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The Brothers not so Grim…. A Grandpa Tale

29 Apr

This past weekend and while my wife was away having the time of her life, and checking off another bucket list trip, I spent entertaining and being entertained by my three brothers.  I should use the names of the seven dwarfs to protect the not so innocent.  But I have spoken of them by name in the past and I will continue to do so.  But if I were to use the 7 Dwarfs names, I would claim and take full credit for being the one referred to as “Grumpy”.  It is a self-promoted nickname I gave myself shortly after moving to Florida.  See link for https://dealingwithcopd.wordpress.com/2013/08/21/old-and-grumpy/

Pictured below from left to right as you look at the picture are Jim, Grumpy, Ed and John.  Each of us has many redeeming qualities and each of us has many not so redeeming qualities.  And I could go on for words and words and words about each of them, but as they would all say “Payback is a B…. “

DSC01204

I will say that at one time I was the heaviest, but from appearances that may not be the case anymore.  But I am the one with all my original hair, and the best looking of the lot.  Ed did try to pretty himself up at the last moment running into the house to grab a Golf shirt.  

Immediately upon arrival at the house, as Ed was sipping his 1st beer, he tried to establish a “Judgment” free zone on the Lanai.  As place of peace, without the normal razor-sharp blades we normally use to cut each other to ribbons.  But even with a “Judgment” free zone, the barbs flew back and forth all weekend long.  It didn’t matter where we were or what we were doing, we were slinging barbs.  To see the smiles and grins throughout would have been a lot of fun to the fly on the wall.

But it wasn’t all about kidding each other, or sticking the knife in gently. We shared a lot of stories, reminiscing about incidents, each with a different perspective depending on the time and place in the family history.  We shared stories grandpa’s farm and about close encounters of the worst kind with Dad. We spoke of or marriages, our kids, the good and bad times.  I suspect they realize this will be one of the last visits we have together.  So we talked about more pleasant things.

The menu was quite simple.  One night we had pizza, wings, and garlic knots, another night we had bbq’d pork chops, another hamburgers and hot dogs, and steaks.  Surprisingly salads were also served during some to the meals.  And I will admit that the boys did graze right thru most things editable.  And we shared more than one drink over the weekend.  Nobody got drunk, no one got fired up, but we did talk loud, hell when we were kids we were considered the loud family.  It seems it is something we haven’t been able to shake as we have grown older.  Of the four of us I am the oldest; Ed is the youngest, with 13 years separating us.  If you think back (or at least for me) I had absolutely nothing in common with my youngest brother when I was 20 or 30, we started to become close as I reached 40, and have grown closer as more years pass.  Families are that way mostly I think, of course there are dysfunctional families, and I am sure that from time to time we were indeed dysfunctional.  But for the most part we have been able to maintain a good relationships and friendships, as we have grown.

No earth breaking disclosures were made, and while we spoke only for the fewest of moments of world events we couldn’t find a solution or come to an agreement as to a solution, sometimes we couldn’t even agree what the problem was. But we were taking to talk, to share, to be together. We managed a lot of reflection. John and Jim would sit in the corner of the lanai after dark smoking cigars, LOL that kept me in the house and out of the conversation, but what little I did catch seemed to be the quiet friendly conversation brothers can have.  One afternoon they wanted to go to the casino, I was more than happy to take them, and pick them up, but I didn’t venture into the casino.  There wasn’t much in the way of bragging, so I suspect there wasn’t much in the way of winning either.  In reflection I guess I could have taken them on a field trip to Dunedin or Clearwater Beach, but they were satisfied with the pool, and not having to venture far for a drink or the bathroom.  I can say with total honesty I am so so glad they came, I am glad we got to spend the time together we, and that we had to opportunity to share moments and time together.

Smiling here are the names of the 7 Dwarfs, let’s play a game, if you choose to comment on this post, tell me which name fits which brother best.  Remember “Grumpy” is taken: Bashful, Doc, Sleepy, Sneezy, Dopey, Grumpy and Happy.

