Guest Blog Post by Pamela Smith of Babylon, Long Island, New York
(Note: In memory of Pam’s late husband, Jack Smith the book Pam of Babylon is free on Amazon until May 26th.)
This weekend will be the three-year anniversary of Jack’s death. Three years since we cancelled our annual Memorial Day picnic, and had a funeral instead. Amazing how quickly time has passed. I decided to come forward when I heard Mrs. Jenkins was considering writing another book about me and my family. So much has happened since she released Family Dynamics and there’s enough material for several more books. My boyfriend, Dan Chua suggested I write one myself and I’d mentioned it to her. That’s when she offered to give me the platform here on her blog.
I still can’t believe it’s been a year since you last heard from me. We were just planning our annual picnic when Family Dynamics ended. Another Memorial Day is fast approaching, and we are having the picnic this weekend. It’s so much more than a picnic though. Did you see the video on Youtube yet? You’ll understand what I mean when you see it. We even had dignitaries here last year, judges and friends of Dan’s in high places. It’s really that lavish if do say so myself.
The biggest news is that I’m a grandmother! Lisa gave birth to a little girl, Megan Anne last February. Everything I said about not wanting to raise another child still stands; Lisa is a great mom and I am not that involved with the baby’s day to day care. They are living here at the beach, up in the apartment above the garage. I make time for Megan when it is convenient for me. I love to babysit her, and since Dan and I are homebodies on the weekend, if Lisa and Ed want to dash out after she’s in her crib for the night, I’m happy to keep an ear open for Megan.
Lisa and Ed got married right after they found out the news…you know what I mean, in mid June. I’m so afraid Mrs. Jenkins is going to rub that in my face over and over again like she’s known to do. Anyway, it was a small wedding with just the immediate family present. Brent was here anyway because he was going to drive Julie’s car back to Pasadena. My mother and mother-in-law, Sandra and Tom, the Ford’s and Jeff Babcock attended. I didn’t ask my sisters and their families because they’d just been here for the picnic two weeks before.
Ed’s still teaching in the Bronx, but is searching for a job here on the island and then they’ll look for a house to buy. Dan tried talking him into going to law school, but he doesn’t want to have that much work with the baby here. He’s very involved with her care. His mother and father come often from New Jersey; Megan’s their first grandchild, too. I’m happy to have them here. There’s plenty of room. Mrs. Ford loves the beach and does everything she can to be pleasant and helpful. I keep telling her to relax, but she says she wants to be sure they are invited back. They’re here now for the picnic, upstairs in one of the guest rooms.
Who can forget Nelda and Bernice? Oh my God, those two are a comedy act. They seem to be getting younger in spirit, except for the more frequent lapses of memory my mother-in-law has. Both of them look great; we had to hire a personal care giver who comes into the home every morning just to primp them. But it’s worth it to maintain their dignity. We don’t have an elevator in this house, believe it or not, so they’ll be staying down here in the children’s wing for the weekend. I am expecting them to arrive any minute.
My life has settled down to a dull roar. Dan moved in here with me at the beach, and I have to admit it was a little odd having another man sleeping next to me. We remodeled the bedroom completely so that all traces of my former life with Jack are gone. I’m still not completely comfortable in there yet. Remember, Jack was away all week, so it took some getting used to having someone else around all the time. I’m grateful Dan is very involved in the Native American community here on Long Island, volunteers his services as an attorney and helps at his family’s farm. It gives me some space. I won’t say much about our personal life, but will leave it at…vavavoom!
Okay, I know you are all wondering about Brent. He and Julie announced their engagement last summer, but then nothing more happened. She moved to California in the fall and then by Christmas, came back home to White Plains. My son doesn’t say much, but he told Lisa and she told me that he realized he didn’t love Julie enough to stay committed to her. Boy, that was a shocker. They have been together since high school. I called Julie to tell her how sorry I was and that I hoped we could remain friends. The response I got was totally uncalled for. She started screaming at me, said I was to blame for Brent’s “problems” whatever that means, and that I should prepare myself for more shocking news. Then, she hung up on me. I called Brent right away, but he said she’s just angry with him for leading her on for six years, and not to take it personally. That was like a slap in my face. How can you not take it personally when someone says you are to blame for her problems? Anyway, enough about Julie. Brent says he’s going stay single for a good long while to recover from Julie.
I don’t want to say too much about Sandra because it feels like I’m gossiping. I will say she and Tom are doing wonderfully, baby Miranda is growing fast, bringing the family a lot of joy. Tom’s mother is very involved in her care. Tom’s stepmother, Gwen is a frequent visitor too. Evidently, it takes a lot of balancing on Sandra’s part to keep the two women in Miranda’s life. I know my sister would be so happy to know how well everything is going with her daughter. Now I’m gossiping.
And the biggest shocker of all is that Peter Romney got married! He met someone during one of the Save the Library campaigns; they hit it off right away and got married within a month. She’s from a wealthy family, lived in the city all of her life, and is just as perfect as Peter is. Confidentially, I thought she was a little dowdy, but maybe that is the only way she can look and stay as pristine as Peter must expect her to be. It appears that he and Sandra are working together well, since I never heard another word about her leaving the company. All I care about is that my check arrives each month.
I guess that’s all the news I have. I know Mrs. Jenkins will dig through our garbage, looking for more morsels for you. It makes me sick, but I never read her books anyway, so what I don’t know won’t hurt me.