Thoughts and Remembrances of My Siblings

by Mary Michaud

It’s at these times I wish I had my brother Hugh’s talents with words.  However, here goes:

First of all I would like to remember one of the finest men I have had the privilege to know, my brother-in-law Art, or Artie, as he was known to the family.

As you have all heard, the first thing we heard from our Mother, after meeting Artie, was what beautiful teeth he had. And she was right – he had the most beautiful smile which he used often.

My very fondest memories were the times when I knew Artie and Sheila were coming to the Point, home. I was 11 or 12 at the time and I would talk Mom into letting me stay up until their arrival. I would head up to the attic to sit by the window at the top of the stairs where I had a good view of West Mystic Avenue where I could see car headlights.  When I saw headlights that got to the bottom of the hill and kept coming I could tell they had crossed the railroad tracks and were here!  What fun we always had.  It meant picnics, going into the boat, swimming at Misquamicut in nearby Rhode Island and playing Charades in the evening.  I remember one game in particular when I played Cleopatra with Fred, where he took the curtain to the closet as my cape and he went and got the garbage can cover for his sword as Antony!!

I would often go back to Brooklyn with them after Chris was a few years old to have a little vacation and to take Chris to Marine Park in the afternoon so Sheila could catch a little nap since she worked nights at the hospital.  I also learned a real testament to a happy marriage when, after each meal at dinner, Art would give a sigh of content and tell Sheila, “Honey, that was the best meal I ever ate” and MEAN IT!!!  He did that all the years they were married!

Art was such a wonderful husband, father and brother-in-law. A really decent man and I shall miss him but I know he is finally where he has wanted to be for years, and that is with Sheila.

Remembering my brother Paul is always bitter sweet.  Because he was my biggest brother, I held him in the highest esteem.  The sad day when he left for duty in the Navy was so sad.  He was so handsome in his uniform (he looked just like Gregory Peck) and I hung onto the clothes pole and sobbed and sobbed, causing my mother to say that if I didn’t stop crying she would spank me (??!!!!). All during his basic training he would write me, cautioning me to mind mom and help out around the house.

When I got to be a teenager and attempted to put on some very pale lipstick Paul had a fit. Told me I was too young for makeup. (I was 16 at the time).  I know all the older women in the family remember a brand that was called Tangee which was really just colored wax!!

When he and Faith got married and moved to Alaska with the National Weather Service, he would send me various Eskimo artifacts.  I especially remember the mukluks’ – leather moccasins which smelled horrible. I guess it was the Eskimo method of curing the leather with urine!!!! He and Faith also donated lots of Eskimo artifacts to the Marine Museum as well.

Paul was so kind when Ed was dying. Scott was graduating from law school and he went to the university with the family to attend to and be with Ed.  A couple of months later Scott and Deb were getting married and Ed was so terribly weak.  Paul flew back east again and not only kept Ed company but waited until after the ceremony and picture-taking and took Ed home.

He was a wonderful father, husband and brother. He had such quiet dignity about him. He  had such good times with his hang-gliding and his flying carpet!!  I know you are soaring somewhere up there Paul.

My memories of my sister Pat are very special!  When I was about 4 she would come to me and whisper, “How would you like to go see Snow White?”  Well of course, I was giddy with happiness.  That happened every time a new Disney movie came out.  She would also tell me bedtime stories that she made up.  They were mostly about a little girl named Yramuol – (pronounced I ram ool) who had such fun adventures.  It wasn’t until I was about 12 that I figured Yramuol was Mary Lou spelled backwards)!

Ed died in 1980 and several years later, 3, I think, Fred also passed away.  Even though there was 11 years difference in our ages, it seemed as though we had grown up at the same time.  With our love of politics, especially Democratic ones, we had a ball discussing events almost every day.  Wow, when the Watergate hearings were going on we burned up the lines.  Pat became a surrogate mother to me and I could, and did, tell her anything and everything as she did with me.  We found out a lot of interesting things about one another that we had not previously known.

In her later years Pat would come to Florida for a week in April when the weather here is normally lovely and the heat bearable.  We went to museums, art exhibits and I even took her on an Airboat ride in the Okefenokee Swamp where the boat operator took us to a spot frequented by alligators and we didn’t sit long before one appeared right next to the boat.  Airboats are really close to the water since they skim across the water just about 3 inches above. When the gator opened his huge mouth, Pat had seen enough!!

Sadly one time she was here and her plane had just taken off.  I was on my way back to work when I saw the Challenger which had just launched at Cape Canaveral, explode in the sky!

I was so happy to surprise Pat on her 85th birthday when Nora Cody arranged for me to be at her house a little while before Pat got there.  I will always remember the wonderful, delighted look on her face when she saw me.  We could spend hours together not even talking (as hard as my family will find this tidbit), reading, listening to music and eating a piece of fruit.  What wonderful times they were for me.  Even after Pat was gone, I would find myself going to my phone to call her to discuss the latest foibles of some or other Repuliicans

I miss all these amazing people and they certainly made an impact on my life..

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