Iris’ diary, April 22, 2016
April 22, 2016
Jim would be 95 this year. There’s not a day that goes by when I don’t think about him, but sometimes the life with Jim seems like it was a long time ago, even though he died just 6 years back a few months after his namesake, James Allen was born.
Now that I live in Barrie with my daughter Sarah and her husband Adam in the “granny cottage” attached to their house, the only time I get reminded of life with Jim is when April comes to visit. She’s in school all the way over in Guelph and she still manages to drop in. When I was living in Milborough with Jim, she was also the one who always seemed to find the time for us. She would bring over Dixie, Jim’s dog and she would play guitar for Jim. What a sweet girl she is. I can see a lot of Jim’s kindness in her, which is more than I can say for the rest of her wretched family.
I know when you’re the second wife, once the partner tying you to the family dies, it’s not unusual for the tie to the family to be broken. I never would have expected it to have happened as swiftly as it did with those Pattersons. One moment they’re bringing a newborn great grandson to visit and the next, it’s like they never knew you.
But I can’t say I wasn’t forewarned. A cousin of John’s, Fiona Brass, came to visit with me at Jim’s funeral and she told me they would abandon me completely once they got what they wanted out of me – someone to take care of Jim. It was what happened to her when she came to help Elly with April after she was born. Once April was big enough, no more Fiona Brass. It turned out she lived in Milborough the whole time we were there and I never saw her at any family events ever. I didn’t even know she existed. Sure enough and she was right. Elly and John came by after the funeral and cleaned up a few of Jim’s things and that was it. It’s not like they visited a lot when Jim was living, but it was so strange the way they just moved on from me. I mentioned it to April when she was here, and she said that her mother and father have not visited her once in Guelph. Apparently Elly has some kind of “I don’t visit my kids in university” rule. Frankly, it’s no wonder April visits me then. The poor dear needs a friendly face that’s family.
Fortunately for me, I didn’t have to depend on Elly and John. Sarah and Adam moved me into their place in Barrie, which is not that far from Milborough and life has been good with them. They never had kids, but because she was a geriatric nurse and Adam was a doctor, they were not lacking for money. When I think back to the times when Elly used to complain about how poor she was living on John’s dental private practice salary, I just chuckled to myself. She always liked to pretend being poor when she had millions in her bank account. Thinking about her just makes me cross. I need to think of something pleasant.
We had a visit from my granddaughter Emma a few days ago. Now she’s out of university, married and I have great grandchildren. Her daughter wanted to get her ears pierced and Emma was against it but she finally gave in. She said, “I must have holes in my head”. We all laughed when my great granddaughter said, “Everyone has holes in their head mommy. That’s how eat and see and hear.” Emma meant to say something like she needed to let her daughter get her ears pierced like she needed another hole in her head, but it was a lot funnier the way she said it, even if it didn’t make any sense at all.
Emma said her brother Aydan and his family are doing well and they had some pictures from Christmas when their whole family including my son Jordon and his wife Anna (their parents) were at the family ranch in Alberta. I wish I was in good enough health to travel like I used to, but it was good to visit with Emma and her kids and good to see those pictures.
Maggie and Jesse still live in Arizona but they are thinking about buying a summer home in Barrie. Jesse is retired from the golf circuit now. They say Arizona is great for the winter, but it’s hot, hot, hot in the summer time. It’s funny how a retirement home for them is what a regular home would be for Sarah and Adam.
Life is good for me. I can’t complain. I miss my sweet Jim and the way he would say, “Boxcar” whenever he got excited. Maybe someday I will see him again. Until then, goodnight diary.