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A ribbon...A memory

Rileysmom's picture
on May 20, 2007 - 6:56pm

We remodeled our house before we moved into it a year ago this month. During the worst part of the renovations it looked like a bomb had gone off in there.
This house was originally Robert's mother's home. His sister Jo Ann lived here after his mom died years ago.

Jo Ann died suddenly in 2004. Word has it that one of her "friends" gave her some bad "stuff" and it killed her. She just went to bed and never woke up.

Jo Ann was an alcoholic, she was hooked on pain killers and she smoked...a LOT. She had pets in the house, so when we came inside after she died, we were shocked.
This is the reason why we had to completely renovate this house.

I always liked his sister, but she led a tragic life. She was extremely intelligent and was a talented artist. But she struggled with her own personal demons. She just couldn't over come them. They were caused by so many things from her childhood that I don't even have the time to write here in this journal. Lots of skeletons in that families closet!

Back in 1987, a year after Robert and I started dating, his father died from illness. The news hurt his sister so badly that she got drunk one evening about 3 weeks after Robert's dad's funeral. She took a shotgun, stuck it into her mouth and pulled the trigger. Because she was drunk, the gun turned sideways and took off the side of her face. You can imagine the horror.
It didn't matter the number of surgeries she had. There was no way to ever make her look "normal" again.
She suffered with chronic pain from her injuries, so naturally she got hooked on pain killers. She never stopped drinking through all of this.
No one could save her from herself.

So much death and tragedy in one family, but it stopped with that generation.
Robert is so far removed from all that. He's a miracle.

Everything changed inside this house except a small patriotic ribbon that is pinned to the screened sliding door that goes out into our sunroom. For some reason no one has ever touched that ribbon. It's the only remnant of his sister living in this house. I think of her when I see it.

We had a small get together here just after Jo Ann passed away. What a motley crew that showed up! Her sons had her cremated. The red box that contained her remains sat on an end table with a few pictures and candles. No one even knew she was in that box that night. I looked over and someone had sat their plate of food on top of it. I'll never forget that image in my mind. It said so many things about her life. She was there in that box and no one even noticed.

I hope she's in a better place now and finally at peace.

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