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You Are My Sunshine

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Posted 07-14-2012 at 09:38 PM by caninemom3
Updated 07-19-2012 at 09:09 AM by caninemom3

This time of the year always brings back very vivid memories to me of when I was little back in the mid 1960s. Summers then were hot and dry and filled with dreamy days alternating between playing games like hopscotch and hide and go seek and staying outside in my bare feet until dusk when I had to go in and get my bath and get ready for bed. On Friday nights I remember my brothers and sister and I would always watch a local TV show in our area called Ghoulardi. Ghoulardi was a man whose real name was Ernie Anderson who worked at one of the Cleveland, Ohio TV stations and each week put on a fake beard, wig, hat and lab coat and played host to a really bad grade B horror movie each week. All the kids at the time just loved his show, not so much for the movies, but for the time in between when he would be on the screen. He would make really corny jokes and "blow" lots of things up with small firecrackers. He was just ultimately cool and we always looked forward to his show each week. I never had many friends as a child. I would play occasionally with one of other children in my neighborhood but I never had a best friend of my own age, one to play Barbies with or share secrets with. One to giggle on the phone with or talk about clothes or the things other little girls talked about. I was instead really very shy and scared of the world pretty much. My sister was always my saving grace.

In those days she would take me to the park or take me downtown to the local W.T. Grant store to buy me special outfits (even though she did not make much money). She would read to me and talk to me about music and things and watched over me when my parents were too busy.

On the occasion when I would watch something that terrified me and was too scared to sleep, she would comfort me and tell me how it was just a movie and then explained how the movie makers achieved the scenes that scared me so much. I once got a Suzy Smart doll for Christmas as a child. I loved that doll so much !! She came with a desk and a "uniform" and a blackboard and she could talk. You just pressed the button in the middle of her tummy and magically she would recite.

My sister went to great extremes to create extra school books for Suzy, books on English, math, Reading, and so on. My doll was going to be a very well educated doll indeed !! Of course over the years I grew up, at least on the outside and my sister moved from our home to another city in Ohio. We stayed close, my sister and I even though it was at a distance. She went through many painful times and trials after she moved away from home, trials that if I had known were happening I would have been at her side to see her through. As it is, I did not know about many of the things that happened to her until some years later.

When my first husband died in 1992 of suicide, it was my sister and my brother in law, Wes, who were here first after I called them. They stayed with me and kept me calm and hovered very close to me. My sister took me everywhere, helping me make the final arrangments and finding a clergyman who would officiate at the service. Since David was an agnostic, I wanted to honor his wishes and not have a service which was not "him". We found a very nice Unitarian minister who graciously accepted our request to officiate. The days after David's death are a blur now, but I do remember my sister was always there. She came to my house every weekend and I was at her house a lot then too. All this while she worked full time.

Now we are both getting older still, she in her late 60s and me in my late 50s. I am still that shy little 6 or 7 year old and she is still to this day that vibrant, kind, wonderful big sister and friend I have always had and have always needed. We went to the Hallmark Ornament premiere today as we do every year. Even though the sky was cloudy and threatening rain, it was sunny in my soul for I was with my sister, my sunshine........

Nani, just remember this....

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are grey
You'll never know dear how much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away.....
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