The Day before Thanksgiving.
Nimbus hovers over
Billie gently takes your hand
Sine wave flattens
Forgotten memories shine bright
Roots strong as Damascus steel
You are home with Father now
Monday 30th 2016 Memorial Day
The day has come
Sun rises and falls
Just as those whom stood tall
They were called
As we recall
Shadows of past
It was a warm summers day as most days are in California. The conifer tree in front raining it’s needles and cones. The rose bush displaying new blossoms filled with red, white and pink petals producing perfumes of heaven.
The walnut tree lives in back, a gigantic one at that, starting to shows signs of maturity a few more months and they will be ready. The peach trees that are in back as well showing signs of seasons end.
People coming and going some with smiles while others more serious.
A lady took Mom to the back of the house to talk, while my brother Steve and I stepped out in front near the Conifer tree. The air was still as we talked to each other. It was peaceful on this warm day in July.
Out of nowhere, a strong wind came up. I did not feel it on my entire body, only as though it were passing through my head and shoulder region and then it was gone just as fast as it came in. The leaves on the Conifer tree stopped swaying as well. That was weird.
My brother Steve and I looked at each other not saying a word.
We knew what happened. We rush back in our house, and Mom in tears. The people that were coming and going are on their phones chartering, yet, I don’t know what they were saying as though their voices were drowned out; like a fuzzy photo-distorted if you will.
I stand here in a dark hallway with only a silhouette casting shades of gray
yet, you believe it is he that stands there.
I sit here contemplating life’s goals, hands and facial expressions that further your suspicions.
At times, a nightmare producing cries of torture throughout the house only strengthens your convictions, as I ponder your suspicions.
The voice from beyond haunts my mind as a gentle tap taps my soul.
Are you here? I yell out.
Receiving no confirmation, hesitations of the still air waiting with anticipation to only hear silence and compliance of a reality come true.
Have I become you from the dark?
I walk to the black box upon the television, read the name that is mine.
I stand here and you encased in a box surrounded with flowers of love.
The final days and last photos with my Dad.
The photos are true in every form showing what Cancer will do to a person. I did not take these last few days well as you can imagine, he was my hero and mentor. You have been warned, photos are below.
Reconnecting with Family – Under A Sad Event Part 1
Those who read my blog, will know that I recently left Sioux Falls, SD to attend a funeral in California. As I mentioned before, Sheila was my paternal first cousin and my Dad’s favorite niece. Those of us who were raised or around her were blessed in everyway for knowing her. I created a virtual memorial at Find A Grave so that she will never be forgotten and so that other relatives who were not able to attend may find the virtual memorial. For those who do not know what Find A Grave is – here is the definition: [Find A Grave is a commercial website that allows the public to access and add to an online database of cemetery records.]
Sheila, whom I addressed as Aunt, was a strong willed individual. At birth, I remember my Dad telling me she was born premature and very tiny. I was reminded while in California that her nickname was Inky for she was in an incubator for a month or two before coming home. They used a dresser drawer to place Sheila in and that became her bed for awhile. She survived and became a person whom we cherished. Later on in the early 90’s Sheila suffered a major heart attack and she was not expected to live long after that, yet she did. Hit with another ailment, she was not expected to survive more than three months, yet she did. Sheila was a fighter to the end. May we grow our own strength of survival from her.
Tuesday July 14, 2015 1:30PM
During my stay in California with my cousins, the day before the services I was fortunate to have finally met my first cousin Karin and her Mother my Aunt Patricia whom I have never met before. This side of the family comes from my Mother. Patricia is my Mother’s sister. The visit lasted for about an hour and it was a very good visit despite the nerves of visiting with a part of your family that you thought would never happen. We caught up on the regular stuff that most would and talked about what my Mother told me about growing up in the Bradford house and compared notes per say.
I must admit I was taken by surprise when I saw them face to face, for cousin Karin has the same hair color as my Mother. When I heard Aunt Patricia speak, the tone and the manner was the same as my Mothers. Stay tuned for part 2 of this posting
Update using Gofundme
I am very grateful that I received my first donation using Gofundme, still along way to go.
Although it is hope against hope, I am staying positive that this will happen so that I might pay my respects, share stories and reminisce the loss.
