As I am sitting here writing to you, I have heard of news for the very first time, so you are the second to hear also. My mind is confused. I should not be numb, having no feelings of any kind. Yet my body has a warmth running from heart to toes. There is a cavity where my heart used to sit, that is now empty as my heart has fallen to an unfamiliar place. I have felt this feeling twice before, but it has been almost four and a half years by now. I find myself stopping, hesitating, as I write this, because my boggled brain is still trying to let this sink in. For years, I had always wondered so many things. Things that you would only be able to find the answers, if you stayed near by. There was a hush-hush when ever I would question a loved one around me. I would hear such things as, I don’t remember, it has been too long ago. Which left a young teenager still in turmoil. Was there love between us? Was my name remembered, my birthday, was it a special place in hearts? When I grew up and became a woman, I opened the local newspaper, and was so overly excited, because I had found information that would make my life complete, once and for all. Things did not work out that way. There was love for the child, but discontent for the adult. I have never understood that myself, and still don’t know the answer to that. I made the trip. Not once, but three times. Maybe I was trying to prove that I was worthy of love. I know that I wanted all of my questions answered. This did not happen. After thirty-six years, there was no bonding to be made. It was very difficult for me to digest the knowledge that open arms were not there. There were no tears of joy, or words of apologies. Nothing but a hardness that showed itself in every word. I was stupid, or desperate, but as I said, I went back for more pain three times total. I did come to grips that this was a part of my life that needed to be put to rest. I was not Cinderella, but I did have the wicked mother. No feelings, no heart, very into her own needs, a selfishness I hope I never acquire. Last year, sometime, when I was having a weak moment, and stirrings were there to still know more, I placed a question in the geneology Section of geneology.com. Today, as I got on my computer to check my emails, there was a letter from a gentleman from geneology. I normally don’t open emails that I don’t know the person, but I did because of where it stemmed from. The words said you mother passed away February 20th, 2006. It continued to tell me about her parents, which I did recognize the names, and siblings, which I also was familiar with. It told of her second marriage, apart from my father, and his name, which I knew, and information on his parents, which I didn’t know. They had a daughter who married Dick Chaney, VP of the United States. This was family to me by marriage. The writer must have been trying to console me, letting me know I was related to a famous person, but all my eyes were fixed on was the part when she passed away. She had died. She was gone. I feel like I lost someone very important to me, but yet a stranger she was in my life. A person who had occupied my time for many many years, was now gone. Once again, I have to learn to place this new information somewhere deep. So deep it will never find its way to surface again. It is over. Let it go. There are no tears to shed. Those were done many years past. Only numbness and a wicked sort of loneliness remains. I will get over this, like I did other hurtful times, and my life will go on, taking care of my brother. One day my brother and I also will be gone, then all will be final, no more thoughts or pain.
Although I never know how each of my days will go nor end up, the excitement is building up inside of me as the day approaches. My brother’s birthday is coming in the beginning of May. As children we never had elaborate birthdays at a Chuckey Cheese, or the roller skating rink. We never had over night slumber parties. Our birthdays were celebrated with grandparents being invited and maybe a neighbor kid near by. Mom would always bake an angel food cake and decorate it with an icing made out of the clear Karo syrup. She would buy a store-bought kit, with the hard sugared candies. Do you remember them? You soaked them in water, which loosened them from the white paper. They were complete with candy letters spelling out happy birthday, and candy candle holders. Mom would put the appropriate number of candles on the cake. The highlight would be, they would sing a happy birthday to him or me. We would feel embarrassment while they all sang, then we would blow out our candles. They would clap. We would open our gifts we received, and loved what we opened. While mom would cut the cake and get coffee and plates out, we would take off with our new gifts to play, sometime later coming back to eat a piece of our special cake. When I ponder back to those days, each birthday was preprogrammed. Each year was done exactly the same way. I grew to count on those special days. I would give anything to have a preprogrammed birthday today. Most of my family is deceased now, so I am left to my memory files. This is alright though. They bring many smiles and comfort to me when I visit. Now, as I care for my brother, it is painstakingly hard to admit that I don’t know if my brother will be here next year with me or living in a facility with strangers. That thought causes huge goose bumps to pop up all over my arms. I don’t think I am ready to accept, although I have had thoughts of it. I have never told you this, but my brother is very limited in his sights. He sees one path, one road, one item. He has never been able to grasp more than one idea at a time. His love of his life is not of human form. It is red. It comes in all shapes and sizes. Round, tall, short, flat, old, new. It is the coca cola collection. When times are good for him, I can say that word ever so softly, and his eyes light up, his ears perk up and the chatter runs like salmon swimming upstream. Have you ever seen movies or pictures of salmon swimming up-stream? It is an awesome sight. They do not stop, continually moving and jumping. This is my brother, when he is with the love of his life. I have already started the planning process. I have invited guests, friends, his part-time caregiver, my kids. I want this to be the most special birthday ever for him. I want him to rattle on about it for days on end. I will be guaranteed many smiles, and stars in his eyes. There will be a cook out with many food items brought in. A campfire roaring. Everyone will be at ease and laid back. There will be lots of conversations with laughter. I have ordered him a special cake. A very special cake. A white cake, with butter cream icing, with lots of bright-colored butter cream flowers. On top of the cake will be his name in writing. There will be no candles on this cake, as I do not want to frustrate him by him not being able to blow out the candles. There will be no singing, as I do not want him to be confused with days gone by and today. There may be clapping or words of praise . On top of the cake will be the most elaborate decorations of all. It will all be done in coca cola.