Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thankful Thursday: Remembering My Visits with Mary

Many an afternoon or evening, between the years of 1979 and 2005, I spent time with my neighbor Mary. Usually we talked on her porch in the warm weather, but as time went on, we would visit together in her house, no matter what kind of weather! Mary lived in Bay Bridge from about 1937 until she had to go into a nursing home in her last year of life. She knew several generations of my family, beginning with my great grandfather, Joe Orshoski, a Hungarian immigrant, down to my two little grandsons. During our visits, Mary would reflect back on her many years of living in Bay Bridge. She told of her time working at the neighborhood store, which was also a post office and a bar. She knew virtually everyone in Bay Bridge. There were two major employers in the little village when Mary was a young woman: the Medusa Cement Company and Russell Trucking. Mary had friends and family who had worked at both of them. Mary often made dishes for her neighbors' parties, bridal, and baby showers. When someone in Bay Bridge passed away, Mary contributed towards the flowers. Mary knew that my Grandpa Joe loved to dance at the Hungarian dances that were held above the store on weekend nights. She knew who was a kind person, and also who was a "son of a gun."

After Mary had a stroke, she was paralyzed on one side of her body. She had to give up her favorite pastime, which was crocheting. To try to cheer her up, I would just ask her a question, and she would take me back in time to the "good old days." She told me about the Depression, how almost everyone had a garden, and went fishing, and took government help. She told me about her vacations to Michigan. She told me about how she lost her brother when he was just a child. She told me words of wisdom, like this phrase about husbands who drink too much: "Where there's drinks, there's women!" When she got blue about having had a stroke, she'd say, "There's always someone worse off than me." As life became more difficult for Mary, my neighbor/cousin and I would go over and help clean her house, and take her lunch and goodies as often as we could. Mary was so gracious and always thankful. If Mary only knew that she helped us, as much as we helped her! Visits with Mary took my mind off my own troubles, and I so loved traveling back in time with her many, many stories! I will always be thankful for my visits with Mary, and I miss them so very much.


Harriet said...

You were so lucky to have such a wonderful neighbor. I'm sure you still miss her, she sounds like a great lady.

Dorene from Ohio said...

Mary was a special lady!

Yvonne said...

Hi Dorene,

I remember visiting the store in Bay Bridge. You always bring back so many memories. It is so great that you had Mary in your life.


Dorene from Ohio said...

She made my life so much richer!