If you haven’t heard, Delta has a contest for free airfare, I entered that as well for they will announce the winner by the 12th of this month.
Here is the link going to their facebook page:
While, I am on the topic of airfare, Southwest Airlines is offering airfare as low as $73.00. This will not help me but maybe one of you can use the deal.
Here’s the link for Southwest Airlines:
The below photo is a generation photo of Moms. Left to right. Aunt Sheila, her Mother Mary (Aunt Mary), Her Grandmother as well as mine, Grandma Loreto taken in Colusa, Ca.
Funeral Service Update – Seeking Help
Here’s the scoop,
I just received word that services for my Aunt Sheila will be on the 15th of this month in Colusa, California.
I am trying to raise money so that I can attend the funeral. The current airfare from Sioux Falls Sd is $873.00
The average cost to drive there and back-basing fuel at three dollars per gallon and a car getting twenty seven miles per gallon would cost $400.00 on the low side.
25 h (1,717.1 mi) via I-90 W and I-80 W: Sioux Falls, SD to Williams, California by car.
I created a gofundme page at http://www.gofundme.com/yzck6p4
Any help would be appreciated. Thank you sincerely.
Here is the Obituary notice:
Obituary for Patricia Sheila Reister
Patricia “Sheila” Reister passed away July 6, 2015 at Colusa Regional Medical Center at the age of 69. She was born on November 5, 1945 in Colusa. She was a lifelong Colusa County resident.
Sheila worked as a cook at Colusa Regional Medical Center for over 10 years and Travelers Inn for several years. She enjoyed playing Bingo and cooking.
Sheila is survived by her children Bill Reister of New Hampshire, Bob Reister (Linda) of Los Banos, CA, Sonia (Russ) Wilson of Phoenix, AZ, Ed (Cyndy) Reister of Colusa, CA, Toni (Tom) Ballestero of Peoria, AZ. Brothers Rick Wilmoth of Colusa, CA, Clyde Loreto of Fresno. 19 Grandchildren and 38 Great Grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her brother Jonny Loreto and her Mother Mary Wilmoth.
A celebration of Sheila’s life will be held at 10:00a.m. Wednesday July 15th at the McNary-Moore Chapel 107 5th Street Colusa. Private burial will be held at a later date.
Memorial contributions may be made in Patricia Sheila Reister’s name to the Colusa Regional Medical Center Foundation 199 E. Webster Street Colusa, CA 95932
A Heavy Heart
Yesterday, I received news, news that most do not like to hear or face, similar to being a parent and getting that one to three AM call regarding one of your children.
Even though, we knew what would transpire, the bricks crumble down crushing your windpipe and breaking the water valve–It still hurts even though you know it will happen.
Born as Patricia Celia Aguilar Birth 5 Nov 1945 in Colusa, California, we called her Aunt Sheila. Sheila was my Dad’s favorite niece. Sheila is my first cousin but out of respect due to our ages as children we were told to address her as Aunt Sheila–and we did so.
Sheila was a person that would drop what she was doing to aid her family. My brothers and I were small meaning needing to be supervised. My mother rest her soul had a gallbladder surgery in the late 70’s when the use of laparoscope was not approved until 1988 in the USA. My Dad asked if Sheila could watch us while Dad had Mom in the hospital and he at work driving tractor trailers. She did so bringing along her daughter Toni my first cousin once removed to help her in some degree. Aunt Sheila not only just watched us but also took care of all the house shores while my Mother was in the hospital. A person dedicated to family.
My first experience eating Menudo was one evening at her house in Williams, Ca that was made with Tripe, my cousin Bob told me it was from the lining of the cow’s stomach-as my nose went up in the air, but it was good.
Some say that a photo is worth a thousand words, this cliche I believe for this one photo says a lot. I will miss You Aunt Sheila. You will not be forgotten.
I only hope that I can make to it your funeral to be with family at this time.
Mans best friend
Mans best friend most of the times do not get mentioned in obituaries nor is there anyway to really place them on a family tree. In my opinion, there should be a platform to add our favorite animal friends, so that they are remembered for they do become part of our family. The photo is of Nisha a California Wolf and German Shepard mix. I used the keywords most of the times because some genius people would make up a last name for the animal so that the deceased best friend could be listed as a surviving relative. That is one way of getting your best friend mentioned in the obituaries. Nisha could become Nisha Rios in my case.
