Wednesday, January 23, 2019


(Everything in this post is a fact.)

Today I’d like you to meet one of my favorite people; my late sister-in-law, Jackie.  Let me tell you what kind of person she was.  We both used to give New Year’s Eve parties every year.  I was having my hair done in the morning, in preparation for my party, when I suddenly felt ill.  By the time I got home around noon, I was dizzy & nauseous.  (NO, I wasn’t pregnant.)   I called my doctor & he ordered me to bed.  We were expecting about 50 or 60 people in a few hours & I didn’t want to call them & cancel so I called Jackie & asked her what I should do.  She said I should stay in bed & that she would be right over.  (She lived about 3 quarters of an hour from our house & was having her own LARGE party that evening.)  She came over & set up everything beautifully for our party--no small job!!  She came into my bedroom & told me everything was done & she was leaving.  I said, “Thank you so much!!” & she said, “What for?”  She thought everyone acted that way.  They don’t!!
            She was a world class sleeper.  I was visiting at her house one afternoon before I ran some errands.  She told me she was very tired & needed a nap--right then!!  She asked me if I could run my errands & come back to visit when I was through.  She told me she really wanted to talk & if she was still sleeping, to wake her up.  I finished & went back to her house.  She was still asleep, so I woke her up & WE TALKED FOR A HALF HOUR OR SO when she said she was very sorry, but she had to go back to sleep.  I told her that was fine & went home.  She called that evening & asked why I didn’t come back like I’d promised!!

            Jackie was supposed to be my Maid of Honor (I already loved her that much) but by the time we got married she was very pregnant & didn’t think she could stand up for that long.  We still kid my nephew about attending our wedding in utero.  Speaking of “in utero”, I was expecting our first child any day when we were playing bridge with Jackie & her husband, Ben.  My water broke & we called my OB, the same one Jackie used.  The doctor said I wasn’t ready to go to the hospital yet & if I wasn’t feeling too much pain I should just continue our bridge game.  He felt comfortable leaving me in Ben’s care.  Ben was a veterinarian.  While waiting to “drop my litter” I sat on several folded towels.

            My mother called Jackie & her cleaning woman answered & told her that she was sick & resting & couldn’t come to the phone.  My mom asked Pressie what was wrong & then proceeded to tell her (in depth) how to take care of her.  When Pressie told Jackie about the call she said, in all seriousness, “I didn’t know Fran’s mother was a doctor!!”  My mom wasn’t a doctor--she was simply a Jewish mother.  Pressie apparently hadn’t had too much experience with those.

The men in Jackie’s life: Her husband was a great gardener.  I don’t know the chemical content of urine, but when their two young sons were playing in the backyard & had to go potty, Ben had them pee on the bird of paradise plants.  They didn’t have to be let into the house & the plants flourished!!  

Jackie & I both smoked--in those days, everyone did.  I was at her house when she asked bathrobe clad 3 year old Michael to bring us an ashtray.  He did, carefully polishing it with his robe before handing it to us.  I guess you learn what you see.  Another time, she was taking a bath & we were talking.  Her other son, Glenn, then about 2, kept yelling, “Mommy!!  Mommy!!”  She impatiently turned to him (she had been trying to teach him not to interrupt) & said, “WHAT DO YOU WANT?”   A big smile crept onto his face (he now had her attention) & he loudly said, “COOGIE!!”   When I could stop laughing, I got him one.  (A cookie, that is.)

My husband just reminded me of this other “Glenn/bathtub” story, which I can't leave out!!  Jackie was taking a bath & little Glenn was sitting on the edge of the tub, intently staring at her & looking sad.  She asked him what the problem was & he said, “You got no penis!!  Where your penis go?”   She explained to him that men & boys have a penis, but girls & women don’t.  She said she was a woman so she had never had one & that it was OK.  He said, “I got one.”  She said, “Yes.”  “Michael got one.”  “Yes.”  “Daddy got one.”  “Yes.”  She asked him if he understood.  He thought for a minute & his little face brightened up.  He said, “I know--Daddy buy you one!!”

I was at her house to help her decorate her Christmas tree.  She asked me to bring her a large box of glass ornaments, which she had put on top of the toilet.  I was carrying them to her when I stumbled & dropped the box, breaking them all!!  I asked her what else I could do to help.  She laughed & said I should just sit down & watch.  I had already helped enough!!
         She was one of those people who could eat & eat--which she did--& never gain an ounce.  (Don’t  you just hate those?)  We were double dating one evening  (before she met Ben) & were at Rand’s Roundup, an all-you-can-eat buffet restaurant.  The four of us had just finished off two very full plates of food, each.  Jackie got up to get more & asked her date, “Aren’t you going to eat anything?”  Her date-- a large policeman with an appetite to match--could only moan.  (A sidebar about this restaurant: They had a jukebox in the bar.  There was a small notice on it with the price.  “10 cents a play.  2 for a quarter.”  Such a deal!!)  She was once given a gift of chocolate covered ants & bumblebees & invited me over.  I was the only one she knew who would be willing to try them with her.  They tasted sort of like a Nestle’s Crunch bar.  They were good!!

       She told me about a new recipe for hors d’oeuvres that she had found.  It sounds odd, but it’s delicious.  You take 3 or 4 very thin slices of salami, spread cream cheese on them, stack them, cut them in quarters & top each stack with a small slice of sweet pickle.  Cutting the stack of round salami slices leaves you with 4 triangles, each with one side rounded.  I guess she was thinking of something else when we asked her what they were called.  She told us they were “triangle squares”--& to this day, that’s what they are.

      Ben was 12 years older than Jackie & had an established veterinary practice when they married.  They had four children quickly so he would still be around to watch them grow up.  They say life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.  Jackie passed away from cancer when she was 40 & her 4 children were still in their teens.  Her services were held in a chapel that seated around 100 people.  It was filled to overflowing & probably twice that many more mourners listened to the service by way of loudspeakers while sitting on the grass outside. She was loved by a lot of people!!  Her husband was left to raise their children & did that job beautifully.  He never remarried.  He was in his 80’s when he died.


Most of these cartoons are about seniors.  
Jackie never got to be one.

  I just made some triangle squares, Jackie.  Want one?----fishducky