I met my future sister-in-law Wendy, nicknamed Twiggy by my brother, when I was 13. She was tiny, with big blue eyes fringed in black lashes, very short, straight red hair and she wore mini skirts. The kind I wasn’t allowed to wear so I found her very cool. Twig was 20 then, and a year later she and Freddie got married at Vancouver City Hall with two friends as witnesses.
Freddie then phoned home and in his usual, hilarious way said to my mom, guess what we did today, and mom said, what, to which he replied we got married!! Boy was my mom ever perplexed by that call, but at 21 and 22 no one could’ve stopped them anyway.
They were hippies and I was enthralled by their apartment in Burnaby where one sat on mattresses on the floor. Beaded curtains, incense and tie dye completed the ambiance. I was basically besotted by them and their lifestyle, me the kid whose mom still laid out her clothes and pinned on a broach before I left for school.
At around age 15 I was excited to learn they were going to rent a house in Oliver. This suited me beautifully as by 16 we attended high school there, and I could sneak over there with boys and they wouldn’t rat me out. My life wouldn’t have been worth a Carnival Cruise if mom had found out about any of that.
And then imagine my good luck to have Twig as my babysitter. They’d returned to the Coast after just a few years in Oliver, moving to the Pitt River in Coquitlam, and after teaching in Prince George I met Denis, got married and we moved to Burnaby where Luke was born.
When he was one I returned to my job as a teacher of the deaf and hard of hearing, but only part time and so Twig came to our house two and a half days a week to hang around with Luke. She was a kindergarten teacher for many years so she had a great nature with the kid, and can you imagine the relaxed way I could work, knowing my own sister-in-law was taking care of my child?
And now in her latter years she was a fabulous grandmother to four kids, and was enjoying retirement. However as you know Freddie died last year in May, and she really never recuperated from that and often said she was just so damned sad. And so it’s with sadness I report she died on December 23rd, however perhaps it’s better for those two little love birds to hang together, wherever they may be.
You know how I love to search for spiritual meaning in things, and on the day she died I was outside with the dogs and seven white geese came overhead, honking away, with one strong bird in the lead. They honked and honked, circled and flew off. I’ve never seen white geese before, so I just thought wow those two have a bunch of friends with them already. They were magnetic in life.
I just heard Betty White died, also this year three of the ya ya’s mothers packed it in, as well one of my old boyfriends, Don Lesmeister. So I guess as long as we’re breathing we should just shut the hell up, laugh, enjoy and realize life is pretty damned short. And on that note, Happy New Year and all the best in 2022!