Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2267366-THREADS-WITHIN-MY-TAPESTRY
by SSpark
Rated: 13+ · Non-fiction · Family · #2267366
Introduction to the collection. Come meet my family!

These are our stories, colorful memories clamoring to be set free. Woven in yarn made of thick Texas cotton, the fibers speak of a time that came and went as a wisp of smoke; a time we cannot get back but will never forget. Can others laugh about kids wielding shotguns or stealing a pony, or finding a demon head in the oven? Some can talk about having witchy mothers, but how many of them became stars? Few can point to great-grandparents known as fun loving apples, or a grandmother who accidentally spent sixty-five years of marriage with my grandfather.

Families, like the people within them, come in all colors and sizes with personalities ranging from barely there to bright orange. Ours registered the brightest of bright orange, a neon sun not content to glow yellow, and I have the stories to prove it.

I am the story keeper


Age is a great equalizer, and though some fear her, I find her charming – a magic pencil that sharpens bright memories and softens sad. This perception is a gift, presented in my childhood by my Nanny, my mother’s mother. She was the original story keeper, and she tutored me to take her place. Nanny still fills my soul, though in remnants since her death. Her philosophy, “Never worry about your age; each birthday is a new chapter in your book,” has been the rudder which guides me through the river of life. Still waters or raging rapids, it’s all the same river.

In order to navigate the stories within these pages, it is important to know the crew. First are my parents, John and Thelma Prescott; a guy and a girl who met and were married for thirty-three years before cancer split them up. They were good, hardworking people who came from good, hardworking stock as far back as either could remember. They were also so much alike they might have been better siblings than partners. Both warriors, my father was a team player while my mother was competitive to the point where their union was more an individual than a team sport.

Yet, they must have moved as a team in the beginning. I was born eleven months after their wedding, Dee Dee fourteen months after me, Pete, the only boy, thirteen months after her, and Katy fourteen months later. Although we are close in age, I was two years ahead of Dee Dee in school, and was always bigger physically, so I stood out. She, Pete, and Katy were stairsteps in every way. That, and the fact I was tethered to a desk at school while they roamed the neighborhood, gave Dee Dee full rein to position herself as Prescott kid ringleader. She was a natural commander, with a wild streak that ran head to toe and shoulder to shoulder. Pete and Katy instinctively fell in behind her. Trouble scared the hell out of me, but the other three would jump right in, like hogs to a mud hole.

Looking back, many of their antics are funny, but at the time I wondered if I had been switched at birth. I was content to sit at Nanny’s feet, soaking up family history, while the other three were out, making theirs. The thing is, they weren’t bad kids; they were simply ruled by imaginations so vivid they could not be contained. We were Texans, our neighborhood was the wild west, and the sheriff’s office sat in our back yard. The sheriff and her trusted deputies made sure law and order reigned. Their law, and their order. Unless Mama and Daddy were home. When Mama and Daddy were home, they remembered who was really in charge. But when Mama and Daddy were working, Dee Dee took over.

Dee Dee was a cute little sheriff, a light-haired tomboy with a long neck and stiff spine. She usually held her shoulders back and her head up, not afraid to look anyone in the eye. Two nick-names have followed her through life: Boney and The Indian. Daddy called her Boney because of her straight, boy-like build. Mama called her The Indian because of the way she would stand, silent and stubborn, with arms crossed in front of her, refusing to react when she was in trouble.

Pete and Katy held supporting roles during our younger years. Pete was an all-American kid with wide shoulders, usually sporting a crew cut and a broad, easy smile. Katy was the baby, a blonde-haired cherub whose big blue eyes were always wide with wonder. She was our princess and we all spoiled her. When they grew older, Dee Dee’s deputies sought out their own adventures, but their first decade and a half belonged to her.

As I struggled to navigate life’s winding river, there were times my quirky family embarrassed me. I sometimes thought I was the only sane one in the group. Between parents whose bond I could not understand, siblings who seemed nothing like me, and a life that compared to nothing I read about, I thought I grew up in a dysfunctional family. Age convinced me there is no such thing. There are only fluctuating shades of normal.

Time has a way of sharpening our focus. Ordinary memories, fibers tinged in beige and white, fade until they disappear. Only the most colorful live on. As I near the river’s end, I turn and find it was the fibers from my bright orange family that formed the rich and colorful background in the tapestry my grandchildren will inherit.

And I am grateful for them.

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