Tag Archives: Balloons

Out of the mouths of babes………..

When my sister died from breast cancer in 1995 she was just 41 years old.  My daughters were 6 years old and 3 years old. At their age, they knew it was a sad affair, but they were resilient enough that they adapted to the sorrow around them with the beauty that young children have. They made the grown-ups smile and realize that happiness could and would return one day, even if in a different way.

Trips to the cemetery weren’t really unusual for us. My Dad died when I was a little girl, my Pop-Pop was buried there and quite frankly the cemetery was bucolic, filled with flowers and beautiful. I also grew up across the street from two different cemeteries. We used to play there all the time. So I took my girls to our church cemetery when they were young, sometimes with my Mom or my Nana. We would plant flowers, the kids would get water from the old fashioned pump, and run between the headstones plucking billowy headed dandelions and blowing them into the air, making wishes.

So cemeteries were not a sad place for my girls. Four months after she died, it was my sister’s 42nd birthday. I told the girls I wanted to take something to Aunt Cindy’s grave. They wanted to go to the Dollar Store and get balloons, like we did for their school parties. I thought that might be a nice idea. So off we went.

There were dozens of balloons decorating the walls and racks of the dollar store. I was surprised that the girls went right to the balloons to make their choices. They were usually distracted by the thousand different trinkets, candies, and party supplies that assaulted you as you walked in the door.

But they were on a serious mission.

Rachel, the big sister, picked first.

“I like this one, Mommy,” she chirped.

I immediately teared up and tried to stay happy and positive. Rachel could read by this time and the balloon said, “I miss you….”

“Of course, we will take that one, Rachey.”

Margot was still diligently looking through all the birthday greetings, the balloons with numbers on them and the ones in black were not to her liking. And then she found it, the perfect balloon to honor her Aunt Cindy,

“I want this one, Mommy!”

“Really, Margot?” I said a bit slowly, since my three year-old couldn’t read just yet.  “Why do you like that one?”

“It’s pretty, Mommy. It has pretty flowers on it and Aunt Cindy would like that.”

“Yes, sweetie, she truly would.”

Get Well 1Aunt Cindy would like the sentiment a thousand times more than the flowers… So I bought an identical one for Uncle Larry this week, as they are buried together, having a chuckle I hope.

“You Just have to Laugh………..”

©2015 Cathy Sikorski

Mothers and Daughters…..Part 131

My daughters have come from far away cities to visit for a few days. It has made me reflect on Mothers and Daughters. I could do entire blog just about Mothers and Daughters….daily.

Last week as we were leaving the rehab center where my brother-in-law would be departing for surgery never to return, Mom and I began to take the few personal belongings from his room.

As we were leaving, my Mom picked up the three little mylar ballons each on its own stick, that people had given my BIL for his birthday the month before. I thought she was going to throw them in the trash. But she clutched them to her bosom like she had just discovered a new grandchild.

“What are you going to do with those,” I asked, ok accusingly. I asked accusingly. The whole point of this exercise was to leave behind the crap and just take what was absolutely necessary.

“Well, they’re his. I don’t want to leave them behind,” she said by way of obvious explanation to her idiot daughter.

So I turned to my BIL:

“Do you REALLY want these crappy balloons?” I asked. Ok, I asked sarcastically.

“What balloons?” said the guy in rehab who was getting ready for surgery and clearly was not in a festive mood.

“Ugh. Mom, throw that crap away. What does he need it for?” I asked her.

“Well, I could give them to other people with birthdays. Like Jeannie, it’s her birthday soon. I could give her one.” said my Mom innocently.

With that the guy in the bed pipes up, “Yeah, give one to Jeannie and tell her it’s from me and Happy Birthday.”

So home with us the balloons go.

This is the same woman who three days later calls me and says:

“Okay, I’ve cleaned out all of your BIL’s clothing from his dresser, and gave away everything he’ll never wear. I took all his medical supplies and meds and stored them in my house until we figure out what to keep in his new apartment. And I’m going to start taking pictures off the walls next week.”

“MOM!,” I said with the crazy attitude that every daughter wants to say to her mother every time they talk.

cell“What are you doing? We don’t even have a place for him to live yet after surgery. If we can’t get arrangements made, he may have to go back to his apartment temporarily. Let’s not make it look like a prison cell. There’s plenty of time to throw things away.”

Of course, I’m thinking, “at least he’ll have some nice balloons to look at, wherever he goes.”

“You Just have to Laugh….”

©2015 Cathy Sikorski