new stories

By: ewhite422

Jul 19 2010

Category: Uncategorized


I should be ashamed of myself, but I had so much fun that I just can’t bring myself to sincere remorse.

My husband and I traveled to Pearl, Texas this past weekend with my mother and stepdad to attend the Hampton family reunion, which has been going on every year consecutively since the 1950s.

The 3 hour trip was spent playing cards and reminiscing, interspersed with my singing old camp songs from my days at the YWCA camp in Glen Rose.  AND stopping for my stepdad to “christen” various areas of landscape along the way.  He grew up on a farm, so this seems the right thing to do, I guess.  He would stop his new Ford F150 and hide behind it while irrigation took place.

I was riding “shotgun,” which seems an appropriate term for having to ride in a pickup.  I do not know what it is about men and pickups.  My husband drives one, too.  But that’s another subject.

I had a devilish idea while I was waiting there in the passenger seat.  Before I could talk myself out of it, I scampered across the console, landed in the driver’s seat and put the truck into drive.  I was laughing like a teenager while watching him in the rear view mirror as he looked up in surprise and then beat a path to some nearby garbage cans for cover.

The driver of a passing car saw the whole thing and gave a friendly honk.  Dad raised his fist at me.  I only laughed harder.

The best was that my mother was laughing. 

Mother has had a sad life.  My grandmother was sick with cervical cancer for 5 years and died when Mother was only 17.  She has told me the sad story over and over all my life.  I listen.  I sympathize, and then I try to guide her to any other stories that she might have about her life.  She doesn’t remember those.  I ask for happy memories.  None.

So I am out to make some, before she loses all her memory.

I will just have to risk “payback” from my stepdad, who got back into the truck on the passenger side vowing revenge.

He’s harmless.

At the reunion, I got up in front of the entire clan and told the one joke I know, the “Forrest Gump Died and Went to Heaven” joke, and I demonstrated my famous card trick that no one has been able to figure out.

What made it such a hit was that I got my 3 year old, red-haired granddaughter, Sophia Rose, to be my assistant, and she was such a ham.  She captivated the clan, and my mother was beaming and laughing along with everyone.

When we finished, I said, “Sophia, take a bow!”  And she bowed low to everyone’s applause.  She later insisted on getting back to the microphone and singing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”

I think she may have some of her “Grammy” in her.

After the reunion activities and taking my mom to cry at her grandparents’ burial sites (sobbing as though they died yesterday, rather than 60 years ago), we got in the truck with me driving again.

I cranked up the old country music, “You Are my Sunshine” and “The Red River Valley,” singing along as loud as I could.  Then a song came on with a good two step beat, and I heard my mother ask my husband, as they played gin rummy in the back seat, “Wanna’ dance?”

I pulled over as soon as I could into a parking lot in Bryan, ordered everybody out of the truck, rolled the windows down, cranked up the volume, and photographed my mother and husband dancing.  It was priceless.  (I’ll post the pictures on Facebook soon).

New stories.

Laughing memories while there is still time.


3 comments on “new stories”

  1. You are absolutely right. Make those happy memories while you can. Thanks for sharing this delightful story of your reunion weekend.

  2. I love how you can still find a child-like innocence and laughter in your surroundings while trying to create memories with your own mom. I love how reading this, I can envision that I am there with you. God Bless you for caring for your mom, having a sense of humor about it all, and stopping to smell the roses along the caregiving path. Your mom is blessed to have you as a daughter!

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