is the grass any bluer...

is the grass any bluer...
on the other side?

Monday, August 6, 2012

Fifty Blades of Fray

Pearl Williston Thomas and me, Kimberly Jo
My sister Karen did my family a wonderful favor recently.  She had VHS tapes of our family's home movies transferred to DVD.  The two discs are roughly 4 or 5 hours of glimpses of grins and giggles from the Thomas family years from 1955, when I was just an infant, through to 1973, when I had my son, Travis.  It shows me in my first Easter dress, with my two older sisters in their Spring attire, and how I was doted upon by both my parents and Karen and Becky, too.  It has me going to the Conner prom, Karen going to the Boone County prom with Johnny Abdon (whose Catalina was filmed for a good 5 minutes -- lol -- Dad must've loved that car!) -- oh and it includes my son as a baby, in high chair, looking adorable, at my parents' house in Boone Aire, the scenic Northern Kentucky Country Club where we lived in my high school years.  

The footage takes me -- and whomever chooses to witness it (and God bless em for it) -- on a moving photographic journey of my childhood.  Every moment is a moment of happiness, the joy of finding an Easter egg is just as genuine on my youngest brother, Tom's face in 1972 as it is on my face when I was his age years earlier when the egghunts of all egghunts went down on Holy Sunday.  Of course, we never called it Holy Sunday, nor did we think about the eggs and what they represented.  We just loved it that Mom and Dad were so proud of us when we'd find an egg.  It was a once a year no-fail chance to make the folks proud, so we were always game for getting as many in our basket as possible.  The chocolate bunnies' ears had been eaten off by that time and we were usually pretty hyper, actually we were ridiculously hyper...especially Marshall and Addison.  

Seeing those videos of Marshall as a strong, happy boy are heartwarming to see, but gosh, it hurts to know that he's gone.  I'm glad I got to see him and say goodbye and ask him to forgive my moments of being a not-so-nice big sister, but it sure does smart and sting. It sure does...  

Something else I notice in the home movies, the weather apparently didn't entirely cooperate throughout the Fifties, Sixties and Seventies in the Thomas house, because there are plenty of indoor Easter egg hunts; and poor Mom and Dad enduring a 7 kids all sugared-up. I am certain they were eager to watch our glucose energy to burn off and we'd wear down a bit in the late afternoon, perhaps naps were in order for those who nap (not me, of course)...and time to shake up some martinis.  My Pop was the ultimate martini maker, and so the skills have been handed down from generation to generation.  All of us can shake a mean martini. Gibson preferred. Gin.  Then we'd play Bridge...I was Mom's partner; Karen was Dad's -- we fixed the deck one time when they were making supper...we gave Mom all the hearts but one. It was genius...we laughed, watching Pearl's eyes when she saw she had 12 hearts.  7 no trump. It was fabulous...but late at night we had a case of the guilts and got up to tell Mom. It was not a good idea to wake her up and tell her we'd stacked the deck after she 'won' a 7 no trump hand.  Ya live and learn, though, ya know?  lol
Alan and Kimmy headed for the Conner Prom
He was the nicest husband I ever had ;-)  

So back to the movies.  It's a whole lotta of me watching for me and talking about me.  So yeah, I'll admit it, it's a vain activity, to watch oneself from birth to birthing.  It's vain to blab away my thoughts here or there, day after day.  It's vain to take photographs of myself.  Vanity, thou art the Mayor of Kimmyville ... because I know I am interested in myself.  I know I look better in pictures when I take the shot than when my more petite friends are aiming from ground level and post the ascending layers of my not-so-prettiness in their photos.  And so since this whole wanting to watch my home movies is taking up nearly my every breathing minute, should I be worried?  And if so, why?  Why should I worry?  That I'm narcissistic?  Pfft...nah.  I can trust myself with my self.  I need to know that I love me.  I need to be reminded that I am a redeemed and forgiven child of God, that my brothers and sisters are too.  I need to forgive the Kimmy who made bad decisions and sought independence at a young and foolish age.  

I need to love the Kimmy who did become independent and made sacrifices, choices that were so very much worth it.  I need that etched into my memory with the lovely decades of life in living color Kodak moments, and so it is that I am very grateful to be reminded in the best way possible -- not through my memory or my sister's or brother's memory, but through the eyes of my Dad, watching us through the movie camera and recording the times that were better than we could ever possible remember unaided by these films.
I will post more photos from my
life once all my family has a chance
to see the DVDs and enjoy them. To
see my Mom, Dad,
brother, Marshall
and my sister, Becky
alive and in living color is simply
a wondrous gift that I appreciate so much
more now than I ever could have before.

I guess I have no point to this blog.  Again.  Except, I will repeat my life's message: if you love someone, tell them. Tell them now, before it is too late.  

Coz I love you, Lambchops,

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