These last few months have been very trying for me. I have had to adjust to my daughter and granddaughter moving out. This alone could have sent me over the edge a few years ago but now I can honestly say I roll with most of the punches that life swings at me. I have felt blessed to live this life God has given me and am so thankful for my many blessings. I try not to sweat the small stuff. That is unless it concerns my sisters or my mother. I can be overly protective and sometimes very judgmental. I remember being afraid and always working. I expect more from all of us because we have so much knowledge of what can go wrong with life. We know about divorce and poverty. We have experienced child abuse and ridicule. I believe every one of us walk around with something from our past that has a tendency to affect our future and I would like to see that cycle end. When my mom married my last stepdad Ward my life changed. Here he is with Beth on her confirmation day. For the first time in my life I was never worried about safety and my mothers love or her judgment. He gave me courage and the will to look at things from the outside. To this day if someone says one word about him not being perfect it makes me sad. I know that quiet man had faults,we all do but because of him and his willingness to change our life is so much better. My mom complains about his transgressions sometimes and I feel like she is angry with him. I could do the same thing about my past but what sense does that make. It is what it is. I try to remember the good times. Granted they were far and few at times but they were there. Linda and I having our babies Linette and Loretta. Seeing Lori when Daddy snuck us up to the hospital after one of her many surgeries and the miracle of baby Lana that we would run off the bus to be the first one to hold her. I hold everyone of those memories so close. They are precious to me. I don’t want those girls to ever be hurt. I don’t want my mom to have bad feelings about any of us and I want us to realize how lucky we are to have each other still walking and breathing when there are so many families that are broken by death way to soon.There is a rift in this family right now and the longer it goes on the easier it is to continue. My mom was only seventeen when she started having kids so a lot of times it is like she is a sister instead of a mother. Then there is the fact we are all women and you know how feelings are with the female species. I can get my feelings hurt with The Work Horse and the poor guy doesn’t even know it.
Here he is in his Sonny Bono days. The love of my life and sometimes the pain in my neck but always my hero. God help him for putting up with me. Sometimes it isn’t about who is right sometimes it is about who can swallow their pride and remember their blessings.That is what I want for my mom and my sisters. I am not the perfect sister or wife or mother. I have made many mistakes but for quite a few years it has gotten easier and easier to let go of bad feelings. It is exhausting to be hurt and mad. When I leave this earth I want my family to remember me with a smile and know whatever I said was because I loved them and wanted what was best for them never to judge. I don’t care who is the favorite or who does the most. All I want is peace and harmony for a family that so deserves it after everything they have been through. The thing about a disagreement that carries on for too long is people tend to forget about the content and just remember the hurt. How stupid is that when you miss the person and your pride won’t let you move forward. I know as a mom I have been mad at my kids and sometimes haven’t talked to them. I can tell you it is the worst feeling in the world for me and for them. We talk about it now and I am so thankful they accept that I made a mistake. Parents should never close a door on their kids. Siblings should never not use the closeness of their past to render the richness of their future. I want to learn from my mistakes and be a blessing to my family even when I insert my foot in my mouth instead of having someone put theirs in my behind.
Last week Bethany and I had a conversation that left an impact on me. She is in the Navy and married a guy without telling us. After we finally met him her dad and I knew he was not going to work as her husband. He quit his job. He stayed home and played video games and thought of ways to spend her money.She made excuses for him every time we talked to her. We were angry. One night in bed The Work Horse told me we were done worrying and she would come to her senses in her own time. He was right and now they are divorced. It took her a long time to right the wrong but she did it. I hope she learned a hard lesson and is never fooled again. I want her to know that we will always be there for her and will listen when she calls for our help. We might not like what she says but the door of communication will always be open. I need to love that girl with everything in me. She is far away in distance but as close as a heartbeat in my mind. I love her no matter what. That is what I want for all of my sisters and my mom.
