My Brother’s Life Journey Chapter 8

Al never did move a way from the family home again. I think Mom had just had enough. Him being so homesick and then the nasty movie he was watching. I felt Mom believed he was better off at home with her watching over him and keeping him in a good church.

By now I was back from Germany and my husband and I and our daughter had rented a small home about a mile or two from my parents. It was out in the country and I loved it, but I loved more that I was close to Mom and Dad.

Life went about the same for several more years. People got sick and healed. There were birthday celebrations and the holidays. Mom used to make Al and me an angel food cake. She would use this frosting recipe called Seven Minute Frosting.

Original recipe makes 2 layer (filling and frosting)

    egg whites


    1 1/2 cups
    white sugar


    1/3 cup
    cold water


    1 1/2 teaspoons
    light corn syrup


    1 teaspoon
    vanilla extract


  1. Put egg
    whites, sugar, water and syrup in top of double boiler. Beat until
    mixed well. Place over rapidly boiling water. Beat constantly with
    electric beater while it cooks for 7 minutes or until it will stand in
    peaks when beater is raised. Remove from heat. Add vanilla. Beat.
    Fills and frosts 2 layer cake, 8 or 9 inch.

We  kids loved this frosting. The first day you ate it, it was so light and fluffy. Mom would tint it blue for Al and pink for me. With the size of an angel food slice and all that heaping frosting it was a kids delight. She also added those candy decorations on top. Remember those? They came on a piece of white paper that you wet the back and then the candies came off. They had letters and flowers and candle holders. When you are a kid biting down on those crunchy candies was so much fun.

Christmas was so much fun. Al got trains for Christmas to help him get over his fear. I got baby dolls. I remember getting a Baby Thumbelina one year and another year I received Chatty Cathy.

Mom and Dad loved buying us gifts at Christmas. Dad got the biggest kick out of watching us open our gifts. He loved to Christmas shop. Our special gifts were always unwrapped under the tree and I can still see Al and I racing to the tree to pick up Santa’s big gift.

One year Al and I opened a home-made marble game. Al was fascinated by it much more than me. He would spend hours and hours dropping the marbles down the maze of zig-zag shaped slots. All the marbles would eventually end up in the bottom in a flat tray. Then he would do it over and over.

We always spent the holiday with all of our family. Then through the year as the family got smaller we started going to Mom and Dad’s on Christmas Eve. By now I had my own family and we always enjoyed her home-made lasagna and home-made candies.

Then when it was all over my family would go home and put our kids to bed. After they were asleep we would finish doing their gifts for the next morning.

Al lived at home so he and Mom and Dad would have their own little Christmas in the early morning. Al never knew what to buy anyone. He would go to our Grandma’s, our mom’s mother and she would write down ideas for him. He still struggled, so one gift per person was written and then he would go buy it. Grandma would always wrap his gifts for him and he would tuck them under the tree.

Life changed for Al quite a bit when Granddad passed a way. There was no one but Grandma who went out of their way to help Al with all the problems he had. Mom worked and so did Dad. Granddad had Al with him all the time, and then suddenly he was gone.

Our whole family changed. Al was more alone and there was so much sadness floating through out the house. Now when Al went to Grandma to talk or get help with a problem for a few years she just was lost without her spouse and we became lost in her world too. Not by choice but she was mourning.

Dad had to start doing more for Grandma plus his own job and I think he became tired. He started jumping on Al’s case easier and it became more often than before. Mom spent her free time with her mom who was still mourning. I didn’t live there any longer, and our

"angel food cake pan"

half-sister never got along with Al.

I know for me I was so jealous of our sister. Even though I understand much better now that I am older, I didn’t get it then. She got new clothes from more expensive stores. In fact, she got almost everything she wanted. She went with friends a lot. She seemed to have quite a few over nite parties. While Al and I were much more quiet. But we have to remember that Al and I were ten years older than our new sister. We had been taught to be quiet, while the sister was laughing and much louder.

I think Al never knew what to think of her. As he saw himself getting yelled at for being stupid, he never saw her in trouble. I think in Al’s mind this bothered him and he felt less wanted than he should have. He always felt like he was the bad kid and he was in the way.