Who’s Going to Take You to the Doctor?

We had lunch with the other Reverend.  It was so good to see him and his wife.  I get a kick out of seeing my mom and dad let down their guard and be silly and naughty and just themselves.

The recalcitrant brother and the nephew left right before they got here.

My mom and I had a long talk because her doctor told her that she absolutely cannot be driving, except to work and back and even that, he’d rather she didn’t.  And I reiterated my position that they should stay in Illinois for as long as they can, enjoy being so close to my grandma and my Aunt B. and her family and within easy driving of my Uncle B. and the folks in MIchigan, and then, at some point that only they can say, when they’re old enough to want to be close to their kids, but young enough that they can get used to living a new place, they need to NOT MOVE TO GEORGIA, but think about moving here.

I told Mom to consider how the recalcitrant brother cares for the people who are dependent on him and to ask herself and Dad whether they want to be dependent on him watching out for their well-being.

Things with both nephews are so bad I don’t know how to tell you about them–in one case because, if what’s threatened is accomplished, I want it to seem unpremeditated, so that the kid can have some kind of life later and in the other case, it’s hard to know how serious it is–no one has heard from my sister-in-law and nephew in weeks.

It’s disconcerting.

To hear this stuff and to sit there feeling like “We must act.  What can we do?” only to look over at the person who you’d expect to be feeling this the most deeply, to be the most troubled by the state of things, and to see him…

I don’t know.

I about can’t stand it.

The important thing is that I’ve been as clear as I can that, if they want someone to take care of them, they need to move themselves near to the people who can take care of them, and not the people who can’t.

Feel-Good Friday, The Future Will Not Understand the Past Edition

I love this song and Mom and I were laughing out asses off at the video, so I think it will count.  The best part, of course, is imagining what people of the future will make of it.  No one, I don’t think, will ever believe that Nashville was so homophobic.

Our Family Tree May End Here Today, Though

My brother is attempting to fix our dripping tub.  Avoiding a repeat of the last time he attempted to plumb for us, I insisted that Dad supervise.  That, of course, erupted into a fight because the recalcitrant brother was all saying “I need silicone” and then Dad saying, “What kind?” and him saying “Ummm, whatever.”

Fight ensued.

And then, when my dad insisted that they look at what they were doing and make sure they see what all they need before they go to the store, another fight.

So, good times.

Then my nephew comes in here all “Why isn’t there any water?  I have to wash my hands.” and just stares like it’s somehow my problem that he’s been oblivously playing video games while a fight ensued eight feet from him.

And no one is following my orders to not bitch about the Butcher behind his back, to me.  Seriously, he’s in the other room.  If you want to complain about him, walk in there and complain to him.

Everyone’s all upset because my nephew is flunking whatever grade he’s in.  But no one seems to know why this is.  My brother is all “His mom doesn’t tell me shit and I’m not going down to the school to find out.” and I was just like “Okay, I’m done hearing about this.”  And they all stare at me like I’m crazy, but I’m like “Are you looking for advice?  No.  You’ve already decided you aren’t going to go yourself to find out what the problem is, so you know what you should do already.  Are you pissing and moaning so that you can get it out of your system so that you can work up the courage to do what needs to be done?  No, clearly not.  So, why am I going to sit here listening to you talk like this is somehow all her fault for not involving you in your kid’s life.  You had him in the car for five hours to get up here.  What did you talk about?  So, I don’t want to hear it.  I don’t like her, but Christ.”

And now I’m the bad guy.

I swear, every once in a while I will catch a glimpse of something–like this is exactly why I went into English and History.  I wanted to act out for a living the main dysfunction of my family–sitting around trying to make sense of things we have no intention of actually participating in.


All I can say is that the tub better not end up like the dishwasher, where it gets half done and then I have to nag the Butcher into figuring out how to finish it up.

Parents and the Family Tree

Having my parents here while filling out the family tree turned out to be very helpful.  I didn’t learn anything too exciting about my dad’s side of the family, thought we did get a great many of his aunts and uncles married off to the right people.

But on my mom’s side, I was able to really get some good information.  First, I had been stuck on my grandpa’s mom–Marie Corcoran.  Let me tell you, the amount of Marie Corcorans who were born in Illinois at the turn of the century or right before is pretty dang large.  And they apparently all have mothers named Mary.  But I was able to discover, while showing my mom the census records that listed her uncles as small children, that Marie’s dad was born in South Carolina and her mom was born in Illinois.

Well, the amount of Corcorans who were born in both South Carolina and Illinois and who had a daughter named Marie?  One couple.  William and, of course, Mary.

I even found William’s parents–James and Bridget–who came to South Carolina from Ireland.

So, that was fun, because before yesterday, Marie was basically just a big question mark.

But!  More excitingly, having my mom here to help with her dad’s dad’s people–the Riches–was very helpful.  We knew the basic outline of the story–that Grandpa Bob’s people had gone out to Colorado and then there was the Dust Bowl and so they returned to Chicago.

And because Grandpa Bob was born in Colorado, we were able to find his birth place–Arapahoe, Colorado.

Mom said that it wasn’t just Grandpa’s immediate family who went to Colorado, but the whole family.  So, I looked in the census records for all the Riches in Arapahoe, Colorado, and read down the list until we hit a Beatrice and Mom shouted “I remember my dad talking about a Beatrice!”

So, I traced Beatrice’s family tree, found her dad–Leonard Rich, who had a brother Robert, and a brother Clayton and, Bingo!, that’s Grandpa Bob’s dad!  (So, we’ve complicated the story that Grandpa Bob was named after Robert Louis Stevenson–since apparently he had an uncle Robert as well).  Well, once we found Leonard’s branch of the family tree, we were able to discover his (and Clayton’s) dad–Frank–and Frank’s dad, also Leonard.

And we could follow the Riches on their westward trek–Leonard born in New York, Frank born in Michigan (where we were supposedly notorious socialists), Clayton born in Iowa, and Robert born in Colorado.  Interestingly enough, it seems that it was Frank who hauled the whole extended family out to Colorado.

Then they mostly came to Chicago, which was, interestingly enough, not a “back” as they had never been there.