The boys were competitors, friends, cousins and neighbors. Some would say they were good for each other. Others would say the opposite. Two years separated them in age. It didn’t matter, they were inseparable most of their young lives.
The boys were artistic and intelligent, maybe to a fault. Common sense? Maybe, but sometimes it was set aside for the thrill of the moment.
I promised myself I would never write this story, but here it is. This story does not belong on a yarn store blog, however, I know all the people that need to read it, will read it here. To all the people that want to read about yarn, I apologize. Maybe next week.
This is the story of Kaley (my nephew) and Alex (my son).
Being neighbors, it was easy for the boys to spend summer days together. Just like kids, they rode bikes, played video games, they shot their BB guns and thought of crazy ways to make money. I don’t think they were ever bored.
If I ever was able to log and keep track of the things said to the boys, “What the (construction language) are you thinking?” would be far and away most said.
One particular summer day, (if my memory serves me) when the boys were about Jr. High school age, the boys came to me and asked if they could move their game console down into our unfinished basement. What could be the problem with that? It would be nice to get it out of the family room.
After moving the game console to the unfinished basement, the boys came to me asking if they could paint the walls. I thought it was a great idea.
Returning home from work the next day, Elaine suggested I check out the walls of the basement. I walked into the basement to find every wall, from floor to ceiling, painted with spray cans to match the exterior walls of an abandoned warehouse or the side of a train car. Graffiti! Although, the painting was done quite well, (I told you they were artistic.) I lost it.
Me: What the (construction language) were you thinking? Kaley: You told us we could paint. Me: Yes, yes I did. And I am telling you are going to paint again, ONE COLOR! Me: Kaley, go home. Be back tomorrow morning. Alex, come with me. We need to go get paint.
Years later at a family function, the boys were talking about the day they painted the basement.
Alex: Dad, (I wasn’t Monner back then.) do you remember when we painted the basement? Me: Yes, I remember. Are we talking about the first time or the second time? Kaley: (With a laugh) You told us we could paint!
The boys experiments turned to (some would say) disease, disease turned to demons. In a one of millions of conversations and lectures about life, addictions love and the future. (To all those that offered support and advice in those days I would like to say thanks, if I haven’t already.) Alex said something to me I haven’t been able to forget. Alex said he had a guardian angel. I asked him how he thought he had a guardian angel and who it was.
Alex: When I’m in a bad spot, Grandma gets me out of it. Me: Grandma? Grandma Sipes? Alex: Yeah, she helped me get this job.
A woman that died six years after Alex was born was directing him and telling him what to do. I could have thought his demons had him, but I believe he was right.
A few years later, on a rainy late spring night Jesus and the guardian angel sent the angels to pick Alex up and send him home. Our family had been changed forever.
I didn’t go to work for a while after Alex left us. When I did go back, I started working on a project in Wyoming. On Friday afternoons, I would start the long drive home to Colorado. Kaley would call me on the cell phone.
Kaley asked how I was doing, but I think he wanted me to know he was still hurting. We would talk about Alex, cars, politics, the future and sometimes, God. Kaley could quote scripture. (Bet you didn’t know that.)
Me: Kaley, how do you know those things? Kaley: I read Monner. (I was Monner by then.) I read everything. Me: Good for you Kaley, good for you. Kaley: Monner? Me: Yeah Kaley: Do you remember when we painted the basement? Me: Yes, Kaley. Kaley: You really shouldn’t have told us to do that! (laughs) Me: Is that how it happened? Kaley: I love you. Me: (wiping away tears) I love you Kaley.
Last weekend the angels came for Kaley. Alex and Kaley are together again.
Before I stop here, I will again apologize for writing this today. I know that some people that read my stories are not necessarily yarnies. If you could, pass this to people that have a need to know. Discard it if you need to.
One more quick message: Alex, Kaley, take care of each other. Grandma (Mom). Grandpa (Dad), Larry, hide the paint!
Our crazy lives!