Background: my family mostly lives in Arizona, my aunt raised her kids in a trailer park near Roosevelt Lake, where the lodge (for trout fishing tournaments in the nearby lake) and the gas station were about the only jobs. My grandparents (her folks) moved there when they retired; both of them are now dead and my aunt got their property as she was the only surviving kid of the four they had. My aunt had two kids, Dena and Deland. Dena and I were very close growing up - like sisters. I haven't heard from her in, what, seven years or so now.
I was so pleased to get your letter that you would have thought I'd written right back to you - But no, letters on paper are slow and harder to do nowadays -
Yes, I did know you had moved as [your sister] told me, she also had the chance to visit - I'm also pleased to hear the two of you have such a good friendship -
As to the photo album I felt like you would love having the pictures - I had both mom's, dad's, and my pictures and wanted to pass some on so divided them up into families - So you and [your sister] have almost all of your mom's - I have L... in my head so can recall anytime I need to -
I will try to tell you as much as I can about my 2 "children" as I know - Dena has been in Artesia New Mexico for probably a year or two - She has a job with K-mart and has worked up to employee management - She has a boyfriend that I don't think has ever worked - now I really don't know that, just guessing -
She and Joseph seem fine with this arrangement (they are still married by the way) - Kyle's daddy (her second son in Globe) gives her grief as much as possible - She is so far behind on child support don't know if she can ever catch up - Supposedly she has a warrant for arrest in Az and now "New Mex." She was emailing me for a few months but now she's quiet again - I didn't know where she was for a year -
When Ryan [her first son] graduated this last year I got to see her and start writing -
Deland is still throwing newspapers and working weekends at the lodge bar tending - He has been in his abusive stage for about a year now and I finally told him last year not to come over to the house at Roosevelt - now he wants to be my son again and act nice - Anyway, I have the kids that property at Roosevelt where they grew up, now need to see if they can keep it -
Tom and I have a good life here since I stopped being an alky - I'm still so sorry and ashamed that I put "all" you kids through such a hard time -
I'm so proud of you that you are able to live your dreams - I can only wish my children would grow up to be more like you, but don't hope too much - J.... hello to you also, you are special to T... "and" our family too - Take care of each other and I'll write again - B the way, my email is xxxx.cox.net (all lowercase).
Love, Aunt J.....
This is why I don't go home for Easter, or Thanksgiving, or Christmas, or my birthday, or ever, really. It was nice to hear from her, though.