Do you know what chicken math is? It is where you walk into the feed store or Atwood's (a farm store) for a couple of chicks (baby chickens, silly, BABY CHICKENS!) and come out with a lot of chicks!
The sad thing is, you don't just do it once, you do it over and over again!
And pretty soon, you have 18 chicks... or 80 chicks.
And I am not looking at one more chick thank-you-very-much!
18 is my limit!
Now Steve is building a chicken mansion for my little chicks!
On a very sad note, my dear Aunt Connie passed away last Thursday. Aunt Connie and I were very close for a lot of reasons. She had such a unique personality and whit about her that everyone loved to be around her. She made you laugh. She made you remember - her way. And she made you feel special. And she loved to talk. Oh, my, did she love to talk!
I will miss my dear Aunt Con. Let me share a bit of her so you know why I will miss her so much:
When I would call to talk to her, she would often answer the phone, "What?!" Then she would just start chattering away...
Aunt Connie changed our names. Every single one of us kids... My name was changed to Gail, Liz's name was changed to Beth, Lisa's name was changed to Lulabelle, Phillip was Pibs, John Dee was Johnde, Stephenie was My Sweet Little Girl, Jeremy was Brat - probably because he was so innocent, Danny was Dannel, Brian was Damn It, Brian! and Pam was Pammie. Oh yes, the list goes on and on... but she never called us by our given names. And I always wondered why...
Every time we talked she asked how my sweet Steve was and then she would say to give him a hug for her and have him kick me on the butt - because she never did it enough and he needed to make up for it.
When we talked on the phone, she always ended with the last words "I love you. Good. Bye!"
Short, sweet and to the point.
My brother-in-law wanted to go meet her when he was in Biloxi training. My sister was in Alaska, so John braved it on his own. I told him he should be prepared for anything - that there is no describing our Aunt Connie.
He tells the story that he rang the door bell and this is how it went...
She opened the door and said, "Are you Shari's husband?"
"Step in here"
She looked him up and down and didn't say a word. (Can you imagine what he was thinking?)
She told him to turn around.
She looked him up and down again - still not speaking.
She told him to turn around.
She reached over and grabbed his ear and pulled his head around and looked behind his ear.
She stood back and said, "You'll do. Now sit and start talking. Tell me about yourself and I will see if we will keep you!"
Again - can you imagine what he was thinking?
But that is how she was.
Aunt Connie had to deem everyone 'human' - and until you were deemed 'human', you were a 'child'. I think Jeremy made it when he was born (he is a red-head and she loved red-heads), and Steph never made it. I think I was 45 when I was deemed 'human'. Steve musta been born human 'cause he could never do anything wrong. Thinking back, I am not really sure that Jeremy ever made it, but I am guessing... I bet he remembers though!
I bet he surely remembers Jason and him pelting her with red holly berries... she swore she pulled holly berries out of her ears and nose for years to come.
Aunt Connie made you laugh - did I say that? She was a HOOT to be around! Oh, I'm gonna miss her.
Steve and I struggled with how to get there - it is a 12 hour drive. We knew we wanted and needed to go - after all, she has been such a huge part of my life ALL of my life, I can't imagine being without her. So we finally decided to use some of this frequent flyer miles that we have saved for the big fantastic trip that we never seem to get around to taking... and instead, we are using them to say good-bye to a very dear loved one. We will hug the ones she is leaving behind, share our memories of her, laugh and I know I am going to shed a few tears. I think it is supposed to be a reunion of everyone who loves her.
I am so thankful I went to see her a couple of weeks ago. I just knew I needed to. Sometimes we just need to listen to our heart and follow it. Thank goodness I did exactly what my instinct told me to do, because I got to hug and hold her and I told her I loved her again. I am so glad I didn't wait.
It has been a tough 6 months; two surgeries, two moves, two death's... and worlds of other stuff tossed in between.
But nothing compares to losing loved ones; Aunt Connie was a second mom to me and a family treasure to us all.
Uncle Ed - I will say prayer after prayer for you. Thank you for turning Aunt Con's life around and making it so special. She loved you with all of her heart and soul. You are a treasure and I know why she thought you were so special - because you are an amazing man. You were truly a blessing to her. Heck, you are a blessing to all of us - but she thought the world twirled around you - and she actually made me believe that it did! The thing that amazes me the most is you kept her in line! Well, ok, she may have had me fooled into believing she was behaving...
Oh! And she got her way - are you surprised? She told me she would have to leave this earth first because she couldn't live without you. I can smiling at us and saying; "Nanny, nanny, boo, boo! Told ya so! Told ya so! I got here FIRST!"
Can't you just see her dancing and smiling her smug little smile?
I can say I love you so very much...
I am just not ready to say good-bye.
I just want to hang out and listen to some more of your stories...