How did my friend get her name? While at Butte College, I studied martial arts with Patrick Haley, Michael Weldon and Larry Reynosa himself as my mentors and teachers, because of my fondness for martial arts and Ninja films, she was black and white and could sneak up on you in the shadows so, Ninja + Shadow = Nisha. I did not have to train her for she is the one that trained me. Five in the morning she would softly get on the bed and straddle her legs so not to hurt my arms as she silently crawled closer to my face. She would then softly lick my face in her effort to wake me and if that did not work she would bark letting me know it was time for her to use the facilities.
At the time when I living in Willows, Ca, I was outside with Nisha and my Mother came out to pet Nisha. There was a rather large deep hole in the yard and when Nisha saw my mother getting closer to whole, Nisha would adjust herself and cover the whole with her butt so that my Mother would not trip. Nisha was amazing and smart.
One Idea I have, although there are some minor league ones out there already, is for a platform similar to what Find A Grave use for our ancestors. Just a thought.
Family dynamics -A candid look into my Mother’s life Part II
I will be adding another video today on how to restore old photos but, I also wanted to finish up on an earlier post. I believe I left off with the year of 1951 so lets begin there.
Year 1951, my Mothers Father recently died on September 21, 1951. During my research to locate records, I found a marriage index showing my Mother married this man in May 10, 1952. My Mother was born in 1939 which would make her thirteen years old. The record shows the estimated birth to be 1936 adding three years to her age which was the legal age to marry with adult consent and the partner had to be at least eighteen or older. Prior to this marriage my mother was living with a family by the name of Dixon. I got two different stories. One from my Mother saying she was pawned off to the Dixons who basically raised her so to speak, yet had to show up once a month for the Welfare headcount check so that her biological mother could get her monthly check. One of my Aunts with brief conversation on the subject basically confirmed what my Mother had told years ago. Yet, another Aunt informed that all siblings got along. The one Aunt stating that everyone got along good was the youngest of all the eleven children, she was only around five years old when the adoption so to speak transpired.
|Name:||Virginia L Dixon|
|Estimated Birth Year:||abt 1936|
|Marriage Date:||10 Mar 1952|
|Marriage Place:||San Francisco, California, USA|
|Spouse:||Prentice R Sircy|
Ancestry.com. California, Marriage Index, 1949-1959 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.
The record also shows a last name of Dixon. The marriage was not a good one from my understanding from the stories passed down to me. During her marriage, her husband allegedly kidnapped her son and took of out of state. I imagine with the aid of the Dixons, retained a lawyer to help my Mother at the age of fourteen recover her son. My Mother was put on a plan and flown to the state where her son was. She ended up in a court building and asked many questions which I can only guess what they were. The Judge ordered the child to handed over to my Mother. Her son comes in wearing coveralls, no shoes and no shirt just the coveralls. The child my brother was head to toe covered in dirt from what I have been told. I can only imagine what most parents would go through in there mind let alone at a very young age. The rumor is that they divorced or the marriage was annulled however I have found no records showing this as proof.
Fast forward to 1958, My mother would have been nineteen years old, she showed up to her mothers house, had a brief visit and her mother gave a hairbrush as a keepsake I suppose. My mother intentions as to live at the house with a boyfriend of hers. The last name of Silva comes up but no proof of that either. I am not sure what conversations took place that day but my Mother ended up leaving. My mother told me that she lived in Oregon when she was nineteen, perhaps due to the conversation my Mother had with her mother caused her to move to Oregon. I do not know but the information gathered supports the theory. During her stay in Oregon, my Mother was almost strangled to death by a man perhaps the person by the last name of Silva, I do not know. From that day forward, my mother could not stand to have anything around her neck -even on a cold day.
There are still missing pieces of this puzzle, yet with information gathered one can make a good case as to why she had become a nervous person. The slapping incident, small living arrangements for a family of that size and the new information of grandfather going on drinking binges and telling stories to scare his children and the park exposure incident, marrying at a tender age and having her son kidnapped, almost being strangled to death, some male siblings abusing her and one trying to molest her. My brothers and I may not have grew up rich, but I am grateful that we did not have the childhood that my Mother had.