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 Category:  General Fiction
  Posted: September 4, 2021      Views: 163
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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...

She is a top ranked author at the #69 position.

She is an accomplished novelist and is currently at the #8 spot on the rankings.

She is an accomplished poet and is currently at the #56 spot on this years rankings.

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Chapter 138 of the book Remembering Yesterday
Life among family members moved at different paces.
"Currents of Change" 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.

It didn’t take Don very long to paint our great room. The wallpaper had to come down first, but it had been up so long the paste was loose, and it came down quickly. The room looked much nicer with the fresh paint. He even put in a small decorative window near the ceiling. He was with us less than a week.

After he went home, he found another construction job, but he hated working for other people. He wanted to sell their house and use the money to buy another fixer-upper, but Kimberly was against it. She said with a baby on the way, she needed more stability in her life. We agreed with her about that. They decided they wanted the baby delivered by a midwife, rather than a doctor. Kimberly was determined to have the baby at home.

Connie had a lot of male friends who she did things with, but her main boyfriend, after Lenny, was J.P.  We didn’t know very much about him, other than the few things she mentioned. She was with him most of her free time. We did learn he had a temper, and they argued a lot. He wanted to meet us, but Connie was nervous about him being around us. I’m sure she was convinced we wouldn’t approve. He was nothing like Lenny. She did bring him over at Easter, but the visit was brief. It really bothered us, because we knew she was spending many nights at his apartment. 

Another thing happened in Connie’s life about this time, and it left her stunned. The eighteen-year-old sister of Connie’s best friend at the time got mixed up in a murder-for-hire plot. This sister was dating a divorced doctor. Connie knew the sister well and had worked with her at the furniture store. The murder-for-hire had been all over the news and had happened in an upscale neighborhood near us. The man, who the doctor’s ex-wife was dating, was murdered. The ex-wife was shot as she slept, and the three bullets that entered her brain, left her blind in one eye and with a bullet permanently lodged in her brain.

The doctor, who masterminded the plot, was eventually sentenced to life plus twenty-five years. The eighteen- year-old guy who agreed to commit the murder for money got a life sentence, but was pardoned by the governor in 2019, after having served twenty-five years. Connie’s friend’s sister, who was a party to the plot and had helped solicit the killer, completed her sentence in 2002, after eighteen years. In 1994, however, she was still confined to her home with an ankle bracelet awaiting trial. Connie continued to do things with her friend, hoping to cheer her up over her sister's troubles.

After Connie lost her job at the furniture company, she was able to get a job working at a cappuccino cart in the mall. She convinced Christi not to give up the apartment so quickly. She told her moving home would mean she was a loser, and we would make her life miserable wanting to know where she was and what time she would be getting home at night. Christi ended up borrowing $250 from Carol, so she’d have enough for another month’s rent. Christi was continuing to date many different guys, but she found some minor problem with all of them. She still wanted Denny back. She got excited when his friend told her Denny had broken up with the new girl he was dating. He'd said Christi was a "b$#ch", but this girl was even worse.

Carol had become friends with a man she met at a Bible study group. It turned out Christi knew Neil, and he had gotten a massage from her. He was shocked when he learned they were sisters. He told Carol he considered few women actually beautiful, but Christi was one who was. He couldn't believe the sister Carol had said so many negative things about could actually be the same person. 

Carol had a friend named Pam who lived in Chattanooga. Her husband, Phil, had been in Glen's nursing class during his first semester. The four of them were close and had taken trips together. They were all in the medical field. Pam and Phil's marriage was in trouble and they were separated. Pam had found an apartment she planned to move into, hoping her husband would eventually join her if the marriage counseling could bring them back together. The apartment was still under construction and not ready yet, so she moved in with Carol temporarily.

Early in May, Connie called, very depressed. Her good friend, Shawn, had died in a car accident the day before. He was drinking and driving. Shane was someone she knew from high school. She was also depressed because the kiosk where she was working had been sold, and the lady who bought it was giving her problems.  Connie said she had no money and needed to buy expensive climbing shoes and other climbing equipment for camp. She said she could no longer afford to live in the apartment and was going to start moving her things back home. 

She always brought all her laundry home to do, but Carol and Christi were bringing their laundry home as well. My machine was constantly going. Christi's was especially bad, because she had the sheets from the massages she did. The girls were even bringing their cars home to use our hose to wash them. At least, we got to see them all regularly.

Connie only had two classes left which she hadn't already dropped. They were nutrition and psychology. She got a C in one and a D in the other. The semester was a total waste. They were both nursing classes, and since she wasn’t likely to keep that major, she wouldn’t really need them. If she got back to college the next semester, she was going to have to get serious. Otherwise, this was an expense we didn't need.

Another thing that had happened during April of 1994 in this country was the death of ex-president Richard Nixon from a stroke, and a little later, the death of Jackie Kennedy Onassis. She had attended Nixon's funeral a week or so before her own death. She was suffering from cancer.

On May twenty-third, Connie left on her way to Alabama for the summer camp. She had spent the night before at J.P.'s house, and he was very unhappy because she was going to be away for most the summer. We were glad she was leaving J.P. behind.

She had no way of knowing what a change of direction her life would take as a result of the summer experience. Life can change quickly, but for us and our children, it was never dull for long.

Evan is 65 and a retired drafting supervisor from Chevron Oil.
Beth is 56 and has had a variety of jobs. She is presently working temporary jobs.
Carol is 32, a nurse, working at a hospital in Chattanooga and living in an apartment.  
Don is a twin. He is 31 and just graduated from Life Chiropractic College. 
Christi is Don’s twin.  She is working as a receptionist at a chemical company and doing massages on the side.
Kimberly Dye is Don’s wife. She is a nurse working in Atlanta.
Connie is our youngest daughter. She is twenty-one. She is a sophomore in college and only taking two courses.
Glen Egolf is Carol's ex-husband. He lives in Florida and works in Orlando.
J.P. is Connie's current boyfriend.  Sean is another of Connie's friends.
Pam and Neil are Carol's friends.


The book continues with Family Doors Swing Open Again. 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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