Disclaimer: I am by no means making fun of anyone dying. This is just one of those family stories of the “you can’t make this stuff up” folder. I realize that no family is “normal” and we all have our skeletons. In our family, crazy isn’t hidden, we dress it up and prop it on the front porch for everyone to see. We openly admit our OMG moments and either you laugh or cry. We choose to laugh! And I am pretty sure some of you have relatives that have done worse. I find those stories to be the most interesting. If you don’t have any good family/life stories, you are probably not a very fun person at parties. Just saying. 🙂
Let’s start by setting the story up. Have you seen the movie “The Help”? Well back in the 60’s and 70’s my life was a little like that. We had a maid. Unlike the movie, there wasn’t any animosity or racism etc. in our story. Our neighborhood was small, communal and we loved our maids! They practically raised us. They didn’t ride a bus to the neighborhood. Their husbands drove them and picked them up. When I saw the movie and the ladies all waiting for the bus at the end of the day, it reminded me of our neighborhood maids waiting for their husbands at the end of the day.
Now days you don’t get the personal touch and love of a maid. You can hire nannies to watch the kids and cleaning services to clean your home. Very few people have the good fortune of having a loving, caring person to help raise the kids and keep the house in order. If you do have someone like that, love them deeply! They are rare angels these days.
Back when I was young, most moms stayed home. And each family had their reasons for needing a maid. A lot of the families, (including mine) used the same maid as the neighbor. My mom stayed home but she also took care of her mom. My grandmother never learned to drive so it was my moms job to take her wherever she wanted to go. So our maid, Mamie was her name, took care of us twice a week. She did it all. She cooked, cleaned and did the laundry and kept me and my brother out of trouble. She even threatened me once that if I left the yard without telling her, she would find the biggest switch and let me have it. So I never left that yard without telling her.
One day Mamie was talking with my parents about how hot the weather was and that they had no AC in their home. Mamie and her husband Ollie lived in a small cinderblock house. So you know it was hot as hell. My dad felt so bad for them. He didn’t know they didn’t have AC after all the years of her working with us. And to top it off, Ollie was home sick and really miserable because of the humidity and heat.
So that weekend, my sweet daddy bought and installed a window AC unit. They were so happy to finally get some cool air in their house. The next week though, Ollie took a turn for the worst and had to be hospitalized for pneumonia. He died shortly thereafter. My poor dad thought the AC unit caused the pneumonia that killed Ollie. Now after 35 plus years, I can’t help but tease my dad that he actually killed somebody by accident. No good deed goes unpunished!
Mamie never blamed my dad and keep working with us until we moved out-of-town during my Jr. High days. She never made us a revenge chocolate pie either. She died not long ago. Living in that same cinderblock house. With a window AC Unit.
God bless her soul. RIP