Darkest Days

My Mother considers these days a failure, I think they are a triumph for her and my Father. I might have killed myself after a year like this for them they both survived and were still together when it was over.
We lived in an old farmhouse in the town of Root. It was cold and drafty. We had no phone because it was disconnected. My Father was between jobs. We eventually were asked to leave because the rent wasn’t paid for months. Things happen, yes they do. My parents church stepped in and cleaned up the rent payments at that house.
It wasn’t all bad, I remember a lot of kids in this house including the five of us and friends coming over. We made root beer and a few of the jars exploded from the pressure, what a mess all over the ceiling and walls. It was the 1980’s and I listened to John Cougar Mellencamp singing Jack & Diane.
One night after dark we saw a State Police cruiser going up and down the road shining a spotlight on the houses looking for house numbers. He was looking for our house, Dad was out working or looking for work or something. It turned out the hospital sent the trooper because we had no phone. My sister had been in for some tests related to why she wasn’t feeling well and her epilepsy medication didn’t seem to be working. The trooper didn’t say what was going on but the hospital wanted my sister in Cooperstown immediately. My mom was home with us four kids, no car, and no phone.  I think she went to the neighbors and borrowed the phone reached my father and somehow made arrangements with a family friend to get a ride.
My sister was diagnosed with Leukemia, and along with my parents she went off to Syracuse for treatment. Mom and Dad stayed in the Ronald McDonald House there while she spent some time in the hospital. Eventually my parents had care transferred to Albany Medical Center and Dr Aronson.
There were more stays at the Ronald McDonald house in NYC and Albany, while she underwent more treatments. Things didn’t go well and the doctors were talking about doing a bone marrow transplant.
We all went in and had blood tests done to find the closest match for a donor. My youngest brother Andrew fainted from the sight of blood and my middle brother Chris turned out to be the closest match.
For a while everything spiraled out of control we moved twice more, once to Richmondville and then back to the house trailer on Mineral Springs Rd. There was a half step in between with a move over to 145 next to the Catafalmo’s, but when they found out about the rent not being paid at the last place they wouldn’t rent to us.
My Grandfather died in the spring and my Uncle on his way up from Florida to collect a few things from my Grandfather was killed in a traffic accident in August. September 10th 1984 my sister died from the Leukemia.

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