During this month of September 2020, a few of us “Boling/Dickinson’s” have been going daily to our parents home of 60 years to declutter it and to let go of family treasures before readying the property to go on the market. This task was definitely not our usual fall cleanup. Following our recent losses and mournings of their passings, this task is the next hardest and stressful thing to do. We found ourselves sorting through memories and possessions accumulated over their entire lives together (72 years).
We also had to sort through items left to them that had come from others who passed during their lifetimes—the gifts, the heirlooms, momentos. Next was the decision making process once we discovered an item that we hadn’t expected or wasn’t willed”; “the value and importance of this keepsake to our loved ones”; “who deserves/gets this and why” ; and finally, our decision to toss it, or donate it during this time of coronavirus!
Sorting through our loved ones possessions was also a cathartic experience. There were tears, joy, and laughter as memories surged into our minds. While my parents were very protective of their possessions and extremely organized-to-OCD at other times, we occasionally would come across items that were not placed with other like or similar items. For example, we found pictures large and small in every room and hidden within several drawers throughout the house. In one of the spare bedroom drawers, for example, we found antique wedding and engagement rings probably belonging to grandparents or great-grandparents; years-old statements of health insurance claims and benefits; and a few folded pieces of paper.
One of these folded papers had an analysis of mom’s handwriting that was done by my high school boyfriend who enjoyed doing handwriting analysis as a hobby. Another, was a folded, torn and only partial piece of paper. It was a poem that mama had written and typed up around 1960, when my brother, Frank, would have been a toddler. And it’s this hidden treasure that I never knew mom had created or had the talent to create. It definitely merits sharing to let her talent, love for her children, and wit about raising them shine:
That’s My Boy, Frankie
Frankie is our little boy
When he came, he brought us joy.
Times he’s quiet as a mouse
Times he’s tearing up the house.
You would think a cyclone struck
When the house is all torn up.
All of toys he throws around
Some of them are never found.
When he’s out of mama’s reach
He begins to cry and screech,
If he should get real mad
Then he takes it out on Dad.
On the floor he bangs his head
You would think it’s made of lead.
When he doesn’t get his way
We all have the heck to pay.
He is such a great big tease
Yet he always tries to please.
To see his chubby smiling face
Always full of pep and grace,
Full of the devilment and mischief prevail
Cute little antics we have to bear
Full of love, and kissable
Times he makes me miserable.
“Dennis the Menace,” should be his name
But little Frankie puts him to shame,
Maybe one day he will be
A little better–wait and see,
He’s getting better all the time
Because I spank his little behind.
He doesn’t like it you can bet
All he does is sit and fret.
You can’t train him to the pot
You think he’s ready but he’s not,
And then when I let him down
In his pants you’d think he’d drown.
All the wetting he can do
Times he tries to wet on you,
But he always seems to miss
Changing his pants pants is taking a risk.
With all his faults we love him still
Our loving hearts he always will fill,
We’ll love him ’til the day we die
For he’s the apple of our eyes.
He’ll grow up and bring us joy
When he presents us with his boy,
For grandparents we will be
As that is our destiny!
by: Norma Florence Ford Boling
(written: about 1960)