hard to explain my family and our dynamics. We are one but two. The older children have their set of memories of our mom and their dad as well as memories of my dad. I know it can’t be easy to accept things and I don’t ask questions even though I have them because I don’t think it’s any of my business. If they want to share that’s terrific but I am not going to push things. I know my relationship with Kevin is totally different to the relationship Judy and Margaret have with Kevin. I was Kevin’s princess. I am not sure about Kevin’s relationship with our mom and our dad because that again is another dynamic.

Margaret, Judy and my relationship with our parents are different again from the older group because they were our parental unit. It wasn’t a perfect thing. Our parents fought. I am pretty certain my mom’s relationship with her first husband was pretty violent from some of the things I have gleaned from conversations I have heard from my older siblings. I do know that my mom loved us all. I know dad loved the older children too. There have been rumors about my dad’s behavior but I am not going into that. I can only deal with what I know and have lived through. I am not casting judgements or at least not trying to.

My family is one but two and I love it. It’s my family and I love them all. I look forward to going and visiting them all when I get the money together. I know a niece wants another big family get together but personally I would like one on one time. I want to see Chuck and Judy Koval and see their children and their children’s children. I want to see Roberta, and Michele’s clans. I want to visit Judy and Margaret. I really want to hold Kevin and kiss his lovely fiance Lisa’s cheek and thank her for making him so happy. This is my heart’s desire. I leave it all up to God. If it’s in His plan for me, it will happen, hopefully with in the next 3 year.