Every now and then during the last five thousand years life has got a bit dicey.
Like now-life is so damn dicey it is positively discouraging. Not 'cash in the chips and blow this Popsicle stand' dicey/discouraging, but damn close.
My last lifetime was so sad that I came back loaded with grief, and this one hasn't been at all better, not really. At least last time I had money. I used it pretty well, too, I think, especially in those last years after the war. I gave most of it to the DPs so that my family's sacrifices would not have been in vain.
Let's see, what have I manged to do that the friggin Nazis kept me from doing last time?
I managed to find (only with God's help) Johnny, who turned out not to have changed much-still a self-righteous and prideful git who walked out on me on our honeymoon and later worsened everything by dropping out of med school shortly before graduation-HUH?? He gave it up to be an actor-WOT??!@!
We married in June of '39-deliciously happy although we knew TSwasabouttoHTF; Johnny, Eric, Richard and the rest of the lads I'd grown up with had gone to Spain for a bit. They came back thoroughly frightened, hiding it well, I thought, but fully aware that things were afoot that boded great unwell for all.
They busied themselves between wedding plans with preparations for the coming War. They seemed seriously silly, making rules about our actions while they were Away At War...
We married June '39 and the Nazis invaded Poland on 1st September. The lads were called up on the 3rd. Oh Johnny, OH!
I was forbidden to join the Wrens. The most they would permit me to do was roll bandages and knit socks. Oh big woo, and the Red Cross asked me to please fund the knitting, but give the needles to someone who actually knew how to use knitting needles to produce something functional.
As a group, we managed to make it 'till '42, then Nigel and Julien were killed in Africa of all places, at a place called Al Et something or other. I know for a fact both came back almost immediately.
We married in June of '39 and in September the Germans invaded Poland.
The last time I saw Johnny was 5th June 1944. A Panzer division took him and some of his men out on D+2. Somewhere near Cherbourg.
I lost the baby, our son, the boy we owed a good life with parents who loved him and were there for him in a modern world that eschewed horrors like fostering out sons and daughters to maintain alliances and peace. Well, in this life, I managed to meet Johnny, become pregnant on our short honeymoon, carry the baby to term and deliver. Our son hates me. That turned out real well, huh?
Richard died on the bridge around noon on D-Day. I think I miss him the most. He was my best friend, we had a joke-"Call me Al, and I'll call you Betty. Consider me your personal and forever body guard." I almost fell over when Paul Simon sang that and it was the only album I bought that year and I was thrilled when it won the Grammy.
(Of all of us I think Nigel and Richard fared the best this time around. Nigel died of lung cancer just after 911; Richard is still out there working in personal protection. He hasn't married-life is so sad, his fiance outlived him in that life and he outlived her in this one. It's not fair, really. But Nigel had a life so complete that when he died his only concern was for me, and Richard says he's happy and he really means it. It worries me that he is alone, though, like me, and I hope that he will come Home one day and let me care for him-he says he is seriously considering it.)
Eric went down with his plane on 21st December, 1944.
This lifetime Eric and I were reunited with our older brother from several previous lifetimes except the last; both of my brothers turned out to be the same total gits they have always been.
Harry hurt me so badly at a time I needed him most that I stopped talking to him ten years ago, and Brother #2 Ian is an actor. Aaaaaaaccccccccccccccccccckkkkkkkkkkkk since he acts in total C flickers that have absolutely no redeeming qualities while managing to be loaded with completely gratuitous sex scenes straight out of cheap bodice rippers written by college drop-outs on Xanex. I haven't spoken to him in years, either.
(BTW, pinhead, if you are by some insane chance reading this, F U, and if you think I've forgot the way you acted at Grant Street Dance Hall you can F yerself, 'cuz once I realised what I was remembering, that was and still is the SECOND most painful memory, the first being what your worthless BFF did.
Lemme tell ya about brother #2. Last life time he died in his Spitfire over Belgium, a true British war hero. OK, I knew he was a git, most everyone did, but hey he was M'Lord, and as M'Lords go was actually pretty good to the folks just the way Uncle Ian taught him to be back in the day. His Git'ness got away with a lot just by pretending to be a swell guy. At his memorial every one in the village and those who came up from London said the same wonderful things. So the pitiful few of us that were left in '45 kept our mouths shut. If I'd known what an ass he would become in this life I would howled the truth from the nearest rooftop-my dear brother was a total git who never intended to be a hero so much as he wanted the bloody scarf that would earn him the momentary devotion of the nearest socially acceptable female. My dear lamented brother died chasing the scarf.
OK, where was I? Oh yeah, personal assessment.
I died in '49 of the consumption. I caught it from a DP child. After the war Richard's fiance and I devoted ourselves to trying to make our losses mean something better than the simple futility of it all. We thought if we kept to the ideals most of the lads went Away with that we would be able to make the deaths less worthless.
But the rationing was still going strong, right up to the moment I died. The consumption was a true vampire and the rationing made recovery for someone like me impossible-weakened from grief and mild physical deprivation I wasted away before her eyes. She could be imperious, and I nicknamed her Duchess for her sure determination that her will would prevail.
She stayed with me to the end, faithful friend, nurse, my BFF, and when she died this time so very F'ing too young, Richard and I were destroyed. Completely destroyed. She was and always has been the epitome of all that is good about Life, and the world is certainly a bleaker place without her.
For me, in this lifetime, it all came tumbling down in 2003. That was the year I found out Johnny had remarried, had another child, and I realised the right thing to do was let it go, and get on with my life.
My husband has got on with his. Crusty has got away with unspeakable evil. My son hates me, and so does my daughter. My job is a total dead-end.
I came back for my family, and they don't want me. Now what?