Biographical Non-Fiction posted August 30, 2021 Chapters:  ...135 136 -137- 138... 


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If life gets rough, thoughts turn to going home.

A chapter in the book Remembering Yesterday

Home is a Place of Refuge

by BethShelby


For new readers, who may not have read my author notes, this is written in a conversational way as I talk to my deceased husband. When I refer to someone just as "you" this means I am addressing my husband, Evan.

Connie had to wear a Holter monitor for a while, as part of the tests for her heart. We checked back with her pediatrician in New Orleans, and there was nothing on her record to indicate she had an irregular rhythm pattern as a child. Her doctor said since her heart wasn’t giving her noticeable problems, she should be okay to work at the summer camp, but her heart would need to be monitored regularly. Connie was concerned about her life style, which had bordered on the wild side for the last few years, and her occasional use of drugs might have caused this problem. Although she tried not to act concerned, we felt this diagnosis had shaken her, and we hoped she would try to pay more attention to her health.

The lease she and Christi signed would be up for renewal about the time Connie would be leaving for summer camp, and Christi wouldn’t be able to afford the apartment on her own. She was getting burned out with the receptionist job, and seemed to be hoping they would fire her so she could start her own massage therapy business. Unfortunately, she was still doing all her massages out of our house, and as much as we hated it, you were unwilling to tell her she would have to go somewhere else. She told us she wanted to move back in with us. We told her if she did it would have to be temporary until she could find a place she could afford.

Glen’s brother, Barry, and his wife, Barbara, were living in Oklahoma and wanted Carol to come visit them, and she was anxious to go. The Ford Fiesta she had kept from the divorce wasn’t in good shape, and she had hoped to buy a new car.  In the end, she had some work done on it, but she was still afraid to drive it so far by herself. She asked if we would go part of the way with her. We agreed to drive as far as Memphis. You wanted to go to Mississippi anyway, and we could go down from Memphis and see a different part of the state. We would take the highway into Jackson and visit your sister, Maxine.

We did the trip near the middle of March, with Carol following in her car. Just before we reached Memphis, we noticed she wasn’t behind us and went back to find her. She had run completely out of gas. We told her it was dangerous for her to travel alone, but she said she would have paid closer attention, if we hadn’t been traveling with her. It had been years since we’d been in Memphis, and there was a lot we hadn’t seen. We found a motel and did a little tour of the city.

We drove by Graceland, Elvis's home, and went to the Peabody Hotel to see the traditional duck walk. They have a ceremony twice a day, for the ducks living in a duck palace on the hotel roof to march through the hotel lobby on their way to a pool where they spend the day. There is music, and the guests line up to watch the procession. The Peabody is old but beautiful. Later, we checked out the glass pyramid which is 321 ft. high and stands on the bank of the Mississippi River. It was completed in 1991 and was originally built as a sports arena which held over 20,000 people. It was very impressive.

Early the following morning, Carol left on her way to Oklahoma, and we drove down through the Mississippi Delta on our way to Jackson. We got to Maxine’s house just when she needed someone to help her. She had been in her yard doing gardening work and had cut a slice into her leg with a shovel. She needed help getting to the doctor, so we took her there and waited while he put many stitches into her leg. Jimmy had been living with her and doing some temporary work, but she was hoping he would soon go back to Newton and live with his mother. Helen didn’t drive and was dependent on neighbors for help.

We went by our place in the country and met our new tenants. You and I walked over the 127 acres. Afterward we drove on to Newton and visited my parents and your brother and sister. Dad was having to use a walker to get around and he was giving Mom a lot of problems. We got back to Chattanooga Sunday night.

Carol spent most of the week in Oklahoma. She drove back on Friday without any problem, in spite of there being light snow on the ground. She said she had a great time visiting them. She still felt at home with Glen’s family.

Connie was making horrible grades on the few courses she hadn’t dropped at Chattanooga State, and she was continuing to work part-time at the furniture store. She had started hanging out with some of the other young people working there. Her supervisor suspended her one day for coming in late, but the owner of the company told her she couldn’t suspend anyone, and instead, she should just fire all the young people. She did as he told her, and Connie was without a job by the end of March. She had nearly two months left before camp would start. She called us, crying. She felt the world was closing in on her, but she was determined not to move back home.

Don was also without work and was still studying to pass the boards. He asked if we had any work he could do for us. We told him we would pay him to paint our great room. He decided to take us up on the offer, even though he hated painting, and the room was large and 27 ft. high at the peak. He said he would enjoy being home for a change. I think he really wanted to get away from Kimberly for a while. The baby wasn’t due for five more months, but her mood swings were getting to him.


Evan is 65 and a retired drafting supervisor from Chevron Oil.
Beth is 56 and has had a variety of jobs. She is presently working temporary jobs.
Carol is 32, a nurse, working at a hospital in Chattanooga and living in an apartment.  
Don is a twin. He is 31 and just graduated from Life Chiropractic College. 
Christi is Don’s twin.  She is working as a receptionist at a chemical company and doing massages on the side.
Kimberly Dye is Don’s wife. She is a nurse working in Atlanta.
Connie is our youngest daughter. She is twenty-one. She is a sophomore in college and is working at a furniture store.
Glen Egolf is Carol's ex-husband. He lives in Florida and works in Orlando.
Barry and Barbara: Glen's family members.
Maxine, Helen, and Jimmy: Evan's siblings and nephew.

 



Recognized


I'm continuing to recall memories of life with my deceased husband, Evan, as if I am talking aloud to him. I'm doing this because I want my children to know us as we knew each other and not just as their parents.
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