“Bits ‘n Pieces of Me: Memoirs to retain identity in the face of growing dementia” — unpublished page 04:
I was born Belinda Marie Petrin, with a nickname of “Bindy”,
and I was much loved.
My cousin Julie had been born three months earlier than I,
and she joined our family when we were both one year old.
My sister Michelle (“Shelly”) was born just before we turned
two years old, making five members in the family.
Soon we moved into a real house and added another family member;
a very special elderly lady who lived in our basement free of charge.
Julie and I spent a lot of time in the wonderland of her room,
and “My First Memories” occur there:
ROWENA H. BERRY (1884-1963)
… Long threads of black satin hair
floating gently down her aged back,
during the ritual of one hundred strokes
with a yellowed ivory brush
while preparing for bed.
The strong smell of perfume in closed places.
The soft, sensual feeling of silk, satin, and velvet on pillows.
… And being told,
Rowena is sleeping.”
THE FIRST DEATH
Mom gathered us all to her
— like a mother hen her chicks;
three little girls beside the table in the dining room.
She touched each of us briefly and looked into our eyes.
“Rowena died today at the hospital; she went to Heaven.
It occurred to me that I should too,
… but I didn’t.
Wrote the above about “My First Memories” in 1989.
Pictures from 1959.
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