The Making and Life of a Blogger: The Story Continues: Chapter Twelve–My Sisters-in-Law

I had two brothers and therefore, I had two sisters-in-law. Even though both my brothers have passed away, their wives still function as integral parts of the family. Ronald’s wife or Ann Marie Leonard has been in the family since 1967 when she married Ronald on April 22nd. Ronald and Anne Marie had two sons, Ricky and Rodney. Even though my brother asked for a divorce in 1995, they were remarried in 1996 and remained so until 2005 when he passed away on May 22nd. They were married a total of 37 years between the two marriages. She currently lives with Ricky in an attached casita.

Ann Marie Leonard was born in Aug of 1945 to Charles F. Leonard and Elizabeth E. Hyland. She has one older brother named Charles or Charlie as she calls him. Prior to the marriage, she worked as an executive secretary. She became a housewife soon after the marriage and has remained so to the present where she is now retired and collects Social Security. After she moved in with her oldest son she was able to partially pay her way by helping with the care of the children and sitting for them when Ricky and Diane went out for the occasional evening outings.

While Ann Marie was married to Ronald she remained faithful to him and provided a loving environment for their two sons. She never criticized even when he was having career difficulties. She stayed with him for better or worse and through sickness and in health. When Ronald asked her to take him back, she asked me if I thought she should remarry him. I recommended that she did not because I thought my brother did not deserve her. I can still remember the time that she washed his feet in front of the family at a family reunion, as if that was his right. I also told her that no matter what her decision, she would always remain a part of the Landry clan. As our mother got older it was becoming too much for her to host all the holidays, so Ann Marie in order to relieve some of the load she offered to host the Thanksgiving meal. Baking was not her forte, so our mother still baked the pies.

She was instrumental in completing the chapter on my oldest brother.

Figure 1. The Leonard Family Tree

Doreen Blind married my brother Robert Edward Landry on 1972 in New York to parents Kenneth N. Blind and Joan M. Bailey. They subsequently had three daughters and one son. Doreen was born in New York State on October 29, 1953. She graduated from Our Lady Of Mary High School in 1970. There is little information on her life prior to their marriage. Doreen came from a big family. Her father worked for Kodak in Rochester, New York. He was able to get Robert a job working at Kodak, however, he squandered that opportunity. As I stated before, Robert over the years went through jobs and businesses frequently. He was always looking for a new way to make a living. Every house he bought required a total renovation. It always seemed like Doreen was living in some mess or another. To be honest with the reader, I am not sure how she lasted as long as she did. Even though she left him, they were never officially divorced. Robert worked hard to make a home for the family but he was just not good at managing finances. They were forced to sell several houses because he had second and even third mortgages on them and he could not make the payments. Every time I saw Doreen or talked to her she seemed to have that flat affect style of speaking and she rarely smiled or laughed. I know nobody is perfect and if she had been a little less accommodating to Robert’s every whim maybe he would have knuckled down and stayed in one place and with one job. Like I said in Chapter 8, he did have some nice places once they were fixed up. I am sure the constant grind of living in houses with no cabinets or bedrooms or all of the niceties wore Doreen down. She wasn’t always the best of hostesses but can you blame her? I always try to put myself in other people’s shoes before I pass judgment. She wasn’t always a favorite of the rest of the Landry family either. Most of my kin leaned towards Robert’s side, however, I think Doreen got a bad rep. None of the family siding with Robert actually lived with Robert. Robert had a heart of gold even though he could be a handful at times. If I was ever to talk to Doreen again, I would tell her that she did the best she could under the circumstances.

Figure 2. Doreen Blind Family Tree