Leaving the country for two weeks can only postpone the requisite trip to the Trailer Park for the holidays. Today, i’d arranged to pick up Mom for a late lunch, and had invited the rest of the clan to join us if they were free.

When i arrived at DQ and BJ’s house to pick up Mom at 2:00 pm, i found the place pretty quiet. Mom was ready to go, and said that the others were going to stay home and rest up. My brother, T, and his wife had already pinged me, saying they had plans but were hoping for a rain check. My ridiculously self-absorbed sister, S, had sent a text saying she’d like to join us.

Just the three of us at a mid-scale Asian buffet* restaurant. Mid-afternoon on New Year’s Day? The place was pretty dead, so we didn’t have to rush the meal.

Although Mom has been having a lot more trouble walking, due to bone degeneration in her spine, she was off like an elder-rocket immediately after we were shown to our table to collect her first tray of kibbles. This left me alone at the table with S while Mom was tanking up at the trough.

S presented me with a small envelope. i thanked her, and apologized for not having brought a gift this year.

S: No. This is different. Just read it…

It was a thank you card. With a check enclosed.


Years ago you gave me $700 to help me through my divorce and I don’t know if you realize how much I appreciated your help. I am finally able to start paying this back. This $200 check is the first towards repayment. I will be sending you more throughout the next few months. I apologize that it has taken me so long to repay, but believe me — I have never forgotten. Thank you so much for being there for me and always remember I’m there for you.



i was speechless. Over the past 30 years, i’ve “loaned” thousands of dollars to members of the family, never really expecting to see it again. This was, in fact, the first time anything has ever been repaid. i had forgotten about this.

S: Just sorry it has taken so long. It was what, 1991?

daisyfae: There were some pretty compelling reasons** for you to get out of that marriage! i didn’t consider it a loan! You really don’t need to do this…

S: Yes, I do. Sometimes I think the entire family takes you for granted. I don’t know what we’d have done all these years without you.

Mom returned from her first trip (of four) to the buffet, and i excused myself to grab a plate. As much to regain my composure as anything.

* Not quite up-scale, but nicer than most. Bright, clean and well-decorated. The food is also reasonably non-toxic… although i’m a little afraid of the sushi.

** Her second marriage. This was to G, the transvestite biker who later killed himself, and his dog, in a deer stand after attempting to rob a bank with a squirt gun.  This is why i don’t write fiction, folks.

53 thoughts on “Repayment

  1. I keep a lid on the screwballs (well, the serious ones!) I’ve known.
    But it’s good the S feels able to do this now, given her circumstances. Win-win, as they say.
    Happy New Year,kiddo!

    • there always seems to be a moment of redemption right at the point i’m going to write them all off completely… here’s to a wonderful year ahead for you and your clan!

  2. With a squirt gun? It would be more funny if I didn’t know ppl like this.

    Awesome about S. Such a small thing and yet so very big.

    Happy New Year, Daisy.

    • squirt gun and inflatable doll. he hadn’t really intended to rob the bank, suspect it was just an offhand comment. if he had ever made it to trial, i would guess they would have performed an evaluation on his mental condition and perhaps let him go… very sad tale.

      it’s often the smallest things that take my breath away. here’s hoping it bodes well for the coming months as we wrangle with more medical issues with mom…

      Happy New Year!

  3. That is so very cool! How wonderful of your sister to understand how important it is for you to be appreciated but not taken for granted. And the repayment is also for her self-esteem as well. It is win-win for all concerned.

    And three cheers for you, Daisyfae, for helping her when she needed help.

    May the next year be filled with similar wonders and joys, and your continuing robust good health.

    • it was a big step for her, i think. a 20 year old debt? i’d honestly forgotten it… never really kept track. don’t really care if she pays back another dime. but i think it’s something she needs to do. it’ll pay for my winter skiing adventures…

      here’s to a good year for you as well!

    • made me very happy. S and i fought a few tears just as mom was returning to the table. S didn’t want mom to know for some reason… so i left it there. even if we go back to the old patterns, i’ll remember that somewhere inside her, she knows that i’ve tried…

  4. That’s a really nice way of putting New Year’s Resolutions into practice. Sounds like it’s been bothering her for a long time.

    Happy New Year from across the pond X

  5. OK OK, I get the message *starts making a list to return the lawn mower to Aloe Vera, the chop saw to Grim Rita, the screwdriver to the Ohjays … and on the plus side, to stalk Andy Parsons from my school who owes me a crown {5 shillings or 25p in today’s rather vulgar monetary system} from a bet we had that I wouldn’t still be going out with Lo, she is a terrible Goddess after a year from leaving school – we went for a stroll yesterday 45 years later*
    Happy New Year Daisyfae! – an excellent start.

  6. What a lovely, unexpected surprise! 🙂
    It’s always nice to know that if even for a brief second, someone “gets it”!

    Starting the new year off on a good note! 🙂

    • she’s had a few moments over the past couple years. reminds me to give her the benefit of the doubt. especially the next time she gets wrapped in her ‘me’ blanket… i will not give up on them.

  7. I suggest you take that check, cash it, and immediately give the money to your favorite charity. Or frame it and put it on your wall. Karma must be served!

    • i’m thinking it’s going to pay for my winter skiing… at least a couple rounds of it. and i’m going to try (again) to let her know that her effort to acknowledge the debt and repay it is more than enough… but i think she won’t let it go…

    • the acknowledgement that i’ve tried would have been enough. the fact that she’s remembered a debt that i had completely forgotten? mind blowing…. happy new year to you and yours!

    • It was a slap at myself. Most of our interactions have been a bit painful for the past five years… It was very nice to be surprised! Amazes me that she’s been carrying this around in her head for 20 years…

    • Welcome to The Park, Barb! It hasn’t been a good stretch for S and me… We just don’t relate to each other about much… It’s been a struggle. i was blown away by this… definitely ‘win-win’.

  8. When I was a kid, a former employee of my father’s came to our door at dinner to repay $50 he had borrowed some years before. Like you, I don’t know how many of those “loans” my father made over the years, but I know it was a lot. I don’t think I have ever seen him more surprised or touched. What a great way to start a new year.

    • there are only two other times in my life such loans have been repaid – and both time by non-family members. never expected this. very sweet. just didn’t know what to say except “thank you.”

    • thanks. there’s a lot that is screwy about me. and dark. most of the good things i’ve done are motivated by a drive to balance the karma… and that means i have to work pretty hard at the good stuff sometimes… xoxo

    • this is a conundrum. because when i tell some of these family stories, people still don’t believe it… so just write what has to come out of you. i am quite fond of your rants…

      • alas, i suffer from a condition known as “mean mouth” – and can be rather vile when riled up. i pay pretty close attention to where these things are directed, as i’ve hurt folks i did not wish to hurt in the past. so lately? i’m directing them inward. which, it turns out, is also a really bad idea… suspect i should just start drinking all the time, instead of trying to keep it to weekends…

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