Time Me

posted by Momo Fali on February 20, 2009

I was born long after my siblings. By the time I came into this world, my three older sisters were just starting to explore it. It was 1971 and they were 16, 15 and 13. Can you say, “Hippies”? Good. They had a terrarium in their bedroom and I’m pretty sure they weren’t growing ferns.

Thankfully I had cousins who were older than me, but not so much older that they wouldn’t engage in games of kickball, tag, and my personal favorite…”football, football, who’s got the football?” We made that one up. Don’t ask.

We all gathered together at my Grandma’s house at least three times a week. There were Nerf-basketball tournaments, endless games of Monopoly, and one heck of a lot of laughs. And every single Thursday my Grandma let us order pizza. Need I even say it? Thursdays at Gram’s house were the best.

There were usually seven cousins there on various days throughout the week, but one of us never had to leave when it was time to go home.

My cousin, Kevin, had a form of muscular dystrophy and he lived at my Grandma’s house so she could take care of him while his mom worked. We never really noticed Kevin’s disability. I mean, there was the whole thing about him not walking…but if it weren’t for that, we wouldn’t have been able to have wheelchair races in the backyard.

Kevin was a sports enthusiast like none I have ever known. He knew every player and their stats, on every team, college or professional, in every sport. He also had an incredible sense of humor.

The combination of the two would reveal itself once in a while and he would ask his sister and me to run up the street to a market and buy baseball cards for him. Those were the Pete Rose years, so we made a lot of trips.

We never wanted to go though. So Kevin would bribe us by giving us the bubble gum that came with the cards. When we tired of that, he tried something different.

Knowing how competitive we were, he would tell us that he would time us to see if we could get there and back within 10 minutes. He would start counting backward and we would fly up the street.

It never failed that as we were breathlessly running back in the front door of Gram’s house, baseball cards in hand, he would say, “…three, two…Oh! You guys just made it!” It took us a long time to figure out his scam. We were some smart kids.

Last night when I was tucking my son in bed he asked me to get a toy he had left downstairs. He said, “Let’s see if you can get it in three seconds.”

Now we don’t live in a mansion, but I am also not the Bionic Woman. I replied, “I can’t go downstairs to get your toy and be back up here in three seconds.”

He smiled and said, “Let’s see.”

As I started to descend the steps I heard him say, “Three, two…”. I grabbed his toy, went back upstairs and walked into his room just as he said, “…one. You did it!”

Kevin died in 1991, not long after his 29th birthday. But, darn if he isn’t still scamming me.


  • Annie

    Oh man, this made me cry!

    Beautiful, and loving post!

  • Anonymous

    Wow, as the sister of Kevin, I am shedding tears as I type. You just sent me back to some of the greatest times of my life! So glad it was you, and Kevin, I got to share those with!

  • Mama Dawg

    Wow! That is incredible!

  • amy turn sharp of doobleh-vay

    ouch. got me. right here. xo

  • Heather

    that was precious. just precious.

  • Melisa with one S

    Aw Momo, that’s beautiful. I adore when loved ones who aren’t on earth anymore come for a brief visit through another loved one. 🙂

    What great memories.

  • Jo

    That was a terrific post. Your son sounds adorable. Wow.

  • FrankandMary

    You are loving the scam, it is obvious.
    I read all the words here, but a lot was communicated wordlessly as well. ~Mary

  • Jodi

    My grandfather died about 3 months before my sister was born. When she started talking and putting sentences together she would say things that he would say all the time like if asked how he was feeling he’d say “with my hands” and my sister, having never met my grandfather would quote him almost verbatim.

    Lovely post Momo.

  • Natalie

    so very sweet! love little glimpses back in time!

  • St

    Awesome. I was just thinking it had been like three whole hours since I cried…

  • Otter Thomas

    Wonderful story! I have a younger cousin that has Cerebral Palsy. He practically lives with my Grandmother. Thank God for Grandmothers.

  • ♥georgie♥

    what a BEAUTIFUL post!!!!

  • Ann in NJ

    Very sweet.

    My husband’s sister is also much older than he is. She used to pay him a penny to do her chores for him – except she never actually gave him the penny. We’ve been threatening to collect with interest to pay for the kids’ college.

  • Single Parent Dad

    That is a brilliant game, and a quite beautiful story.

    Glad the memories and spirit live on.

  • WeaselMomma

    That’s an excellent story. Thanks for telling it.

  • Tracey

    Family scams back in the “old days” are the best scams of all! You are a very talented writer… I was right there running up those steps with you.

  • Ashlie- Mommycosm

    What a great story!

    My son was conceived just after my (favorite) uncle passed away. He was a wise guy and loved to cook – and owned a catering business. We named our son after him. No surprise to me that he reminds me of my uncle often. He’s going to be the class clown. Cracked me up though when he became obsessed w/Emeril at 2 years old…the way other kids stalk Elmo! It’s an awesome gift.

  • Mrs4444

    You are such a gift, Momo. I consider your writing a real treat. Thank you.

  • Bee and Rose

    That was a beautiful story:) I am misty eyed over here! Thank you for sharing it with us:)

  • imsilentnomore

    Thanks so much for sharing. That was a great story. Isn’t it nice to have those memories? I loved spending my summers at my grandparents house.

  • Mr Lady

    You give me crap for letting my kid gum some bubble wrap to death and your kid is channeling his uncle? Pot, kettle.


  • LiteralDan

    Boy, I tell you, this world is a beautiful place even when it doesn’t seem like it.

    It’s nice to see you put the right words to a complex swirl of emotions and memories.

  • Irish Gumbo

    *sniff* Out of the park, my dear.
    That was beautiful.

  • Smart A$$ Mom

    How sweet is that?!

  • the planet of janet

    that is the sweetest. ever.

  • AlisonH


    And thank you for the flood of memories this brought back, of siblings, of relatives long gone and feeling like they still had influence on us. Wow. Beautiful.

    I cannot WAIT for the day when I can buy a book written by you to hold in my hands and savor and hand to others and say, You’ve GOT to read this! She’s GOOD!

  • Bean

    MO!! Aw … I LOVED it! So sweet … so, so sweet. Beautiful.

    I second AlisonH’s comment about your book. Amen.

    I’m surprised I didn’t know that story! 🙂

  • Tara R.

    This was such a sweet memory.

  • Sadia

    That was lovely. There are few people who can talk about loved ones who are gone without being syrupy.

  • Stella

    Wow, this made me cry. This was a wonderful story.

    I had a cousin who died at 21 from complications of MD. I don’t think we would have every known he was any different except that he was in chair.

    What an incredible memory, thank you for sharing it with us!

  • meleah rebeccah

    Oh great. Now I am all teary eyed! What a GREAT Story.

  • kaila

    I love how you tie everything up so neatly in your writing.

    Thank you for sharing!

  • Jaina

    That’s incredibly sweet. Kevin sounds like he was a fun cousin, even with the little scams 😉

  • Jo Beaufoix

    That was so lovely. Kevin sounds like a star. He’d have been so proud of your little man. 😀

  • nonnasnonsense

    i third AllisonH’s comment about a book and agree with the masses…beautiful

  • Trackbacks

  • Trackback from Dear Kevin - Momo Fali's
    Monday, 15 October, 2012

    […] purse for more than two decades and it’s still working without ever having been refilled. You have ways of making sure we remember […]

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