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Tribute to Extended Family
by Beth Fiedler
09/06/08
Not For Sale
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Tribute to Extended Family by Beth Ann Fiedler, ©2008 Beth Ann Fiedler 3/64. All Rights Reserved.

Our life choices do impact the lives of others. Two cases in point, my sister Marjorie marrying Wayne and my mother marrying Hans. In both instances, I was given great gifts from these choices.

Even before my sister Marje married her husband Wayne, they would take me and my brother Sonny with them on their dates while my mother worked. Because we had spent so much time together, it seemed like they were our parents more than anything else even though they were only about a decade older than us.

You have no idea what that meant to me.

Marje and Wayne always liked dogs and we were often accompanied by one in the back seat of Wayne’s car squished between me and Sonny on the way to the quarries, Marquette Park or even the drive-in theatre. When we were out on a sunny weekend afternoon when $5.00 could get enough gas in the car to ride around in, drinks for everyone and even a pack of cigarettes, we would always end up with enormous amounts of dog drool on our laps.

You have no idea what that meant to me.

When they had kids-Steve and Angie, I felt more like they were my little brother and sister than their aunt.

You have no idea what that meant to me.

When my mother married Hans-I received a stepfather who has been there for me in my life when no one else seemed concerned, even when my own father was alive and long after he was gone.

You have no idea what that meant to me.

Often times, he did not say much. I can honestly say that I never heard him complain even once though he took on a house full of kids when he married my mom. He simply worked long and hard.

You have no idea what that meant to me.

It is not hard to be grateful to someone who did not prod me with questions or admonitions when emergency surgery kept me from working in Jacksonville, FL even though the rent was due. He just simply responded as he was able. More recently, after being stranded in Pennsylvania and trying desperately to get back to Michigan to finish out the last semesters of my Master’s degree, he did not make me beg like a dog but simply said, ‘No problem, I can do that.”

You have no idea what that meant to me.

When it was ‘Chicago cold’ in the winter when I was little, I remember that sometimes on weekends when he didn’t work, I took comfort in watching football games on tv. It was pre-‘da Bears’ and I had a secret inclination for the Minnesota Vikings with Fran Tarkenton and the ‘Purple People Eaters’.

You have no idea what that meant to me.

During the summer months, we watched baseball. Though he hated to drive and still hates to now, he trekked through the southwest suburbs of Chicago to north of the city to my first baseball game at Wrigley Field to watch the Cubs play. I have been to more than a dozen different parks since then and the number is still climbing, but I can tell you that was one experience that hooked me on baseball.

I have to say, my love for sports, particularly baseball, is more than just a love of the game. It is founded on a memory of someone in my life that did not have to be there but chose to stick around anyway. That is something that is hard to express in words. But I hope you have some idea what those early choices meant to me.




If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! TRUST JESUS NOW

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