Monday, July 31, 2006

Uncle Billy, et al, pieces of my mother's life

Not sure how to get this daggone double line to go away......
 
My family lost my Uncle Billy, William Douglas, while he was a teenager, POW in the Korean "Conflict" is how he died, enlisted at 17 (shh) and died as a teenager.   I hope he had a girlfriend sometime in his life, yanno, and I know he got a chance to drink tho, if he'd wanted to.   Well, pre-18, he wasn't "allowed" to sign up to die, or be drafted, but he snuck in, so he could pay the foster care payments for my mother and their younger sister, so they wouldn't be adopted out.   Seriously.   My mom can barely talk about him sometimes; it hurts so much that he died over there.   I can only guess that his somehow getting enlisted underage might have something to do with how he's now listed, with an extra S on his official name, at the Korean War Memorial info in D.C., and I don't know how it's listed in The Punch Bowl.   The Army had him listed as Douglass, but I found out info so that my mother could try to get that corrected officially.   He SHOULD be able to still have a cross planted in Arlington Cemetery, even w/out his remains that remain in Korea for all we know.   The crossing of the guard or whatever it's called, for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, it is for all of them, Billy, too, just a KID for crying out loud.  
 Billy bought my mother her first (only?) bicycle, too:)  That was a big deal. 
 
God had some reason for him, for that, I suppose.  I don't know WHAT, but had to be something.   It did get him out of Maine.   He was my guardian angel for a while, until my (paternal) Grandmother Betty died, I know that.  And, I know Grandma is there for me now.   My maternal grandmother, Alice, died when my mother was 9 years old, aftera long illness, kidney trouble....... (used to play piano at the silent movies "in town.")  My other maternal uncle, Duncan, was a carrier and his children inherited that.   This uncle Duncan died at age 45 from a heart attack while shoveling snow.  Somehow I didn't really "feel" that until recently, me turning 45 in November.   (Five children in their family, one boy, Edward, died in infancy, one elder sister we call Lucille but that's her middle name, the older brother, Duncan, and my mother and her younger sister, Vesta.  Yeah, get a load of those names, lol.)   Sometimes the youngest two girls would live with my Great Aunt Anais.   Ultimately, the family was reunited, my paternal grandfather regaining custody of the youngest girls (the others on their own), and somewhere in there, he got remarried.   My mom had at least one stepbrother, too, whom I think I met once.  I did know my stepgrandmother.   My mom wants to show M that house when we visit Maine this summer.   I remember it well, and it's just one more reason I love a home with a nice porch:)  That one went all around two sides of the house.  
 
I also loved playing at the farmhouse of my Great Aunt Anais' and her husband:)   I should ask my mother if she was her mother's sister, or her father's.  I'm sure I knew once upon a time.  Alice and Anais could have gone together as sibling names, so maybe that's it.   My cousin Dougie and I would race around, climb the windmills and play in the barn, ride the tractor (w/ adult drivers), and it was especially fun to torment our younger siblings, lol.   Dougie would have turned 45 this summer.   He and my paternal grandmother meant the world to me, only M means more, and rightfully so that she should.   I think I still have the green mittens Anais knit for me once Christmas.  
 
One of our cats, one green eye and one blue!, was born on a Memorial Day weekend, so we named him Billy.   Sometimes M jokes and calls him Billy Bob, but, he's not really.   Not sure what Billy would think of his namesake, but baring my ever giving birth to a boy, hey, life goes on:)
Dag, need to pick up his photos.......

1 comment:

  1. onecrabn3lilfishJuly 31, 2006 at 6:06 PM

    What a history.  You should write all of what you know down in a book for when M is older.

    Amy

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