Friday, April 3, 2009
~Georgie and I~
This is a very old and a bit discolored picture of Georgie and I. It hangs on my wall and it has since my parents died. Sometimes events happen that are life changing. They often make us who we are. This was one of those events in my life.
I was about four when he was born, January 3rd 1942, I think. It was just after Christmas, and it was during the depression and WWII was going on.
Times were terrible and there was no work. My father walked the streets and took any job he could find as many men did in those times. My mother became pregnant with Georgie during this time and couldn't work. They struggled and when Georgie was two my father went into the service, but Japan surrendered and Daddy didn't have to go to war. When Georgie was born he was brought home to a tiny little motel room. Daddy finally found work and they found a sweet little cottage on a shady street in a quiet neighborhood and life became like a Fairytale for me. We were happy. My parents were beautiful and happy people.
This was my mother. Her name was Lillian.
This was my father. His name was Raymond but everyone called him Ray.
Georgie was about two and a half and I was about 6 years when tradgedy struck our little family. Both of my parents were working in the ship yards in Portland Oregon during this time and my little brother and I stayed with a wonderful neighbor across the street in our neighborhood. One day my mother fell off a scaffolding onto a pile of sheet metal and broke her shoulder, her arm, her ribs. There was even damage to her teeth. They said it was a miracle that she didn't die. She finally left the hospital and we went to pick her up. She was in a body cast. On the way home they stopped and bought groceries, then continued toward home stopping for gas along the way where they had some friends.
When my mother got out of the car, Georgie began to cry. He had gotten into the bag of groceries and was eating a peanut cluster and he began to choke. My father grabbed him, pounded his back and finlly turned Georgie up side down and shook him..beginning to panic as the baby turned blue...and suddenly Georgie began to breath. Today we know not to do that..but in the 40's the Himelick Maneuver was not known. They calmed him...but when he breathed he whistled. They rushed him to nearby doctor. I still remember the Doctor's name. It was Dr. Poacher. He said my brother was fine and not to worry that they were over reacting. I remember while my parents were in the doctors office I entertained myself walking along the top of a short retaining wall trying to balance myself and not fall off. Finally they came out and we went home. I remember they rushed him to the hospital when he fell and couldn't get up..but..it is a vague memory. It was a terrifying time. At the hospital they told my parents that Georgie had a peanut lodged in his little lung and that it would have to be removed surgically. We waited downstair...a long,long time. We were all very quiet.
I remember there were long winding stairs and the floor at the bottom was marble..
Two doctors came walking down the stairs to my parents...my mother was wearing a camel colored coat that tied in the front. Her hair was rolled on the sides and it was glossy and beautiful. As they came near the bottom of the stairs my mother just looked at them..I remember one of them saying something and my mother began to scream "Oh my God Raymond, NO, NO, NO, NO...over and over and over..I don't remember anything after that. They had lost my baby brother on the operating room table.
My next memory is of my father taking me in the car. I'm not sure why but I think they thought it was the thing to do. They took me to see Georgie in his tiny casket. I remember looking at him and turning to say "Daddy, he looks like he is sleeping"...and that is all I remember. My father picked me up and took me out of there. We were both crying. I was six. I am now 72 and I cry as I write this story. I didn't go to school for a long time. I think perhaps it was for lots of reasons. Maybe I was too upset..but I think it was because of my Mother. I think she wanted me near her. I would hear her crying in the night. Deep wracking sobs that shook my very soul.. and I can hear that sound to this day when the memory comes back to me. My parents were never the same. They were never young and carefree again. I no longer came home from school to find my beautiful mother dancing around the kitchen to the radio and the tunes of the 40's. The lilt went out of her laughter. My father became quiet. Sadness was etched in his young face and he was never the same either.
I know this is not the most uplifting post...but...sometimes we have to write what we have to write...and I needed to write about this tonight.
I believe I will see Georgie one day soon. And all of my relatives and friends and that passed over. I believe in life after death. No one can tell me different. It is just something I know deep inside. There are things in my life that have happened so that I know this to be true. It is my belief that Georgie is my guardian angel and he watches over me and mine. As I get older I have many.
G'night..love and hugs,