When I called WP today, they said she had been weepy, “wanting to get her mother out of the States.”
But when I got her in the car to come home for supper she seemed fine.
“You’re the best big sister I could ever have.”
“I’m not your sister. What makes you think so?”
“Well, you’re my cousin, so you might as well be my sister.”
“Uh–I call you ‘Mother.’ What does that make me?”
“Oh. Right. You’re my daughter.”
I tried to continue the conversation from Monday night, but she wasn’t in that place anymore. I did get a few corrections. It was their next door neighbor, Mr. Franks, who hired her step father as a constable in Brookpark, not Berea. She talked to her stepbrother/cousin Willie about warning Mr. Franks, but decided not not.
Apparently being lined up with a shotgun happened several times. It was Willie, not Grandpa Schmidt, who told his father, Reuben Parker, that if any of them were killed he, Reuben, would go to jail for the rest of his life. Where and when that statement was made is no longer clear.
Phyllis was the favored child who apparently missed much of the drama. She was the mother of my second cousin Sandra, pictured in Oct. 2011.
“How many children did you have?”
“Three, I think.”
“What were their names? What is my name?”
“Justina.” It is the only time I have ever heard her call me by my given name.
“And the others?”
“Rebecca.” (always known as Becky) “And there was a boy. Thomas?”
“No, Tommy died. You lost two children. Do you remember what happened?”
“One had something not tied off during a tonsillectomy. I think the other was a still born.”
“Do you remember the boy that lived?
She couldn’t, so I reminded her. “But I never hear from them. I don’t know what came between us.”
I chose not to say anything. She said she hadn’t packed to come home, but I told her it was okay. All her things were still at Whispering Pines.
“They are? Oh, okay.”
The decline is accelerating.