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 Category:  Biographical Non-Fiction
  Posted: July 15, 2021      Views: 281
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BethShelby is retired from the printing and commercial art field. She is married and has four children and three grandchildren. She and her husband presently live in Tennessee.

Painting, photography, and writing are her passion. She has ha - more...

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Chapter 130 of the book Remembering Yesterday
More changes for the Shelby family.
"Emptying the Nest" by BethShelby

For new readers, who may not have read my author notes, this is written in a conversational way as I talk to my deceased husband. When I refer to someone just as "you" this means I am addressing my husband, Evan.

As Christmas of 1992 drew near, I went through my usual process of trying to make special happy memories for all of my family. Over the years, I had worked so hard, shopping, decorating, wrapping presents, baking and preparing the dinner, that I had stopped enjoying Christmas. I was usually worn out by the actual day. I made a lot of extra work for myself by trying to make sure no one was disappointed. Everyone, including you, seemed to love Christmas, but I did most of the work. You did help with the cleanup, for which I was very grateful.

This time we had Christmas dinner and the opening of presents on Christmas Eve, because I had to work around other people’s schedules. Jane planned to do her dinner on Christmas Day with Don and Kimberly, so I changed our celebration to accommodate her. Carol and Glen were both here for the holiday this year. Lenny was always invited, and he came, but I could tell by the way he and Connie were acting, something was definitely wrong. He acted ill at ease, and didn’t stay long after we ate. Connie looked miserable. After dinner was over, Connie told me they had broken up, and that this time, it was for good. She said the breakup was mutual, but her teary eyes told me it wasn’t what she wanted. I’d never seen her quite so miserable.

I don’t think she got any sleep that night. She and Lenny were on the phone for several hours during the night, but apparently if they were trying to work things out, it didn’t work. She said she told him that she never wanted to see him again. By morning she was a wreck and Christmas Day was a bummer for everyone. Carol and Glen were leaving to go back to Florida, and Connie wanted to go with them. She had decided she wasn’t going back to college, even though she was registered. She wanted to move to another state and start over again.

Carol was okay with taking Connie back with her, but we could tell Glen was anxious to leave. We convinced Connie that she would have to talk to someone at the college business office and try to get her registration fees back, before she could leave town. Carol told Connie they would be coming back soon, so Glen could apply for a job in Nashville or around Chattanooga. He wanted a nursing job where he could be working with heart catheters. She told Connie they would take her back then.

Before Christmas, we had told Christi she needed to get her own apartment. Staying out until two or three in the morning was getting on our nerves. She agreed to move out, and she had been looking for an apartment she could afford.

Don and Kimberly had been looking for a house to buy in Georgia. They had found one which had been repossessed, and the bid they put in had been accepted. The people who lost the house had trashed it before moving. It was a fairly new house, but they gouged holes in the walls, broke stair rails, ripped and stained the carpet and tore a toilet off the wall. Few people had bid on it, because of all the damage and knowing the cost of repairs would be expensive. Don knew he could do the repair work himself. Now they were waiting to see if the loan would be approved.

Don was taking his time about finishing his degree at Life Chiropractic College. He wasn’t taking as many courses each semester as he could have been, and he and Kimberly were using the student loan money for things other than tuition. You
and I had always avoided debt, and we were afraid they would be so deeply in debt by the time he finished, that they would never be debt free. It was no longer our problem, but we couldn’t help being concerned about them.

The New Year of 1993 started with things still up in the air about what Connie and Christi would be doing, and also whether Don and Kimberly’s loan would be approved.

Christi went to Alabama to meet Denny’s parents. Connie applied with several temporary agencies for work, and you and I went to Mississippi to see our folks and have a belated Christmas with them. We also spent some time at our place in the country, trying to finish up the repair work we’d done on the house and get it ready to rent.

Not long after we got back home, Carol called in tears to say Glen wouldn’t agree to let Connie move in with them. Connie felt as though the world had crashed in on her. She was so afraid if she didn’t leave the area, she might run into Lenny with another girl. She didn’t think she could handle it. Even at the mention of his name, she would go ballistic.

Christi found a place to rent in a large apartment complex, and she told Connie she could move in with her, if she would help with the rent. The place had two bedrooms, two baths and a kitchen-great room combo. Christi had lived on her own before, but this would be the first time for Connie. I was relieved she wouldn’t be so far away from home.

Suddenly, you and I were alone in our large house. It would take us some time to readjust, but our children weren’t very far away. They would still be able to pull us into their dramas. As the days went by, we would soon learn how true that prediction would turn out to be.

Evan is 64 and a retired drafting supervisor from Chevron Oil.
Beth is 55 and is presently working with a local printing company.

Carol is 31, a nurse at Florida Hospital in Orlando. She is married and living in Florida.
Glen Egolf is Carol’s husband. He is 28 and soon will get his nursing degree from Southern College in Orlando.
Don is a twin. He is 30 and attending Life Chiropractic College. 
Christi is Don’s twin.  She is working as a receptionist at a chemical plant and doing massages on the side.
Kimberly Dye is Don’s wife. She is a nurse working in Atlanta near Don's school.
Connie is our youngest daughter. She is nineteen. She is in her second year in college.
Lenny is Connie's boyfriend.  He is a Junior in college.



The book continues with The Down Side of Caring Too Much. We will provide a link to it when you review this below.

Author Notes
I'm continuing to recall memories of life with my deceased husband, Evan, as if I am talking aloud to him. I'm doing this because I want my children to know us as we knew each other and not just as their parents.
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