Getting along is not easy but it is so worth it. Wouldn’t it be terrible if someone died and you never had the chance to mend a broken fence post. That fence is no good to anyone with a post broke.It lets everything out no matter how strong the other posts are. I don’t want to be the broken post that let all the richness of our hard labor of love out. Do you? Common sense is easy if you let it. I hope my grandkids get the chance to see all of our family at one more gathering before it is too late. When I was little my cousins and my aunts were my saving grace. I want my grandkids to know their nana’s family. I don’t want them to meet at funerals. I want them to play at parties. It can be a reality if we just remember our blessings instead of someone’s faults. There was only one perfect person born on this earth and fortunately He is part of this family and forgives us everyday no matter what we do to Him. He answers the phone when we call and opens the door when we stop in. I hope all of us remember that. Our kids and grandkids are watching and learning from us. We are their compass and they need all of us. I don’t want my little Peyton to think that someone is dying because she hasn’t seen them in church. She told me that is what happened when Grandpa Perkie died (Ward). He got sick and couldn’t come to church and then he died. That is her reality. I don’t want to explain adult things to this smart little girl so don’t make me. Give her peace of mind that her family is ok. Let’s make her fence strong and with boundaries of forgiveness and happiness. This family is a bounty of blessings and I hope all of us know it. Blessings everyone and hope to see you soon. Liz
Lori Linda Liz Lorna Linette Loretta
My mother is happiest when she has her girls all around her. My nephew Drew’s wedding is why we were all cleaned up on this day. Mom was in a sparkling dress and everything.
Mom always wants pictures of us and I hate my picture taken. I always think I am the ugliest of the girls and I figure that after I die they will remember my marvelous wit and forget that I haven’t got the Hahn beauty the rest of them have. They all pose and if they see a camera they start smiling and Lori even looks to see if her make up and hair looks good. Not me, I go running for the hills hoping that the Lord will come before they can publish the stupid picture. That is unless Lorna wants a picture taken. You have no choice but to bite the bullet and give in. She is the mom and what mom says goes. See how nice all of my sisters look? Well, maybe not Linda but she had a twig in her eye before the wedding that I had to take out. Now the reason for all of this hoopla.
I don’t know who the photographer was but they weren’t paying attention and I was doing the rabbit ears behind Mom’s head.Where did that rabbit ear thing come from? I don’t know but it sure lightens the mood for me. Who ever did it the first time was brilliant I say. It really isn’t mean because I think bunnies are cute.Who can be mad about rabbit ears on your head unless you’re weird and start thinking that they work in the Play Boy mansion or something and they wouldn’t think that about Mom because she is in her seventies.I figure if she is going to inflict the fear of the camera on me I am going to retaliate. I guess there was three or four shots like that until Linda the peace maker grabbed my head in a hammer lock. Why does she bother I say because as everybody knows you can knock her over breathing boo in her ear. They then snapped this one just before I got my hand back in place.
A few weeks later Mom goes to Walmart or somewhere and has her pictures made and she is lamenting about the rabbit ears to me.She was grumbling there were some nice shots but somebody put rabbit ears on her.Oh man! I couldn’t help it, I laughed. I just love to laugh at my mom because when I laugh her grin is priceless and such a gift to me.
She will never know who did the rabbit ears because what goes on with these sisters stays with these sisters. That broken candy dish comes to mind when we all had to stand in line and get a swat because nobody would tell who broke it. We all took one for the team and they won’t squeal on me because they never do. That’s one of the reasons I love my sisters. There are a million more but that day it was because I got away with the rabbit ears. Thanks girls. Know if you need me I still have your back. Today I say thank God for sisters.
Back- Liz Linda Lori Linda and Mom
Front- Linette Loretta
This is what Hungarian Work Horse looked like when I met him. Little does he know but he was the reason my sister Linda and I had one of the biggest fights in our life.
As you know girls can be territorial when it comes to things and my sisters and I were no different. Linda and I made a pact when we were teens that we would never date someone the other one had. I really don’t know why now but I guess at the time we must have thought it was important. She was probably worried that they might tell me she picked her nose or something and I already had enough stuff on her that she could have been sent to prison for years. We never had a problem until this guy came along. At the time I was in love or so I thought with this Mexican boy and she had her sights set on my Hungarian Work Horse(even though he wasn’t mine at the time).The Mexican boy and Work Horse were friends when Linda and I liked them and they would walk about ten miles to our house to see us. We would be so scared we were going to get in trouble because Mom wasn’t home we would send them packing. I remember one time in the winter they weren’t even there for five minutes. I can’t believe they even came back once but they did.
As time went on both of us got over the boys and went on with our life. Then one night I was at a party and the next thing I knew I was sitting on a picnic bench with this Davy Jones look a like from my sisters past. He had grown his hair out and it was longer than mine. He was so cute and so very shy. I am sure if he hadn’t had a few toddies he would have never had the courage to even talk to me. I think because he was a little more relaxed than usual his shyness wasn’t a problem. He asked if I remembered when he walked to my house to see Linda and of course I did. He told me that he just wanted to see me not Linda and I was shocked. My sister Linda was and still is one of the prettiest girls in our family. I never thought I was much to look at so it was so surprising to me that he would want to see me and not her. He asked me out and I said yes. It was like he wanted the ugly stepsister and not Cinderella. It goes to show you that love can be blind. You might say I took the last train to Clarksville that night and never looked back.
