Hi everyone, Katie here.
Welcome back to Another Mother. There's only a few chapters left and you won't want to miss a single one! All this typing...I'm going to add it to my own resume. Next time Glogirly thinks she's going to use me as a personal assistant and ghost writer, she's going to have to come up with a salmon bonus package.
Ok, here we go!
Glogirly was very curious about Jim, the oldest brother, and his family. She remembered her first phone conversation with Sharon. Sharon kept it vague, but it was clear that something had once driven a wedge into the family. Not Sharon, her mother Jeanette, or any of her immediate family had seen or spoken to Jim's family in over 20 years. They hadn't even gone to Alice's funeral because of this mysterious rift.
Yet so far, Dorothy had spoken very highly of her older brother. She admired his work ethic, his dedication to family and his deep respect for their parents. She had always been impressed by his business instincts and moral code. He was the one after all that carried on the family business. He was probably the smartest person she had ever known.
Dorothy and her brother, Jim.
Dorothy thought it was important though, to explain a few things before they decided whether or not to call on Jim.
Years ago, Jim's wife Armrel, Armi for short, had been quite mean to her and in particular to Alice. It was something that Dorothy had worked very hard to get past. Armi was kind of an outsider. She was a tiny little Armenian woman with a larger than life personality. She wasn't one to mince words. She could be blunt with her opinions and judgements. As a result, some of the family had distanced themselves from her.
Even Dorothy confessed that years ago, Armi had written some very hurtful things to her in a letter. It took a long time for her to get past those words. But Dorothy was the peacekeeper of the family. She loved her brother very much and would never turn her back on him. She had the utmost respect and adoration for her parents. Dorothy wore her feelings on her sleeve and wasn't scared to speak her mind. But to her, life was just too short to waste time on hurt feelings. Family was the most important thing. That's how Dorothy chose to live her life.
Despite the fact that some of the family still harbored ill feelings, they were all still family. Glogirly had a right to know them. It was her birthright.
Besides being the family peacekeeper, Dorothy was the protector. And with Glogirly, it was like she was still a newborn. She felt responsible for her like she had for her own children.
It was hard, but Dorothy told Glogirly that Armi had said some very hurtful things about Alice. She called her promiscuous, stubborn, and head strong. She didn't approve of the choices Alice had made in her life and probably felt as though she got what she deserved. Glogirly wasn't really surprised. After all it was the early 60's and unwed mothers weren't exactly winning popularity contests. Dorothy needed for Glogirly to understand that it was quite possible Armi would still talk about Alice in an unfavorable light. She wanted her to be prepared.
Glogirly thought again about all those possible outcomes she ran through her head before she ever contacted anyone. She prepared herself for anything and everything. Over the past few days, she had grown to love Alice through the eyes of her family. She knew that nothing would ever take that away. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Glogirly didn't want to pick and choose who she met based on conjecture. She was all in.
The plan was set. The next morning, Dorothy would call her brother. She'd ask if Jim would like to meet her for a late breakfast or early lunch. As much as Dorothy wanted Glogirly to see the ranch where she and Alice had grown up, she wouldn't push it. One step at a time. She wanted Jim to meet Glogirly first. Then they'd talk about the rest of the family.
When Jim picked up the phone the next morning, he asked right away where Dorothy was. She said she had been visiting her son in Santa Maria and was very close by. She thought it would be nice to meet for breakfast.
"Breakfast?" Jim questioned. "Well, heck...just come on up here to the house. The whole family is here and we're having a big barbecue."
The whole family was certainly not what Dorothy was expecting. She mouthed the change of plans to Glogirly for approval. Glogirly nodded. "That would be great, Jim. Say, I've got a special friend I'd like to bring with me..."
Dorothy could hear someone ask if the special friend was a man. "Ha! Not THAT kind of friend."
"By all means," Jim answered, "You know you and your friends are always welcome. We'll see you soon."
Dorothy told Glogirly to fasten her seatbelt. They were in for a ride. Glogirly was about to meet the whole family. And boy, was it ever going to be a surprise.