Sunday, April 29, 2012

Once family, family no more



For about five minutes in the early 1970s, during my father's flashbulb-quick second marriage, I had, in addition to my own sister and brother, two stepsisters and a stepbrother, Annie, Gwen and Jack.

What brought Gwen to mind and heart today, I can't say.  I have not even heard of her since I encountered her mother in the supermarket around 1985.  She was married, successful in a mathematical field, many degrees earned and applied.

When we were related, she left in my care her red Triumph Spitfire that rattled and shook like the earthquake simulator they take around to the schools here, great and risky fun to drive in our fog-bound beach town, while she was overseas in the Peace Corps.  At the time of her return, I remember her liking Wings' album Venus and Mars.  I was an older sister.  I guess that makes the Paul McCartney connection only slightly less baffling; this, however, was the Gwen song playing in my head.  I take no responsibility for an on-going altered state.  Writing of her in the company of bouncy Beatles' music seemed  the next indicated thing.  Hey, Gwen.  I miss you today.

16 comments:

Jayne said...

Oh, Marylinn- I love the way you do the next indicated thing.

The Ben-Gay post, too--hilarious. We're talking... ;) !

Rubye Jack said...

How totally refreshing!her

Robert the Skeptic said...

I was never a Beatles fan until they started to depart from their Teeny-bopping "yeah yeah yeah" thing.

I eschewed "pegged" pants as well as I couldn't get them off or on easily over my feet. Oh well, I was a nerd. I didn't really develop and interest in pop music until folk music became popular and I took up the banjo.

Still, my college roommate had the White Album, and wow... I really loved it. Still do.

susan t. landry said...

oh, marylinn, how fascinating. these family threads, how they continue to bind, even as the weave loosens, changes shape.

Heidrun Khokhar said...

Now it could just be she also misses you. But it seems we do recall some events by sounds that are associated with that time.

JeannetteLS said...

It's so nice to read something about a positive, sweet memory of one of the relationships in our topsy-turvy mish mash we call familiies in the USA. I'm a stepmom. The middle wife.

My ex-husband's niece and nephew are the only two people in his family who kept me. I have not seen them in years, but we still send FB notes and occasional cards. I am their aunt.

I hope that somewhere Gwenn remembers you with the same evident affection.

beth coyote said...

I want the red Spitfire!

toomuchaugust said...

oh, i was the step-mom in one of those flashes except it lasted for a few years and except that we never actually married. this post with this song- says what i hadn't been able to pin down. and what susan says about how the family threads continue to bind, even as the weave loosens- yes.

if i were gwenn i'd be thinking of you.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Jayne - The next indicated thing seems to be my only functioning compass. I've almost learned to stop questioning it. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Rubye - Thank you. Fortunately, we are not required to explain our responses to music. This song changes my vibration. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Robert - I was always the most distant opposite of cool, still am. Consistent in something anyway. In a former life, the White Album came out just before a long road trip through Mexico, by which time we'd already memorized most of the songs. Most of my Beatles affection is after-the-fact, though not all of it. The banjo seems a very challenging instrument; good for you.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Susan - They do still have the ability to bind, even though far from conscious thought. I think Gwen first appeared after reading a posted poem, "I Wish I Had More Sisters," for once I did. What composites we are; sedimentary in geological terms. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Heidrun - I know that scent is said to be the greatest trigger of memory but for me, music might win that contest. I hope she does think of me. Having a bigger family was really a joy, however briefly it lasted. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Jeanette - I'm happy to know you are still connected with your niece and nephew. It takes so little to blow a family to pieces, so much to hold it together. Much as there is about the internet that annoys me, it has done so much to restore ties that seems lost forever. I am grateful for it every day. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Beth - It was the second least freeway-worthy car I ever semi-owned, but so classically red and definitely sporty. In an earlier life, I was part (community property) owner of a Morgan Plus 4. THAT was a car. If I lived somewhere peaceful and small, I wouldn't mind a roadster (dream car: MGTC, really dream car: a Cobra) but not in LA, not anymore. Give me locking doors and a real roof. Yes, I've grown cautious. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Sherry - I can't say why THAT was the song; it just was. There is something so wrong about family being that disposable, that forgettable. We all become collateral damage. It was not Camelot, but it was a brief shining moment. I wish I had done a better job of staying in touch. xo