It was a few weeks later that Linda and I were in our bedroom and I pleaded my case about going out with Davy,I mean Hungarian Work Horse. I had been sneaking around with him and my nerves couldn’t take it anymore. She was furious with me and we started hollering. The name calling was at an all time high. We might have even threw a fist or two. A flash back of red marks on someone’s neck just flew in. Good gravy were we CHOKING each other? I couldn’t understand how she could be mad because she didn’t even like him anymore and hadn’t for a long time and she was dating someone else. That’s the way it was with us. We loved each other hard and when we were mad we were mad at each other hard. I know now that she wasn’t mad at me because I liked this guy, she was mad because I broke a promise to her and that was something we just didn’t do. The sisterhood was our sanctuary and I had put a dent in it.
It seems like forever ago that day happened and now I laugh about it but it shows the true character of my sister Linda. She might blow when something happens but she truly is the most forgiving person I have ever met in my life. I get mad when people hurt her and hold on to it longer than she does. She is the best sister anyone could ask for and I still learn from her forgiveness. I love her with all of my heart and always will. When God made her He broke the mold. She loved me even when a Monkee wrench got thrown in. I guess it didn’t hurt that she got the best brother-in-law in the world either. Blessings everyone.
With Christmas coming up the past few days has got me to thinking of how not only do seasons change but so do our lives.When we were young parents Christmas was so important to me because I wanted my kids to have a good holiday.I know that sounds bad but there is a reason.
My Dad was killed when I was eight years old.He was in a car accident on September 8th,my sister Linette’s birthday.We were sitting at the table getting ready to eat birthday cake when a police officer came knocking on our door.I can’t remember how the whole thing went down but I know they took my mom to my Uncle Ralph and Aunt Charlene’s that lived around the corner because we didn’t have a car for Mom to get to the hospital.We were farmed out to family as my Mom stayed at the hospital with Daddy.He died of head injuries on the 13th of September,my cousin Elaine’s birthday.Some of the things I remember so vividly and some of them are sketchy.Eternal sadness was the worst because our laughing Daddy was never coming back.Reality set in and with it came responsibility shoved on a big sister way to soon.I felt the world change in an instant and took my sisters in my aching heart never to be taken out.As kids are I soon got the new normal down pat and we got to living this hard life.After September came October and no Halloween for us.I think Mom was just used up by then.I can’t imagine having five little girls and no job not driving you stark raving mad.
We went to a little church school and as Christmas came up started to practice for the pageant at church.It was the light of the school year for me and my sisters.We always had a pretty dress and my Mom fixed our hair and had us smelling pretty from our baths.We would come home from church and Santa would have come and left our presents.This year was going to be different I knew because Mom wasn’t acting right.I would hear her crying in her bedroom at night and wonder what was wrong but too scared to go ask her.How I wish I would have went in there now and comforted her.She needed me to hug her now I know.To tell her everything was going to be OK but I never did.
The night of the Christmas program came and we went to church.Mom was so sad I remember and I couldn’t imagine why.After the program was over she packed us up and we went home.Mom was crying.We lived in a big farm house that belonged to my Grandpa Jahr.It had a sun porch that you had to enter before you went into the kitchen.When Mom opened that door she got the biggest surprise of her life.It was stacked from front to back with presents for us.More than we had ever had in our life.I really don’t remember what we got but I remember the look of disbelief on my Mom’s face.
That night we stayed up late playing and it was my old Mom back for a while.I found out many years later that she was crying because she had nothing to give us for Christmas.To this day we don’t know where the presents came from.I wish I knew so I could tell them that as a grandma now I still am thankful for the little girl in myself.That is why I think Christmas is so important to my sisters and me.That picture above is of our little kids that were about the same age as we were when Daddy was taken from us.We never wanted them to feel the sadness of a parent like we did and for the most part most of them haven’t.
What I want to leave you with today is this.Don’t be afraid to do a random act of kindness for someone.I have heard people grumble about so and so not having any money because of this or that,but the little ones are not in charge of the money.They are the innocent in all of it.You never know what kind of a Christmas Miracle you can create at any time of the year.I know the one my sisters and I got that day long ago is something I will never forget.Was it a person or was it something else,a vessel God used,I don’t know,but it is something I will always be thankful for and I will never forget it.