As always if you have any questions, comments, concerns or issues please feel free to ask.  I will respond. Please take care and have a great day. Bill

 
18 Comments

Posted by on April 29, 2014 in Grandpa Stories, Humor, Pictures, Ramblings

 

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18 responses to “The Brothers not so Grim…. A Grandpa Tale

  1. benzeknees

    April 29, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    I’m glad you got to spend time with your brothers even though it was tiring for you. Sometimes we just need to spend the time with them. In your case it sounds like it was easy camaraderie which is good for the soul!

     
    • FlaHam

      April 29, 2014 at 6:25 pm

      Benze, It was in fact a good visit, but like any family (smiling) you can handle only so much visiting. I think we all realized that 4 days was enough. But I look forward to future visits. Thank you for thinking of me, and for my well being. Please take care, Bill

       
  2. kanzensakura

    April 29, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    Look at the handsome lads! I am so glad you all had this chance to be together and enjoy each other. We all need to do this with those we love. In our own ways, we need to let each know about the love and enjoy mutual history. Things like this are remembered in later years with happiness. We don’t always need long visits. Much can be done and felt in a very few days. Just get rest and take care of yourself. If the floor doesn’t get done by the time your wife gets back, that’s fine. The floor will keep. You are more important.

     
    • FlaHam

      April 29, 2014 at 7:03 pm

      Kanzen, It was a great visit, and I do love my brothers. They are all dependable, honorable men. And like me our families come 1st and foremost, ALWAYS. But I am the cute one !! LOL LOL The floor install starts tomorrow, the movers are coming to pack up the affected rooms and get the stuff out of the house. Because of the dust that will be stirred up, the insurance company is moving us into a hotel while this works it’s way out. It will be good in a week LOL. Then it’s miller time. Take care, Bill

       
  3. Chatter Master

    April 29, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    Hhhhmmmmmm…… do I dare risk guessing who is who with the 7 dwarf’s names?

    From Left to Right…

    Doc, Grumpy, Bashful, Happy

    I’m glad you had a good weekend with your brother’s Bill. I hope it gets better and better the more you think about it. 🙂

     
    • FlaHam

      April 29, 2014 at 7:23 pm

      Colleen, There are no wrong answers, but I loved yours. Smiling they have only been gone 24 hours, and I am still trying to forget the visit LOL LOL. Across the board it was a good visit, and filled with nothing but good memories. Take care, Bill

       
      • Chatter Master

        April 29, 2014 at 8:28 pm

        This is a very good weekend review. 🙂 And you make me laugh. I would say the same thing about my siblings.

         
        • FlaHam

          April 30, 2014 at 9:25 pm

          Colleen, whenever I even make you giggle it causes me to smile. It was indeed a great visit, but 4 days is plenty. Please take care, Bill

           
  4. The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

    April 29, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    Love the photo and that you had this quality time with your bros. 🙂

     
    • FlaHam

      April 30, 2014 at 9:27 pm

      Paulette, Thank you sweetie, it was a very good but long weekend. Take care, Bill

       
  5. lucysmilesaway

    April 30, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    I’d give the same answers in regards to Dwarf names as Chatter Master, but I think in the photo, you’re all giving Happy a run for his money – what a lovely picture and lovely post to match.

    It’s so lovely the way you write about them – I really hope that my wonderful relationship with my brother stays as lovely as yours in the years that come.
    xxx

     
    • FlaHam

      April 30, 2014 at 9:29 pm

      Lucy, Thank you for such a lovely note. I will tell you that it hasn’t always been peaches and cream with my brothers. As children we tried endlessly to kill each other. It was only after I joined the Navy and moved out (and had been gone for several years) did we really start to grow together. For the fly on the wall watching us, it must be a real joy. If you have a good relationship now it will carry over for the rest of your time. Even if it wasn’t you still would have time to repair it. That’s the good part, I believe you can always fix relationships with siblings. Take care, Bill Message dated 4/30/2014 12:02:56 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,

       
  6. huntmode

    May 3, 2014 at 11:26 pm

    I enjoyed reading this one, Bill, and especially the photo of you four. The resemblance is amazing – and, of course, you are the cute one. 😉 Visitors can be similar to my mother’s description of martinis – One is never enough, two is right but doesn’t feel like it, and three is way too many…. Yours might be more akin to Tequila – One Tequila, Two Tequila, Three Tequila, Floor!

