|Little C and an early beau!|
“I was so mad at him,” sighed Margaret. “I found out he’d gotten my engagement ring as a prize from a cereal box! That Ricky!” I don’t know how my mom managed to keep a straight face. Her chatty friend “Margaret O’Connell,”was actually my little sister Carolyn, who happened to be four years old. Margaret and her hubby Ricky (we think she got Ricky O’Connell from Ricky Ricardo in “I Love Lucy”) were figments of C’s unusually vivid imagination. Mom got a huge kick out of her tiny buddy, and I think was delighted to have alone time with her when Mo and I went off to elementary school. They would sit and have tea/juice together by the hour, C an uncanny imitation of a grownup.
Fast forward to 1986. After college (still precocious, she started at 17), and working in Atlanta a few years, C decided to move north to be with us for a while. Steve needed serious administrative help with our fledgling theater company, Duet Productions, and my sis pitched right in, bringing her great organizational skills and special flair to the task (during Catholic Schools Week, when our hired actors had a ridiculous number of performances and travel, it was C who came up with “survival kits” for them, with goodies to make the week pass more pleasantly. Such a thoughtful touch never would have occurred to us.)
During her years with us in Oreland, one of my top treats was sitting in my kitchen with her, drinking coffee and eating Entenmann’s cake (our fave was an item that has long been discontinued, a fruit-and-Bavarian-cream-filled number that accounts for all the extra time it took me to lose the baby weight). We would talk about life, and I loved getting her take on world events as well as family happenings.
Later, after C had married Rob and they had moved to Lewes, DE, we had summers as beach neighbors. We would spend hours in her sunroom gabbing, java for me and a coffee cooler for her. I was just beginning to test the waters as a freelance writer, and my terrific sister gave me lots of encouragement, and even wrote up a business plan for me.
Since their move to Hawaii in 2011, I have missed my coffee time friend more than words can say. We chat on the phone often, but it is a struggle with the six hour time difference. She is still the person I most enjoy talking politics with, and her great love for, and interest in, Steve and the kids warms my heart.
What does the future hold for us? I pray we will live closer together at some point, and can resume our wonderful kitchen table visits. In the meantime, I treasure my memories of little Margaret a.k.a. Carolyn, and am so grateful that my favorite conversational companion, is my sister.
Come back soon, C! Coffee’s on, and I think I’ve figured out the recipe for the Entenmann’s!
|Evan and C---the world's BEST aunt!|