Looking for answers to life's questions

Once again, mom sent me out to find my sister, now four years old. Mom’s hands were full and she wasn’t moving as fast as I could. My sister also did not want to be found or confined in any way. The pursuit of freedom was her agenda in the world, along with a good time.

I looked outside first. Outside was the place to be. When that search was exhausted, I looked to the playroom. As I reached the fourth floor I looked into the playroom on our side of the building with no luck. There was another playroom all the way across on the second side of the building with the long hall housing maid’s quarters. I would head that way just in case.

 

A reminder of what it looked like.

We never saw the inside of those tiny rooms because they were always locked as was the common bathroom for them. That was not the case this day. Someone had left the bathroom door unlocked. There, leaning up on the sink was my little sister, trying to figure out how to turn off the hot water but the handle had become too warm and water was running everywhere. Lots of water. She told me her hands were dirty so she wanted to wash them. I quickly shut off the taps and walked her all the way across the top of the entire building and down the other side hoping to get her dry enough that the parents didn’t notice.

Unnoticed by our parents, no questions were asked when we slipped in the door. They didn’t notice things like my sister sneaking sips from their Cognac glasses while they played cards with friends either. She was much easier to put to bed afterward so I wasn’t going to tell.

I never gave the water incident another thought until several days later. I was up there again and noticed the wood floors in front of the bathroom and most of the way down the hall formed a little hill. The floor had lifted up in a way that you almost couldn’t walk on it. I knew, just knew, that this was a result of my sister letting the water run but I just did not know what to do about it. So, I stayed silent. Speaking out would have brought extreme consequences to my sister.

As it was, we were getting ready to move out of these apartments and back to the States. No one ever found out about the floors while we were there and my sister played outside.

For some reason, the move to the States slowed her antics down. Maybe it was because she was getting older as were my baby brothers. With less available for her to get into,  life became a bit less chaotic. She continued to tromp through life at full barrel, swinging off vines in the woods behind our Georgia apartment for the next five years.

Can you see it yet?

At the same time, my memory of her later antics started to fade. There were times that I would catch her doing something I knew would get her in big trouble and I would paddle her as only a preteen could and tell her not to do it again. I did not want heavy hands coming down on her. Her exuberance fed me.

Life was never easy for this child that refused to fit in any box. A creature of her own making, she is out to show the world that she will live life on her terms. And so, she has; with all my love.

From my heart to yours,

Marlene Herself

Comments on: "SUZY Q The Maids Quarters" (37)

  1. Dear Marlene, you have chronicled these early years of your beloved sister with so much love and respect for who she is. It really shines through. I paused at the end of reading this, thinking how very fortunate she was to have you there looking out for her and even standing between her and parental wrath in these early years. You had a pretty tough childhood and took on the mantle of responsibility very young – had it thrust on you really. I wonder, did your sister remain a free spirit all her life, has she found joy in her life and contentment as well? I hope she has. I see the determination, the ‘why should I?’ stance in the photo and I think yay for her. It might be a tough road, but it paves the way for others! Much love xoxo

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you for your kind words, Pauline. Yes, that was my role in life. To protect the children. She got it the worst because of who she was. She is exactly the same to this day. Gentle and tough all in one package with a huge heart and great love. She has worked tirelessly to make a stand for acceptance. One mind at a time. We still spend at least part on one day a week together. Thanks so much for stopping by. I appreciate your kind words here. Hugs and love,

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s a tribute to your love for her that you’ve never become resentful of either her freedom of spirit or the way you constantly had to extract her from her scrapes. She must have grown up into a wonderful person…

    Liked by 3 people

    • She is exactly the same as when she was little but she has a heart of gold. I’m still trying to take care of her. We have been helping each other since she came into my world.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. “The pursuit of freedom was her agenda in the world, along with a good time.” What a free spirit little Suzie Q was. I’ve been looking forward to your next installment, Marlene. I love these stories. Sipping Cognac! Yikes! You were/are a great big sister. I love that photo! These stories need to be compiled into a book. Enjoy your weekend! xo

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Ahhh, such love and character in these very moving words!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Marlene, I’ve loved these installments, and must admit to being a bit sad that they’ve come to an end. As one of your lucky readers who’s also met your sister, I have the added benefit of knowing a bit of what she’s grown into. I agree that she’s lucky to have you in her life, then and now. I’m sad for both of you that you had to play the role of mama instead of sibling at such a tender age. My love to you both. xo

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    • Thank you so much, Alys. She always told her therapists that she’s the way she is because she was raised by a five year old. 😉 We laugh about it but we both know to truth of it. I think it was a soul contract so I could help her do her work here. She’s been a good steward of that work. I’ll pass on your love. She was here yesterday. 😉 I’ll see her again next week. Love and hugs.

      Liked by 2 people

      • As you know, I completely agree with your take on why you two came here together. (a soul contract). I was a second Mum to my siblings from when I was two onward. My parents did do the parenting, but with nine of us and Dad often working away from home Sun night to Friday night, or else being home at night but driving up to three hours each way, Mum definitely needed some help around the house. My brothers (the next three siblings) helped with the outdoor chores and later with dishes and more. I think, looking back, that it was common in those days and was a way of training kids to be adults. I’m grateful for it myself. I recently read that now they have ‘adulting’ classes. (yes, I spelt that as they did). These are to help young adults learn all the skills they need to live independent lives. Apparently they aren’t being taught at home anymore. I find that quite appalling! I love the attitude you have toward your sister and to your role in caring for her, then and now. You are a great example!

