Astila and Aisling got into a routine getting used to having the house mostly to themselves. Debra and the twins visiting when he would be at work. Debra brought Aunt Norma with her a lot when she would visit. They enjoyed the last of the lazy days of summer taking the kids to the creek and just enjoying each other's company. One of those days Aunt Norma brought a gift to Aisling. It was a photo album filled with pictures of her father. It's an album that she had never seen before.
"I want to tell you a story. It's the story of your father. I know you have some hurt feelings over certain things that have happened in your past. The story I am about to tell you will explain some of it for you girls. You see your grandmother as you know had your dad out of wedlock. During a time when it was not something that was acceptable. So my mother adopted him and raised him as her own. Lord she loved him sometimes I think more than the rest of us. What has never been told is Who What and Why. You see she always had a thing for your grandfather. He had a presence about him. He was one of those who had a bad-boy aura about him. He was a hard worker and had a kind heart. She was a party girl to a certain extent. She liked to drink and dance. So one night at the club she got a little tipsy and decided she was going to make a play for him. Well, it worked and they went out a few times. She mostly did it because the person he really wanted to be wasn't moving their relationship along fast enough. She wanted to make him jealous. Well, they went off to fight in WWII and she found out she was pregnant. So, for the most part, you know what happened next. Before they left for the war the two men had been friends. After they came back they became enemies. Not because of your grandmother but because of your father. Once they found out they decided amongst themselves that my mother would continue to raise him. He was given little or no knowledge of his real father until he was a teenager. You have heard the story of how he fell in love with his first cousin. That's how he found out exactly who his father was. Your grandmother as you know married the man she was in love with. For that reason, he mistreated your Dad and so did his brothers. Now us older sisters adored your dad. As you know we would do anything for him. To us, he was our brother/nephew. Nothing could stop us from loving him. He was ours. Now his stepdads do brothers on the other hand. They were different. I think they did grow to care about him and you all as well. The contention was there only because he was not their full blood. It was something that your grandfather could not get past. When you all were not around things were good. The moment you got there his mood would turn sour and he would just be angry. That was not your fault or your Dad's fault. The fault lay only at his feet. This book contains pictures of a part of your family you have never met. Here you will see who you look like as a child. Though your looks have changed and you look more like your mom. Then you were like looking into a mirror of your great grandmother on that side. I used to quietly snicker at that stubborn brother in law of mine. Out of all of the kids, he had a soft spot for you. You never cared if he liked you or not you were going to get his attention and make him interact with you. I remember when you were just a few months old. He came in and you would just coo and laugh at him. You would bounce until he would pick you up. She would grumble but he always took you. I want you to have this book because I don't know how long I will continue to be around. I don't want it to get lost in the shuffle. I also want to give you this. It was your great grandmother's it's an edelweiss. It means deep love and devotion. The yellow stones are canary diamonds. Look here it has the crest of Fahrner. They are German jewelers. It was brought over by your great grandfather and given to my mother when they adopted your Dad. " Debra huffs like a child
"Why is Aisling always getting the good stuff. She got all of this and gets to keep all of the treasures too." Aunt Norma smacks her on the leg
" you know why. She is younger than you and yet has sacrificed more to take care of you and that selfish brother of yours. She takes care of everyone and everything when needed. She didn't just inherit this place she paid for since she was old enough to work babysitting. She gave up her childhood to help take care of household bills. Then worked two jobs as soon as she was out of high school to only have the money taken away. To pay for whatever your brother wanted. How do you think you went to college. Your dad didn't have that kind of money. He got it by giving her an allowance from her own paycheck. So, of course, she got this property she paid for it. So everything rightfully belongs to her. " Debra looks properly chastised. Still not done saying her piece though
"Auntie why is it that you are giving this necklace to her though why can I not have it?"
"This is meant to be given to the second child. You received your mother's wedding rings as well as your grandmother's. Did she whine and cries over that. No, she didn't. She got nothing of value that was your mothers. Did she receive anything of value from your father when he passed besides bills? No, your brother took all of that. Just because what she has now has more monetary value than what you received you are complaining. Grow up and teach your children better. This child has given much in the past and received little. It's her turn now to receive." By the look on her aunt's face, you can tell she is getting aggravated with Debra. Aisling decides she needs to defuse the situation or they will argue and auntie will leave. Then Debra will be staying at her house till her time of recovery. Leaning over she gives her aunt a warm hug and thanks to her. Looking at Debra she smiles.
"You know that this will be the only thing in my jewelry box that is from dad's side of the family. I could see about looking online and try to find something similar if you want." Debra looks at her sister her face softened.
"It's fine I'm just being a little jealous because I no longer am the center of your world. Before all I had to do was look at something and you would give it to me. Now it's like you want things for yourself. " aunt Norma rolls her eyes at the girl.
"See what I am talking about. Did you just listen to what you said? This is why I waited until she is ready to marry to give it to her." The auntie gives both of them a big hug. And they gather their things to head back to the house. When they arrive Astila and Sam's cars are in the Drive. The men have arrived home. Going inside Aisling gets grabbed from behind in a tight bear hug. Giggling at him she relished the feel of his warm arms about her. On the table, there is some fried chicken with all the trimmings.
"I figured you ladies might want a break from cooking tonight so I brought home some take out." Sam is at the cabinet getting some silverware. He remembered paper plates and bottled drinks but forgot silverware. Aunt Norma blessed the food and they began to eat talking about the school year starting in a few days. Aisling is getting excited to return to work. Though she hasn't thought about how that will work since she will be getting home about the same time as Astila.
"You know when I go back to work we will be getting home around the same time I won't have time to have dinner made when you get home." She is wondering if that's going to be a big deal or not.
"No big deal we can prepare it together. " he smiles at her and winking at Aunt Norma the older lady just smiles. Her girl got a good man. One that isn't going to fuss or complain about meals being on time. They finish the meal in a jovial mood all of them laughing and teasing each other. The older woman thinks to herself. My darling little brother, you have some wonderful children you would be proud of them. Mama and Sissy, you would be so happy to know how well they turned out despite the hatred they had to endure for something that was beyond their control. Watching her girls knowing the emotional hardships they had to endure being told they were beneath others because of their father's birth. Even her own children and at times she herself was guilty of it. Would act like they were just poor relations and their maids or scapegoats. These girls are something to be proud of and treasured. She prayed they never really have to find out why they were never allowed to know their father's family. They know enough with just this. When dinner is over the sisters say good night and Aisling heads upstairs to shower. She can't wait to show Astila her new treasure.