Remember

Things just haven’t been the same ever since dad died. He was my hero, yet I haven’t been able to keep myself together. At school, I’ve been fightin’ an’ gettin’ into trouble. Even at home my brother, Jake, an’ I have been hollerin’ and hittnin’ each other every night for the past week, an’ Mom an’ I have been screechin’ at each other more than two wet cats. So, I’ve gotten well acquainted with the barn’s hay loft, but this time, I bolted to the oak fence Jim-bo built that surrounded our piece of American soil. He, Jake, an’ I were going to put lacquer on it, but drunk drivers don’t know not to drive on the left at top speed in an F-150. So as I sat down, splinters found their way into the seat of my overalls. While I sat there, I took in the surroundings around me. I could hear birds fluttering in and out of the pines, just as happy as could be, the sound of farmer Joe swearin’ an’ kickin’ his ol’, beat-up pick-up, mad as heck, from the kitchen of our house sent the temptin’ aroma of Ma’s fresh apple pie. As I sat there, warm, soft, tears rolled down my face. To try an’ ignore it, I looked up at the deep blue sky, thinkin’ about happier things, even if they were imagined. I bolted up straighter than a marine when I heard Ma’s boots makin’ their way across the porch to the fence that my dad built.
“Joey,” she called as she drew nearer. “Whatcha doin’ out here on the fence?”
“Nothin’.”
“Well, at least that makes two of us,” she affirmed as she sat down next to me. “You know…”
“No, what?” I interrupted in my sarcastic way. Then, WHACK! She hit me over the head.
“DON’T interrupt. It’s not polite. Now, I used to tell your father when he built something like this, ‘Jim, you’re my husband and I love you, but you’re crazy if you think you can build some thing this big in a week.’ And he would tell me ‘Katy, you’re crazy if you think me and the boys can’t.’ That meant he believed in you boys. And sure as farmer Joe’s truck breaks down, you three got it done. And the next day, he was boasting about you two in and out of town.
“And even though that drunk took his life and broke your arm, he still believes in you two, and I don’t think you hitting everything in sight would give him that.”
“Thanks mom.”
“Any time. Now let’s go in before your brother eats that pie.”
“Okay. Hey mom?”
“Yeah?”
“Dad was right.”
“About what?”
“You ARE crazy.” And she chased me into the house, both of us laughing all the way.





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