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Jack R Roberts

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By Jack R Roberts
Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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Still vivid in my mind as if it were only yesterday are memories of my sister Linda, and the events from my childhood involving her. My mother and many others at that time considered me to be the perfect little angel. Linda would be the first to disagree with them. Linda knew from experience that I was not the silver winged, halo wearing little boy that everyone else seemed to see. Though she wonít admit to it now, I know that back in those days she all but hated my guts, and now as I look back it is easy for me to understand why.

I am sure that it was hard for her being a young teenager with a brother ten years younger than she was to deal with. Especially since I was a spoiled brat that could do no wrong. Of course, I do believe that it was she that brought on some of the orneriness in me. I can remember my mother going to work in the morning and it would be up to Linda and my older brother, Butch, to keep an eye on me. They would make me sit in a big overstuffed chair that sat in the living room and then they would tip it over backwards. They seemed to think it was funny. Me, I was scared!

She dreaded the times when she would have a boyfriend come over to the house for fear of what I might do. My sister has always been a very proper person, and of course when she had a friend over she wanted everything to be just right so she could make a good impression. I can remember her and her boyfriend sitting on the couch talking and I decided that it would be a good time for me to play ďdogĒ. I got down on all fours and started crawling around the living room barking and acting like I was a dog. My sister was all right with it until I decided to stroll over to her boyfriend and lift a leg on him as if he were a fire hydrant (I was a very observant child). Her boyfriend thought it was hilarious. As for Linda, she almost died! Iím sure she could tell countless stories such as this.

A few years later, she met the man that she would go on to marry. He had a car and they would go out on dates, but she had a specified time that she was to be back in the house. If they happen to get home a little early, they would sit out in the car and smooch till it was time for her to come in. If she happened to be out there past that time, my mom would walk over and flip the porch light on and off and she knew when that happened, she had best be getting in the house. One night I remember, I saw them pull in the driveway long before the deadline. Mom was in the kitchen and I went over and flipped the light on and off. My sister came in the house furious with my mom wondering why she made her come in so early. Mom explained to her that she didnít flip the light. They both looked at me and then my sister ran back outside, but it was too late. He was gone.

Whenever I did something mean to Linda, Mom would always seem to stick up for me and be on my side. Linda and I would often pick at one another, calling each other the names of some cousin we didnít care for. She would call me a name, then I would call her one back. One night, I remember Mom was in the bathroom doing her hair while all this was going on. Mom yelled out to Linda to leave me alone, but we didnít stop. Finally, Mom yelled out in an angry voice telling us to stop it and that she wasnít going to say it again. I donít know what possessed Linda to do it, I guess maybe she had a bit of a bullheaded streak in her and she just had to get the last word in. She looked at me and kind of under her breath called me a name again. Unfortunately for Linda, my mother must have had the best hearing in the world.

It wasnít very pretty after that. Linda got the worst end of it, and I remember she said that she was going to run away. Mom told her that that was up to her, but if she did run away, she wasnít coming back (I think Mom knew she wouldnít really do it). Iím glad that Linda didnít run away, for even though I did put her through all the torment that I did as a child, I really did love her and I would have missed her very much.

Several years have now passed since the days of my youth, and though two thousand miles lie between us, I believe that Linda and I are as close as a brother and his sister can be. I see her a couple times each year and with every visit we will sit and laugh as we look back to the days of my childhood. Linda went on in life to marry the man that I chased away with a flip of the porch light so long ago. He is a wonderful man and I love him as if he were my own brother. They have two daughters and four grandchildren that come together to form a wonderful family. I have so many precious memories from my childhood, and of my brother and sisters that I hold close to my heart. Looking back on those cherished moments never fails to put a smile on my face. Many people have told me that I am a man with a big heart. Perhaps that is because a large part of my heart is filled with memories of times that I spent with my sister Linda.

Jack Roberts Ė December 31, 2002

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Reviewed by Janet Terry 1/4/2003
Wonderful story Jack. It brought back memories of my own childhood and experiences with my brother Jimmy. You touched my heart.

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