Monday, September 17, 2012

Beverly Bromley's Tribute to Mom

This picture is of Mom with Beverly, having lunch apparently.

Beverly Bromley is Mom's youngest sister, by 13 years. Bev was the last to deliver a tribute to Mom at the memorial. I loved Bev's perspective on her life with Mom.

Sisters are the best! I am so lucky to have two of the best sisters in the world. And in our family, there are lots of sisters. There also are brothers, and I’m sure brothers are special, too. But those brothers have great sisters, so for today, I’m just talking about the sisters.

There are also a lot of women here today that are best friends of Marilyn’s, Margaret’s and mine. They are as close to us as any sisters could be and we love them like sisters. So in respect to this lovely chapel and today’s service, I’d like to hear a hearty “AMEN” when I say…Sisters are the Best!

Marilyn was the best sister. Marilyn was a mature looking 13 year old when I was born. She often told the story that when she would carry me as a baby, people would assume she was my mother. And to this day, I never was sure whether she thought that was funny or whether she thought that was really weird.

I remember going with Marilyn on some of her high school dates to the Iroquois Amphitheater to see musicals and driving to the top of the hill to see the city skyline and the “star watchers” parked there. Little did I know that I was the “chaperone” whom my parents made her take so that there was no “hanky panky.” Sisters are the best.

When I entered the first grade at Clark School, Marilyn, Margaret and my parents took me to my first day of school in Ms. Fagenbush’s class room. They both had her in first grade and I felt so proud to have the whole family escort me.

Sisters taught me how to build tents out of card tables and army blankets. They taught me how to do cartwheels and to stand on my head. They took me sled riding. They hid Easter baskets and taught me how to play croquet and badminton on the family farm outside of LaGrange. They taught me how to make fried eggs and grilled cheese sandwiches. They took me to swing at Hogan’s Fountain. After hours at our father’s office in the Starks Building, they would put me in a rolling office chair and run me down the corridors as fast as they could go. Sisters are the best!

And then Harold came along. HUUUMMMM…And then he kept coming – and coming – and coming. What’s up with that? I do know that at least once I told him, “Take your hands off my sister!” AND I MEANT IT.

But I was there “that night” when Mom and Dad were watching the Friday Night Fights on TV and I was in my card table tent. As I peeked out from under the blankets, Harold told my parents that he had asked Marilyn to marry him and she said yes. In texting lingo - OMG!!!

My life with Marilyn changed. I became a junior maid of honor at 10 years old. Very impressive. Funny things stick in my mind. She chose Gorham Chantilly rather than the family tradition of Fairfax. They had a painting of a nude female in their first apartment – shocker! Of course that was Harold’s influence. She hosted the first family holiday dinner outside of our mother’s or grandmother’s at the Greenhill Apartments. I remember it was the most beautiful table setting I had ever seen. She always presented a beautiful dining table. Sisters are the best.

Camille was born and at only 13, Marilyn trusted me with babysitting duties. It was an awesome responsibility but I was thrilled. One night Camille became really fussy with a stuffy nose. I knew that I should rub some sticky stuff on her chest and nose to help relieve the symptoms. I found the jar and slathered the goo on the appropriate places. She was still fussy. When they came home, they noticed that I had covered her with Vaseline rather than menthalatum. She was a slippery little devil. But Marilyn forgave me and let me babysit many more times. Sisters are the best. Sorry Camille.

Anne was born and I babysat more, now at their first home on Westport Terrace. I loved taking care of the girls. Anne loved to be swung around. One day, I carefully put my thumbs in her palm and my fingers around her wrists and slowly pulled up to give her a swing. I pulled her wrist out of joint. I felt so bad, but Marilyn forgave me. Sisters are the best. Sorry Anne.

When I first learned to drive, my favorite place to go to was Marilyn’s house. When I was in college and came home, I would always spend time with Marilyn. She and Hal were COOL! Little did I know that during this period, they were having some hard times. But Marilyn would always say, “Would you like to stay for dinner? We’re having scrambled eggs or we’re having macaroni and cheese.” Like this was the gourmet dinner for the night. It was always great to be with them, and I would return the favor by polishing their copper bottom pots and pans. Sisters are the best.

College and a few years afterward brought ups and downs in my life, but Marilyn always helped me through those times and sometimes acted as the buffer between my parents and me. She was my biggest supporter and I loved her so much for being there for me. Sisters are the best.

Finally I grew up and Marilyn became more than a sister – she became a best friend. Marilyn and Hal’s door was always open, any time.

I could go on and on, but as you have heard, my sister Marilyn helped to create the person I am today. I will treasure her love, her support and her unconditional loyalty to me. She loved Hal, Margaret, her children, her grandchildren and her extended family. She treasured her girlfriends. But my best memories are how much she loved me. Let’s give another resounding AMEN to Sisters are the best!

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