I have mixed feeling about saying goodbye to 2010. On one hand I am happy to have lived through it. I was so happy to be able to attend my brother's wedding in September. I am happy that my family made it through safe, and healthy. I am also happy that my Brother-In-Law, who is serving in the Army, is safe. And I am happy that we still have our home, that this slum economy hasn't taken that from us.
On the other I had to say goodbye to a very good friend. We lost a very dear family friend this past summer. Katherine Renish, seen in this old photo she's the one on the left, in the reddish color shirt.
(That's me staring at my birthday cake. Our friend Joan, who was also a very good friend of Katherine's, and how my mom met Katherine, is in the floral shirt in the back. She passed away in Sept 2009. My grandmother, who died when I was 9 is the one on the far right. All the kids are either Joan's or Katherine's. That cutie next to me, with the bowl cut, is my older brother, and on the other side, my little sister.). Katherine wasn't fond of getting her picture taken, so it's one of the few that I have. I will have to search my photo albums for more! Anyway, Katherine and my mom became friends when I was little, and have been friends since. We often stayed with Katherine over the years, sometimes because my mom was sick, or if my little sister (seen in the glasses) had an extended stay at CHOP (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia). I loved Katherine's house! And I have many fond memories of staying there! From swimming in her pool (and losing my bikini top) when I was little, to camping at Green Lane Park with her, and her doggies through the years, Kingy was my favorite, and Ziggy...he just scared me. To the cupcakes that she made us in ice cream cones (before it was popular!!) She always made me feel welcome, and even though she had 5 children of her own, she still always made me feel important, and more importantly loved. Katherine was an amazing woman! Even though she dropped out of school, and she couldn't read very well, she raised 5 of her own kids, not to mention the other children she had hands in raising. And she did it, for the most part, on her own. (Sonny, her husband wasn't home often, usually he came home once a week, but that is a story for another time) She was an avid Church goer, and you'd often find her in the Church Nursery. She later worked in the school that they started in the church I grew up in. I will never forget how she wore diaper pins on her shirts. She said to me once not long ago that she had changed so many diapers (and the cloth ones, not the disposable kind) over the years, and that she just always had them there "just in case". She was at my Bridal shower. And I love that she and Sonny made it to my wedding (Sonny passed about 6 years ago-which reminds me...I have a pict at the wedding-taken May 18 2002)
She was able to make it to my Baby Shower, even though by now her breathing was affected by emphysema. And I will always remember how much it warmed my heart to see her holding my infant daughter in her arms. Katherine's passing hurt. Obviously. I have never been effected by some one's passing quite like hers affected me. She meant so much to our family. She did so much for us. She kept me out of trouble. She gave me a place to stay. And she loved me. And for that she will always have a place in my heart. She also had a "hand" in me meeting a good friend, Terri. I had requested cards be sent to her from the Card Fairy Army, and Terri sent me a message and said we weren't far from each other, we started chatting, and became friends. Now there isn't a day that goes by that I don't chat with her!
Not long after her passing, and she wasn't really sick, just "getting up there in age" I heard this song. It reminds me of the house I grew up in. A row home on West Elm Street in Norristown . It was a 3 story home that sat on the (on the left side of Hope Alley in that link) edge of an alley, with Morbitos bakery pretty much in my back yard. Growing up I hated that house. It was a cold house. VERY COLD! I mean cans of veggies literally froze on the shelves of the cabinets!!!! Our back yard was a concrete slab. Oh but our garden....we had strips of a "garden" area where we grew tomatoes, and green beans, and all kinds of yummy veggies, and flowers...Four o'clock, Columbine, and Gladiolas! I joke that that dirt was so rich it could grow anything! Now the garden we have in our backyard, all we can grow with success is WEEDS! I joke with my hubby that one day I am going back to that house, and I am going to steal their dirt!!! I remember playing wall ball, first with a tennis ball, and later when I would practice for Lacrosse. And then there was playing baseball in the alley with the neighborhood kids. And in the winter, before they took out the hill to build houses, we had a awesome sledding hill across the street behind the garage that Tony owned. I liked Tony, he always made his guys buy Girl Scout Cookies from me! We lived in that house for many years, from (April?) 1979 - (Jan) 1997. Many cold years, LOL. But anyway, it truly was the house that built me. And I can't help but think that Katherine, in her loving way, played an important part in building my character. So in honor of that house, and of Katherine, I say good bye to 2010, and I look foward to a better, brighter, 2011.
And to Katherine, thank you for everthing. I miss you. I love you.
This song always brings me to tears. Miranda Lambert - "The House That Built Me"
If you scroll down and click pause on the My Player, you can hear this song.
*****SORRY! Just found that it keeps pausing when you try to play it. But if you click the photo, it will take you to YouTube where you can hear it without the skips. Sorry!***