DOZ Issue 43 May 2019 - Page 34

The Summer of My Pity Parties Melissa Martin I had shamed my husband, shamed my family, and shamed my church. I had shamed myself. But most regretfully, I’d shamed God. That’s how the summer of my pity parties began. My mother invited me to stay at her home in Ohio during the summer. She needed to help take care of her sister in Florida. Aunt Lois had fallen and broken her hip. Besides, I had no other place to go. Mom, not a fan of scandal, conflict, or the sharing of raw emotions, gladly left me to myself to deal with my personal crisis. In return for room and board, I would help out with her rental houses and specifically, the Null sisters. My older brother, the favoured one, inherited the family rental property business after DOZ Magazine | May 2019 dad’s death and his favoured wife was in charge of the bookwork. The last rental house to be renovated and brought up to city code was inhibited by the Null sisters. However, these sisters did not like change, did not want change, and refused change. Esther, the oldest sister, ordered the favoured son off her property and the mission was given to me. I arrived at the Null house with a goody basket and a fresh flower bouquet. Doris, the younger of the sisters, clapped her hands and twirled around the old paint- peeling wooden porch. Esther, being large and in charge, did not invite me inside. But I was determined, mostly because I needed to fill the days with something other than my own thoughts of self-loathing and sorrow. So after a week of sipping 34 soda on the front porch and serious discussion with Esther, I was invited inside. “Now you know I’m only agreeing to this because I like your mother. She’s been good to Doris and me. I don’t want to cause her no trouble.” Upon stepping into the house, I was transported back to yesteryears. The furnishings were a mixture of hodge-podge antiques, yard sale trinkets, and gaudy glassware. Peeling wallpaper coated the walls, and worn carpet adorned most of the floors. Pictures of Jesus covered the walls with a variety of wooden and plastic crosses. But I felt safe and comfortable in the Null home. Memories of my grandmother’s old farmhouse flooded my senses. I was special