To my Grandkids when they read this after they get older I want you to always remember that giving is a part of growing.Kindness is one of the things that is so important to your Nana.Try not to judge.It is something your Nana has struggled with and if there is anything I want you to remember about me it is that I want to be kind.You already know that I love you now I want you to take it out into the world and pass it on.
They could make a movie of my family.I don’t know if it would be a comedy or a horror movie but I do know that people would watch and some might even shake their head.We have had the most laughs one night of our lives and at other times your sister can cut out your heart with one simple sentence.That’s the way it goes when you love somebody that much.
I am sure my mother never intended to have six girls.She says we are a blessing but sometimes I wonder.When we were little we always stuck together and it was hard for her to get the truth out of any one of us after a dirty deed occurred.A stupid broken candy dish comes to mind and she had to give us all a licking because nobody would tell who broke it.We were soldiers in the sister army.We would stick together and be mad at our mother before we would tell on each other.A stainless steal dishpan went floating down the ditch after we filled it with mud and it dried into a brick.She never knew where that went.Then there was the missing mascara that nobody took.We had to stay home from a wedding because of that.I never could understand what the big deal was when something made her so mad but now that I am a mother I get it.So does my daughter Brooke.I saw her furious at Alexis and Peyton as they were making up a story as to why they had scratches on their faces.It seems they were playing a game they had been told not to and I am back to laughing at stuff because I think it just doesn’t matter if the kids stick together because that it what kids do.They are a packaged deal and parents sometimes just don’t get it.When I was a kid I was just as scared when one of my sisters got in trouble as I was when it was me.If somebody was after my sister they better watch out because a few more of us would come out of the walls and the retaliation would not be good.
As we got older we had our fights over clothes and boyfriends but I loved nobody as much as my girls.Some of us grew up faster in the Lord than others and we kind of lost that closeness but I loved getting together with my sisters even if we all couldn’t be together at the same time.I think it is something we should resurrect.We had a sisters night once a year and my favorite was the one my sister Linette planned.She got us a limo and took us to a fancy hotel for the night.Our little sister Lana couldn’t get off work and she was so sad.We couldn’t believe our eyes when we looked and here comes Lana driving down the hotel driveway being dropped off by her husband.She left work not caring that she would get in trouble.That night was one I won’t forget.Another time we took her toilet papering houses and scared her half to death.We taught her how to jump out the window of the car so the lights wouldn’t come on.Linda and her broom with toilet paper swinging to get the stuff in the trees was one laugh right after another.At the time there was drinking involved,something we don’t do anymore and that is a good thing.I guess we did grow up but we were all adults and I think it was just what the kid in us needed because our childhood was so gnarly at times.
It’s funny how I feel even now that we are all grown up and together.When we are at Mom’s it is like time stands still.I love to be with my sisters and my Mom.I sometimes even see the green eyed monster come out of us because we all want to be special to Mom and the funny thing is we all are in our own way.I know that to be true because it is with my own little family.Everyone of your kids are your favorite at one time or another.I think God allows that so you get to feel special once in a while.When one of your kids need you they are the special one and they all need you at one time or another.That’s how life is and I am glad that I get to feel special when I need it.
My sisters tend to bring out the best in me and to those of you that read this Thank You.I love you very much.You are my special sister.
Which one one you am I talking about and why? Let me know if you can figure it out because I can’t.
My sisters Linette and Loretta are on their way home from Montana.I am so happy.They have been out there most of the summer working.This is the two of them one Christmas.They are holding hands and have been best sisters for most of their lives.They got married the same day and their kids are about the same age.My coffee pot is clean and my ears are ready.I haven’t been speaking much to save my voice for when you get home and I have been lifting weights and pole dancing just so I have the stamina to keep up with you two.
Do you remember how Mom begged you to come to her and not leave?She had a smile on her face trying to be brave but in her heart all she was thinking —If only I had a banana………………….
My therapist says I am doing very well and that in no time at all I can quit the meds and the tracking device comes off next week.I can’t tell you how much I am going to enjoy getting rid of that thing.My cankles are killing me and I am getting a rash.I know when you get home it will be easier on the rest of the family.You can take your turn on my middle of the night phone calls because especially Loretta I know has night owl fever just like me.
My beautiful guard can finally go on her deployment without fear. Do you see that shirt my son-in-law has on?He wore that as a reminder of my tracking bracelet.Quite cunning I say.When you guys are home Beth can go back to taking care of all things Navy and not all things wack-a-do trying to call home and find out if I have fallen and not be able to get up or tried to ride a bike and crashed into the old shed.If you have time please give her some love,she deserves it after having to put up with all my antics.
