It’s damp from yesterday’s downpours and the sky has alternated between some pokes of sunshine through the clouds and a gray overcast. Now it is 61-degrees with an expectation of gaining ten more notches to the warmth. A pleasant day, nonetheless.
It was a restful sleep and I feel more refreshed than when I awakened Wednesday morning after much less sleep. Gone are the days when I easily lived on 4-5 hours of sleep per night. Many thought I pushed myself with less sleep but I had been that way since infanthood. Mother also required less sleep and rather than leave me in my baby bed to bat around my non-musical mobile, she’d keep me up with her until I was ready to sleep. This was pretty much our lives until I went off to Ball State University. Mother taught me how to write and read during those additional nighttime hours, and I grew up watching Johnny Carson and his parade of guests, many of which were Broadway and motion picture legends. As I began working with Mr. Joshua Logan, I would meet some of these wonderful performers of the golden era.
I was busy with some projects and the relaunching of in-person lessons that I completely missed recognizing the 18th anniversary of my grandfather’s passing on June 3rd. Leroy Barmes was the constant father figure in my life, even after David Haas adopted me and my siblings. There are still many things I carry with me, today, because of Grandpa Leroy.
Wednesday, June 8th, was a full day of anniversaries that I elected not to address. My cousin, Debbie Riser Fox, the daughter of my great-aunt, Joyce Clary Riser, celebrated her birthday, as did my nephew, Parker Leroy Haas, the eldest son of my late brother, Destin, turned 17. On a heavier note, June 8th is the anniversary of my Uncle Ron Barmes’ death in 1987. His tragic demise ended at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge & Tunnel in Norfolk, Virginia; ironically, a student’s family left NYC on a cruise ship and passed by the US Navy base.
Mother always loathed June as she always mentioned, “I lost my family in June.” Her father, Leroy Barmes, on June 3rd, her brother, Ron Barmes, on June 8th, and her mother, Donna Clary Barmes, on June 27th.
Somehow, we learn to live with the sadder anniversaries. Some years, the anniversaries arrive with a bit more heaviness, while for me, some years they pass unnoticed. I don’t feel guilty when I miss an anniversary of a loved one’s death as I honestly believe they’d rather me remember their birthday and not the time we parted.
There are some social media memes asking, “If you could sit for one hour with a lost loved one, who would it be?” Well, my answer is, “no one close to me.” I don’t want to say “goodbye” all over again. I would rather chat with a favorite historical character who has fascinated me.
This post may appear a tad morbid but I am in no way wading through that frame of mind. I am merely recognizing important dates that are etched into the journey of my own life. We all have those anniversaries. I just sent off a note to my friend, Jeff Carter, in St. Louis, and shared my appreciation for his own attention to his ancestry and commemorations. In this, he is a kindred spirit. Jeffrey had a much-beloved great-aunt, Esther, and I had my own great aunt, Joyce. I wonder if, when he and I step into the next life, our two great aunts will be our first visits. I am, however, confident our great aunts, and other family members, are still somehow with us.
And, I hear my resident cardinal beginning to bellow… I guess I received the answer to my last statement above!
Go in peace. Cherish your family and friends, on earth and above, and take time to remember them on special anniversaries.
Now, it is time for me to get ready for a stroll through the park in an awkward shift placement of 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM.
Always make it a great day!