Saturday, March 9, 2013

Saturdays Story

True story!

Two Saturday's ago, while driving to my niece's baby shower, I reached for my new sunglasses to deflect the glare.
"How do you like my new sunglasses?" I asked.  I yanked them off and handed them to Lindsey (my daughter) and she tried them on.

"Nice!" she said. "The closest I ever came to designer glasses is when Jack gave me his that time when we were younger.  Remember...  the ones I wore the day you met Ronnie down on the bridge when you were holding his tape case as hostage?"

I laughed out loud!  I remembered.

"And the surprise birthday party that we had for him?"  Lindsey said.   I remembered that too.

For the first time in probably ten years, we talked at length about our friend, Ronnie.  A blast from the past.

"Whatever happened to him?"  Lindsey asked.
"He moved away, to New Mexico or somewhere I think," I said.  "It's sad what happened."

     Ronnie was the same age as me.  He lived across the road from us.  Walk to the end of our driveway and across the country road and there he stayed with his elderly parents.  He was like a cousin or even a brother to us, tho we were not blood related. 

     Every year at Christmastime he would painstakingly decorate with multi-colored lights that blurted out "BAH HUMBUG".  Christmas wasn't Christmas without his negative input each year.  

      He had been a friend of the family ever since I remembered.  You could joke around with Ronnie and he was consistent with his clever 'come-backs'.  

     Ronnie had plenty of stories to tell, none of which I had heard, but other family members had enjoyed a variety of far out stories of his past - days gone by.  He was the type of guy you could be yourself with, a big guy, who I believe considered the few neighbors that were spread throughout the small country setting and its community, his friends.  My sister, who lived adjacent to me, and my family, would go to visit the old couple and their son, Ronnie, almost every other day.  Let's face it, the sparse few families that lived on our hill were FAMILY. 

     I remember the time he had loaned me a VHS tape of Wings, our favorite TV show, that he had recorded off of TV.  After I returned the tape to him, I later got word that I had given him back the wrong tape case.  Reason for some fun!

     I sent him a ransom note with all the letters cut out of the newspaper...  different sizes..put together to read:


     When Wednesday evening came, I went forward with my plan.  A black wig.  A big, bulky, black fur coat.  Thick Red lipstick. Plenty of Rouge.  Sunglasses.  Fur coat hood up.  A check in the mirror and I was 100% sure...  Nobody would know me.  

     "Who's got the spoon?"  I said.

     "I do," Justin (my other son) said.

     "Who has the tape case?"

     "Me," Lindsey said, giggling and putting on her sunglasses.

     "Who's got my back?"

     "I got your back, Mom," Jackie said.

     They were falling to the floor laughing at my get-up.   They surrounded me, walking with me to the end of the driveway then down the road to the wooden bridge that went over the train tracks, laughing all the way.  Cars slowed on our busy little country road, to take a look at the weird woman in the fur coat on a hot summer's day.  Neighbor kids were on their porches laughing and pointing.  I instructed Lindsey once we got there, "Hold the tape case over the bridge.  If he doesn't have the ice cream, I will tell you when to drop it."  She held on tight to the case.  Not much was said.  Ronnie was there, and he pulled the ice cream from his bag.  I opened it as Lindsey held the tape case over the edge of the wooden bridge where our steam locomotive would pass under, twice each day.

     "Spoon?"  I said, peering at Justin from the tops of the sunglasses.  

     He handed me the spoon.   I took a bite of the ice cream, and nodded.  Lindsey handed Ronnie the case and without a word, we went our separate ways.   

     Ronnie walked across the road with his original case and I went home with my hysterical accomplices and the Ice Cream.

This is how we would see the train from the bridge..

Here is the coat I wore... but remember, I had the hood up and it was buttoned..
I also had all the accessories to make me look totally off-the-wall!

If you look to the left, you will see the wooden bridge.  Ronnie's house was just
above that bridge on the other side of the road.
The 2 cute kiddies are my boys when they were younger.

          Another fun remembrance was the surprise birthday party we had for him one time.

          "Ronnie, can you come over and help us get the air conditioner out of the window?" I said, on the phone.

      "Sure, no problem.  I'll be right over."  He was always eager to lend a helping hand.

      I was in charge of lighting the candles.  Lindsey stood behind the door with her boom box ready to push 'play'. 

     The boys stood waiting to belt out "Happy birthday from Sesame Street" in unison with the cassette tape.

     He was surprised!  And he loved the dinner (hoagie) and movie (VHS) we got him.


      As Ronnie's parents got older, their health began to fail.  
     Ronnie's father passed away.  His mother got worse, then.  He took care of her until she passed too.  

      Not long after that, Ronnie disappeared.  He moved to parts unknown, and it was discovered much later that the Ronnie we thought we knew, sadly, we hadn't really known at all.  

     I never heard anything more about him.  

It's strange, how suddenly...  out of nowhere, some 10+ years later...  he became a topic of our conversation on our way to the baby shower.

And even more strange, is that later that very night, I got a call from my sister.  Ronnie's whereabouts were confirmed, and he had been found dead in his home.  His caregiver did not know how long he had been there.  He died alone.

Reason Season Lifetime - Author Unknown

People always come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.
When you figure out which it is, you know exactly what to do.  When someone is in your life for a REASON,

It is usually to meet a need you have expressed outwardly or inwardly.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty,
Or to provide you with guidance and support,
To aid you physically, emotionally, or even spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend to you, and they are.
They are there for the reason you need them to be.
Then, without any wrong doing on your part or at an inconvenient time,
This person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.
Sometimes they die. Sometimes they just walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done.
The prayer you sent up has been answered and it is now time to move on.
When people come into your life for a SEASON,
It is because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn.
They may bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season.
And like Spring turns to Summer and Summer to Fall,
The season eventually ends.
LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons;
Those things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person anyway;
And put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas in your life.
It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.
Thank you for being part of my life,
Whether you were a reason, a season or a lifetime.

RIP Ronnie