     
    • FlaHam

      May 4, 2014 at 11:40 am

      Huntie, I can indeed handle the 1 Tequila, 2 tequila, 3 Tequila, and for sure end up on the floor. My brother are all good men, they all are family oriented, and all caring. A lady would do well landing one, if any were free. Thank you for saying I am the cute one. That’s important to me, especially the next time brother Ed starts bragging about him being so damn cute. Take care, Bill

       
  7. Wanda

    May 5, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    I love this photo, and I’m sure all of you will treasure it. I’m so glad you had this opportunity to visit and have fun together. I suspect you were all more or less kids again (with the benefit [or burden] of 50+ years’ experience since)–hence the teasing, barbs, etc.

    Back to the photo–I’m thinking that if anyone from Clairol saw this, they would be working hard to develop a formula to duplicate the hair color you and your brothers share. It is obviously a family trait.

     
    • FlaHam

      May 5, 2014 at 9:11 pm

      Wanda, Smiling, even the fly on the wall was probably embarrassed more than once LOL LOL. And with John out there smoking his cigar each night he was in direct competition with Bob. So you know I stayed inside while all that smoking was going on. It was a great visit, we spoke of our childhood, and marriages, and our lives in general. We didn’t talk about death or dying. We laughed, teased, and busted each other butts. Smiling, I have more hair than the rest of them combined. And it was that long about they collectively busted my butt for my weight gain, but it does look like they caught up and passed me LOL, that alone made me feel great LOL. Please take care, Love Bill

       
  8. Cindy

    July 29, 2014 at 9:18 am

    I enjoyed hearing about your visit with your three brothers. It reminded me of my three sisters and how we reflect back on our childhood growing up when we’re together. I just started reading your blog and something that I’m curious about is at what point did you go under the umbrella of hospice? My husband has COPD and from what I can tell from your stories you are in better shape than he is. Very rarely does he have a good day any more. His doctor never mentions anything about hospice or getting his house in order so to speak. I know that this disease is very unpredictable but there’s got to be a point where you know time is precious.

     
    • FlaHam

      July 29, 2014 at 3:18 pm

      Cindy, Thank you so much for joining in the journey. I am so glad that the my visit of my brothers caused you to remember your childhood times with your own sisters. Hopefully my stories have only stirred up the pleasant memories. Cindy, my posts are always open to questions, and I am glad you taken the opportunity to ask. I have been under the umbrella of Hospice since March of this year (2014), and hopefully will still be here in March of 2015. But the journey to getting here has been long. COPD as you and your husband are finding out doesn’t do you in quickly. I was officially diagnosed with “Moderate to Severe” COPD the 1st time I was diagnosed with COPD and was 15 years ago. For years I was in the “defined” Severe stage of the disease. Then I progressed to “very severe” about 6 years ago. But Cindy, for years leading up to the Official Diagnoses of COPD, I was suffering from all the “classic” signs that I was needed in the COPD direction. Being honest I have most likely been living with COPD for the last 30 years. As I said earlier I was placed in Hospice care this past March, and that was done because I had reached a point where for the most part currently available medications could not kill off the infections in my lungs. The medications slow the progress, and allow me to continue. But with each hospitalization, the disease gains ground, and sadly at some point the disease will win. But Cindy, COPD does not treat each of us exactly the same. There are so many factors involved. Your health overall at the time of diagnosis, your weight, your attitude, the doctors that treat you, heck even family and friends play a part. Doctors are kinda in that position of damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Both of my 2 prime doctors; Doc Lungs and Doc Infectious are heavy on the honesty and light on the BS, which works well with me. Breaking my arm patting myself on the back, I have a great attitude. I am going to live life to the fullest for as long as I have. I am not going to give up or in to the disease. Cindy, I hope I haven’t scared you or your husband, you never really said at what stage your husband has been diagnosed, or how often he has been hospitalized or if he is even on oxygen 24/7 (I have been for the last 6 years). And I am not a DOCTOR, I am just a person like your husband that suffers from the disease. I suggest that he builds a good strong relationship with a Respiratory Doctor (one he trusts completely), and start there. Seek and learn, and listen and follow the advice given by his doctor. And also I suggest that he never gives up. I haven’t had a good day in years, but I make each as tolerable as I can. Please take care, please continue to read my blog. And if you have other questions please ask. Take care, Bill

       

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