All kidding aside I am so looking forward to you girls being home.God’s speed dear sisters and God’s blessings on you too.Your big sister loves you and can’t wait for you to come home.I have to go now because Mom just called.It seems the fatted calf just got away on her and she almost started the barbeque pit on fire with some lighter fluid…………
One more thing,Loretta will you please make sure Linette has on her underwear?I know she is a lot older now but she might get in a hurry and we sure don’t want history to repeat itself.
God knew what He was doing when He made sisters.I love ALL of mine.
I have told you about our little Love Nest in Sebewaing that I loved and after Mom had four kids in that little one bedroom garage turned house we moved.My sister Linette was the baby and not quite a month old.About this time Mom’s Dad my Grandpa Jahr bought a farm and it had a HUGE sand brick house on it.He would pay us and we could live there for free if we did the chores and fed the feeder cattle or pigs which ever Grandpa was getting ready for the stock market at the time.I was pitching silage with Mom and Dad before I was eight years old.It has both good and bad memories attached to it and I try to focus on the the good.
The house had four big bedrooms upstairs and one downstairs.We turned a parlor into another bedroom so there was two bedrooms to sleep in downstairs.We girls slept in the bedroom and Mom and Daddy slept in the parlor.The first summer we saw the place before we even moved in my mom and grandma were hoeing the fields of that farm.They would have us take naps in the cool of the house in the afternoon with Grandma’s famous green sponge things we slept on that my sister Linette has commented on.Two girls in a closet,I guess for darkness and two in the room we would later use as our living room.I remember one time Linette and I were in the closet and we heard a like buzzing sound and then the smell of burnt wires.It seems that Lori stuck something in a outlet socket and we shorted out something.I was scared to death and knew we were in trouble.It wasn’t long before Grandma came in and started snooping around saying what happened.I was glad it was her because she never spanked and got everything under control.
It was here that the last of the little Hahn girls made her appearance and here she is with Linda and Lori.I love this picture of her and as you can see Linda is holding her hand.She always was Linda’s baby.We always had the babies with us even before they could walk.We played in that big yard and pretended with our cousins all the time.
We had this stroller thing and the babies were always in it being pushed around.I don’t know where that thing came from but we racked up miles and miles pushing our little sisters.This is our dog Tippy that I tried to train like Grandma Jahr did her dogs but I was never any good at it.We lost more dogs at that house because it was on a very busy road and there was a chicken coop across from us that the dogs always wanted to go to.We never had a refrigerator in that house just the big freezer so we always put our milk in between the door and the screen door in the winter to keep it cold and Mom would freeze and unthaw from the freezer in the summer.One time Grandpa gave Mom some money for feeding the cattle and she gave it to Daddy to go by a used refrigerator from one of his friends that had a gas station in town.She wasn’t very happy that he brought us back a little dog instead of the fridge.There was some words, I remember, but that was Dad.We loved that little dog.I finally had a dog that could do tricks and climb ladders and everything.Her name was Mitzy and we just adored her.Before the end of the summer she was killed on that crazy road down by the corner and I saw her.Daddy and I went down and got the little dog to bury and I remember him being as sad as I was.He took me in his arms and just let me sob and he cried too because I was so sad.You know I can almost feel his arms around me right now as I think of it.I guess there are some things that never leave you and that day was one of them.He hated to see us cry and when one of the animals died it was horrible.This reminds me of our cat Joey that we had in Sebewaing.I was looking for it in the winter and couldn’t find it so I told Daddy.We went hunting outside and found that cat frozen in our shed out back.I begged Daddy to put in on the stove to thaw it out and I remember Mom and him being so sad telling me that we couldn’t do that.Mom remembers that day too and her smile when we said the same words at the same time I will treasure.
That house gave me many things,my last Hahn sister that I love,many fun times with our cousins there(remember the Deeg boys)and it also brought me much unhappiness.I refuse to let the bad take over my memories.I have much to be thankful for.I know that my stepfathers were horrible to us five girls but you know what,Ward trumped them all.He gave me back my childhood memories and I hope he knows it.His childhood was terrible too and he never treated me with anything but kindness and I will treasure his memory like I do my LBS(life before stepfathers).I love my sisters and all that Ward gave me.I hope he is in Heaven telling my dad what good girls that we turned out to be.Thank you God for giving me a dad and a mom that loved me and for Ward.You have given me much Lord and I hope that I can give it to someone in return.God bless my family,warts and all.