        Warm hugs and lots of love. ~ Linne

        Liked by 1 person

      • You do get it, Linne! That’s what it was like. My mother was ill prepared for 3 little ones so close in age that she was often in a state of overwhelm. Under the same circumstances, I probably would have been too. My dad was also mostly not at home. She was doing so much alone with no support system. I agree that it made me a better adult and I feel sorry for those that don’t know how to work through such things. Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I consider it a fortunate circumstance. I was ready to handle all life threw at me. Love and hugs back to you.

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      • (((Marlene)))

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  6. I love reading about your sister, and the impact she had on those around her 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Your story is very nice, really. I wonder what your sister thinks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • My sister calls me almost daily and we talk about everything. She will be delighted when she sees these stories compiled and knows they are being written. They help her understand her life a bit better. I am trying to get them together as soon as possible.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. “Her exuberance fed me.” I love that. You were her protector, yet her personality (and being your mother’s helper) was the pay off for you. Should we all be so lucky to have such a wonderful big sister. It’s amazing that your astuteness at your young age kept her from further trouble. What a wonderful, last installment to your Sister series. I’ve enjoyed reading your posts. Thanks for sharing. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Marlene, thanks for another Suzy Q story! It’s really special to have a sibling this close, and for all those years. And I’m sure glad she had you in her corner all these years! Hugs to you both!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Sabine. It’s the last story. I have more during her later years but those will just be for the family. I may include them in my own story. If I can take the time to write it. Have a zen Sunday. I’ll pass on the hugs and send some back to you.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh dear, ruined floors and none the wiser. Good job Marlene! It does help that you moved across an ocean too, which must have been quite the trip in those days. Do you feel like you missed out on your own childhood being a surrogate mom? I would think you must have been very mature for your age. It sounds so worldly to be school abroad. xK

    Liked by 1 person

    • My first move across was at age 4 1/2 so it was not a new adventure, just more people to do it with. 🙂 Maybe I’ll tell about that adventure later. I was never going to have a childhood so I don’t feel like I missed out on anything. I came into the world old, knowing things I shouldn’t know. I took care of my mother as soon as I was old enough to walk. It was why I came into the world. Most of my education was so fragmented that we were always behind other children so we made up for it by being adaptable. I learned early that I had to educate myself outside of school. I also had to parent myself which is why I read so many self help books. I missed a lot but don’t feel like I missed out at all. It’s a bit hard to explain. Been thinking about you a lot these days. Hope you are doing well. Giant hugs and love.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Is this the last of these stories?! I’ve so enjoyed them and the partnership the two of you have had, all your lives. The wild child and the old soul in a sister’s body–that’s you two! I loved the detail about the sips of cognac making it easy to get her to go to bed. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, these are the last of my memories of her as a child. There are other antics as she matured but they are of a different nature. I will include them in her book but not on the blog. Thank you so much for stopping by and enjoying the stories. Yes, she was quite the little tippler. 🙂

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  12. Another wonderful Suzy Q post! She was lucky to have you, Marlene. You never squelched her spirit as you protected her. I’m so glad you two still remain friends today. Thank you!

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    • Thank you Jennie, for stopping by. My last Suzy Q story and I am glad we are still friends too. It’s unconscionable to squelch a child’s spirit. Too many want to do that. My sister was not going to let it happen. Neither was I.

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  13. Oh, Marlene. Your Suzy stories make me smile and I so appreciate the tenderness which is expressed. You two share a very special bond. Have a great week, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I’m so glad no one found out about the water damaged floor boards! That definitely would have been very pricey to repair at least nowadays it is. Your free spirit of a sister was and is very lucky to have you!! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • We both agree she is lucky to have me. 🙂 I’m lucky to have her though, too. 😉 The money would have been out of the question to fix them as we had none. Dad would have lost strips over it and that would have left us with even less money. It’s not like she unlocked the door intent on malicious mischief. Just doing what little kids do. Thanks for stopping by, Sarah.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I was the oldest of three brothers and later, two sisters. Mom simply didn’t want to parent, was the impression I got, and I was told to look after everybody. It started from an early age, apparently, because Mom told me stories – laughing the whole time like it was some hilarious joke – that she taught me how to prepare and warm bottles safely for my baby brother, three years younger than me, and then she no longer got up in the night to feed him. She said I could handle cloth diapers at that time too. I don’t remember those things, because it was too early, but I always felt like my brother Travis was tied to my soul. Maybe it’s when we share these life-critical moments that bring us closer to our siblings. Your heart is purer than mine, for sure. While you felt it was your calling to love and support your sister, by the time I was 16 I had had enough and viscerally resented being mother to all these kids when it was my time to play. Luckily, the boys grew up pretty resourceful like me, and kept themselves entertained and somewhat out of my hair. But there is one sister who suffered as a result of my resentfulness. I wish I could have have the generosity of heart that you had.

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    • Oh Crystal! I had only the 3 to care for. You had so many more. My mother did the best she could but was always so overwhelmed. I do know what you mean when the tell you the stories like it’s a normal way of life. It wasn’t our job but we did the best we could with it. It didn’t happen without cost to us and them. I’m not close to my brother’s but I’ll see my sister all the way through with a little luck.

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  16. Loved your story, Marlene. What a good and protective big sister you were! I’m also the big sister and just spent this month with my sister in Sweden. We talked a lot and remembered all kinds of “stuff” from our childhood, one remembering one thing and the other another thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Those memories are too easy to lose. That’s why I’m writing them down now. I’m sorry your sister is so far away. Glad you could spend a good bit of time with her. Time is so precious and so are the memories. You are quite a good writer (I read your book a couple of years ago) so maybe it’s time to compile the memories? 🙂 Something to think about. Thanks for stopping by and sharing the sisterhood.

      Liked by 1 person

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