Thursday, November 7, 2013

All My Little Siblings.


My eight half-siblings and Dad, 1968, Aberdeen, SD
(Cheryl is the tallest one holding the dog)

Yesterday (Nov. 9, 2013), my sister, Cheryl Beaty Smith wrote on Facebook:

Well gonna try to quit smoking today. I'm sure I’ll have one later. Gonna cut back. Just got back from a short walk. One block at a time. I don't walk slow. Got my heart rate up a little. Felt good. Fresh air in my lungs.

Dialog followed:

  • Me: I can't believe what I just read. I'm so proud of you Cheryl. Keep it up.

  • Cheryl Smith Yep I know I can do it. Just have to take baby steps. Geez where have I heard that before?

  • Me: I love you little sister.

I remember the first time I met Cheryl, as soon as I graduated from High School, I was on a bus to Aberdeen, SD from Indianapolis, IN to see my father in 1962.  (on left, Dad and I in Indianapolis, IN 1944)


My parents were divorced when I was a baby… and I had seen him some up to the age of about 3.  I had a memory of him, and it was good, so much better than the one I have of my extremely verbally abusive mother.  Most nights, growing up, I cried myself to self to sleep because of the void his absence left in my heart.  So, 19 and off I go to see him.


Dad and me, 1962.

Arriving in Aberdeen, he meets me at the bus, looks at me, and says:  “I always had doubts that you were my daughter, but seeing you today, I no longer doubt it.”  So we go home… to his wife and my five little half-siblings.  What a whirlwind of a day that was!  I woke the next morning in a big bed, with five little faces starring down at me… all giggly and smiling… and there was Cheryl… the image of myself at that age (chunky little Cheryl or Charlene???).  In all her thoughts, deeds and actions, she was me.


We haven’t kept in touch over the years, but when my computer died this year, it was Cheryl and her hubby Troy who made it possible for me to continue doing art work, continue with my blog, and continue the family genealogy.  When I got to Alaska to kayak my 49th state this August, it was Cheryl’s hubby Troy and son Keith, who picked me up at the airport. 


Cheryl and son Keith at family reunion in 1990s?


L-R: Keith, Troy, and Cheryl in Alaska
(glaciers in background) August 2013.

Then the three of them drove me from Anchorage to Seward, spending two nights in a motel, and buying all my meals. They would not let me spend $1, just so I could kayak Alaska.  I wish she could have gone out on the paddle with me… but because of her… it was a great experience.


Before picture.  We will be an “after” phone next to it later.

So, little sister, this one’s for you.  I know you will be successful in reaching your goal for better health.  One day, in the not too distant future, we will get to bike and/or kayak Alaska together.

I love you, carry on. You can do this.

Who is Swankie?

My photo
Anywhere, USA, Full-Time USA traveler, United States
In 2006, I was shopping for a wheelchair. By 2007, I had new knees, better health and by 2008 a kayak. In Aug 2013, I kayaked my 49th state, Alaska, at the Holgate Glacier and in May 2014, I kayaked Hawaii, my 50th state, to celebrate my 70th Birthday and the finale to the wonderful adventure of Kayaking America? Next up... Solo Hiking the Arizona Trail, 820 miles? Maybe. Still healing from shoulder and trying to decide.