Friday, September 20, 2013

Annie's Song

My beautiful Annie

I've rarely talked about my Annie in this blog, maybe a mention here or there...I've been remiss!

Every family has a black sheep, one who bucks the status quo and does her own thing, and that's my beautiful cousin Annie. I was always the oddball they didn't understand, but I was malleable. Annie, malleable? Never!

We have a family event every two weeks or so, or at least once a month. All 14 of us are expected to attend. The first time Annie didn't show up, I was shocked. You mean not showing up was an option?

Annie has tattoos. An ankh on her back, a huge tribal tattoo on her arm, a panther on her leg. I made the mistake of asking why she had a lizard tattoo on her leg and she didn't speak to me for hours. IT'S A PANTHER, NOT A LIZARD!!! 


Annie has a nose ring.

Only Annie is allowed any of these privileges. My grandmother would have spanked me with the yardstick for the second time in my life if I had showed up with a nose ring and tattoos. But I wouldn't, anyway, because long ago my grandfather told me I wasn't allowed. I guess Annie didn't get 'the talk'.

My mother and Annie's mother are sisters, so, due to the way my grandmother raised all of us, Annie and I might as well have been sisters, we grew up so close to each other. I was her maid of honor, and her beautiful little girl calls me 'Aunt Michelle'.


In the month that my grandmother died, Annie and I both ended up in the same treatment facility. Annie was admitted a few days before I was released. When I think back on it, our mothers had just lost their mother, and their daughters were in the hospital. We didn't make it easy on them, did we?

While my reaction to Moma's death was nearly killing myself by falling into the black hole of depression and never resurfacing, Annie's reaction was to dive deep into drugs to numb the pain.

We're both doing better now. I still have a ways to go, but I'm so much better than I was. Annie lives in the country in a bona fide farmhouse which is too far away for my liking, but she's become so capable, I'm so proud of her. She's a wonderful mother.

She'll be 29 in a couple weeks; and always my beautiful Annie.

14 comments:

  1. We've got a black sheep, too - my oldest cousin. Minimal piercings and tattoos but he's had all the other issues you describe. Some don't get the message. Others get too much of the message. Life - complicated stuff.

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    1. It definitely is. I have to make a conscious effort to not worry about either of us sliding backwards, too, and just take things day by day. Every day is a success.

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  2. Happy early birthday to Annie :)
    And what a wonderful post this was. I hope she reads this.

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    1. Thank you!, I don't know if she will or not! Out in the boonies where she lives I can't remember if she gets internet, LOL.

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  3. She's closer in age to your daughter, right? Capable is a good way to be.

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    1. Hi Susie,
      Yes, she's been like my little sister and Chelsea's big sister! I was born in '73, Annie in '84, and Chels in '92. Annie fills the role for Chelsea like I used to fill for Annie.
      :)

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  4. Wow rough times indeed, glad both of you are doing better. Blacksheep, hmm none of those, but we cut off most of the family tree, that count? lol

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    1. Cut off most of the family tree, LOL... You are so funny!

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  5. Mitch, I think the fact that you blog speaks volumes about a capacity for profound inner health. It takes a tremendous amount of chutzpah to share these deep things in such an articulate, honest manner. I think this kind of reaching out can absolutely save a life.

    I, for one, will keep reading. Love to both you and Annie.

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    1. Suze, thank you so much, that's so nice to hear. :)

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  6. Not everyone is capable of accepting and embracing their wildly different family members; kudos to you and Annie for keeping it together. This was a very cool post.

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    1. Aw, thanks! I give the credit to my grandma, she insisted we stick together, not so much with words, but by her actions. :)

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