Remember When (Carolyn/Elizabeth)

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Remember When (Carolyn/Elizabeth)

Post  Carolyn Stoddard on 10th August 2009, 01:08

Carolyn walks into the drawing room carrying a rather large photo album. "Look mother," she says, holding out the book. "I found this while going through some things in my room. I don't remember the last time that I looked through this old thing, wont you please look at it with me?" Elizabeth agreed to look through the book with her daughter and so Carolyn takes a seat on the sofa beside her and opens up the album.

Within seconds, Carolyn finds the dearest little shot, and stops on that page. "Oh, look mother, this is the picture of when Uncle Roger first visited me after I was born!" - The picture showed Roger in a suit awkwardly holding an unhappy baby. However, the fact that he actually looked like he cared and was honored to have a niece covered up the fact that he wasn't really a 'kid' person. Wide grin on face, the two stand in front of the drawing room fireplace. -

"This is just the sweetest thing mother," Carolyn laughed, "he truly has never really been one who likes children, but it's as if he loved me regardless." Carolyn thought about all the her Uncle had done for her over the years, and how much he meant to her. They truly did have a fondness for each other, that had been put in place the day that this very awkward moment was photographed.


"I won't give up, if you don't give up ♥️"
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Re: Remember When (Carolyn/Elizabeth)

Post  Elizabeth Stoddard on 10th August 2009, 11:17

"Your Uncle Roger was enchanted with you when you were a baby, Carolyn. From the moment you were born, you were our precious little angel. At least until you turned two," Elizabeth ended with a smile. "No, it's true Carolyn. It was only Roger and I growing up in this house, which you must admit is a rather bleak place for a child. When we grew up it was all adults here, just a few family members and servants. A child truly does bring light and joy into an environment. It changed the moods of everyone around here. People smiling, walking more quietly, speaking more softly.....the very moment you'd start to cry, their were numerous hands reaching for you."

"Your Uncle Roger, simply had very little experience regarding what a typical childhood is like." she said. "He didn't have many playmates when he was growing up, and we actually got along rather well. You might find that hard to believe, listening to us now sometimes."

Elizabeth gazed off into the distance remembering her own childhood. "Well, it was thrilling for us in a way, to have so many places to explore. We could play dress-up in old costumes....place ghosts....play prince and princess, really use our imaginations."

Elizabeth sighed, looked at more of Carolyn's baby photos on the page and then smiled again. Then she looked serious, "Other children were afraid to come here and play, though. Because our family had money made childhood friendship's difficult too. It wasn't the children, it was their parents. Well, you know that Carolyn, you've experienced it yourself."

"Uncle Roger was different with you, darling. When something unpleasant happened he could simply hand you over to me and be on his merry way. With David.....well, Roger simply underestimated the amount of responsibility required in raising a child. His personal life was in chaos at the time too when David was born....Burke's manslaughter trial, Roger's troubled marriage to Laura, his drinking. He wasn't at all with you like you've seen him with David."


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Re: Remember When (Carolyn/Elizabeth)

Post  Carolyn Stoddard on 10th August 2009, 12:22

Carolyn reminisced as her mother told of past events of the childhood's at Collinwood. It appeared that each generation suffered the same childhood dilemmas. Carolyn and her mother continued flipping through the album. The pictures began changing from when Carolyn was a baby to pictures of early childhood. With edges torn from age, one picture made Carolyn burst out into laughter.

"Oh mother, look at this." They both smiled at the picture, and Carolyn glanced up at her mother, who was near tears, though she was happy as could be. "Oh, you must tell me what the story behind this one is!"

- The picture showed a young Carolyn sitting on a magnificent bed, probably her mothers. She wore a beautiful ruffle dress and a hat that looked bigger than she. Her face looked as if she'd eaten the tube of lipstick present. Long, beautiful curls hung down to her shoulders and an ear -to- ear smile adorned her face. -

"I sure looked happy," Carolyn said. "What ever was I doing mother?" Carolyn laughed as she stared at the picture more, and noticed her mother running her fingers across memories long past.


"I won't give up, if you don't give up ♥️"
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Re: Remember When (Carolyn/Elizabeth)

Post  Elizabeth Stoddard on 10th August 2009, 20:10

"Why, you were playing dress-up dear. You loved to play dress-up. You could act like quite the tomboy sometimes but you always wanted to dress up pretty. When you disappeared, unlike David who goes out on the estate, you would usually be found in one of the store rooms rummaging through old trunks of hats and fancy dresses. In fact, that's one of the reasons we started closing off more of the unused rooms. We were afraid you'd get hurt."

Elizabeth turned a few pages and looked at the photos with Carolyn. "Oh look at this, this was a special day for you." There were two pages of a young Carolyn dressed in a little sailor outfit with various people in different settings. "This was after your father left and you were missing him so. You walked around looking so despairing and it didn't help matters that I stayed here at Collinwood all the time. People were concerned and took matters into their own hands on the day. Someone got you that little sailor outfit."

Elizabeth was pointing out some pictures to Carolyn. "Here, Ned Calder, who was our plant manager at the time had you in his office and you were pretending to answer the phones." She pointed out another one. "Then for lunch, you got to eat in the cafeteria at the cannery. Someone made grilled cheese sandwiches for you and you had cake and ice cream. See, they took all these photos because I didn't go."

There were more photos with Carolyn in her sailor outfit on a ship. "Then in the afternoon, Bill Malloy showed you the docks and took you out on a fishing boat. I remember how excited you were when you came home. You talked about it all for days."


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Re: Remember When (Carolyn/Elizabeth)

Post  Carolyn Stoddard on 10th August 2009, 20:30

"Oh. I do wish I could remember that day, but I have such little recollection of it now." Carolyn felt a little sad and guilty for not remembering obviously a very exciting day in her past. "I guess that it just been so long mother, so long since father left, so long . . ." Carolyn gazed off into the distance, half dreaming. It wasn't until she heard the flip of another page that she came too. "Well, I guess that we can't remember everything of our past, or else it'd be no need for these pictures."

She excitedly took in the contents of each page, as if seeing every picture for the first time. It wasn't until her eyes fell upon a picture that didn't have her in it, that she quickly placed her hands on her mothers', gesturing for her to stop flipping.

"Now mother, you can not honestly skip over the first picture in this album that doesn't have me in it: just you. This must have been a very significant picture of yourself, am I correct? You look so very, very happy!" Carolyn gazed at her mother, trying to remember.


"I won't give up, if you don't give up ♥️"
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Re: Remember When (Carolyn/Elizabeth)

Post  Elizabeth Stoddard on 11th August 2009, 10:48

"Ah, yes, I recall that day now. A good friend of mine took that picture. I don't know where you were that day, probably a playdate in town," Elizabeth said thoughtfully. "I'd been spending so much time alone here and the day before a good friend of mine from Boston called and said she would be in Collinsport for the day to photograph a bronze statue that had just been installed to commemorate Collinsport fishermen who'd been lost at sea over the years. She asked if we could meet for lunch. I really wanted to see her and she agreed to come here instead of my going into town. She'd been here years before so she'd already seen the house."

Elizabeth sighed. "It was such a lovely autumn day, the weather was unusually mild and I had Matthew carry a table and some chairs out to the garden, near the fountain and I served lunch there. I had a tablecloth and fresh flowers from the small greenhouse and we had a lovely, long talk. Just as she was getting ready to go and before we'd said our goodbyes, the phone rang. It was your Uncle Roger calling from Augusta, letting me know that David had just been born. I had on a new dress I'd ordered and I guess I looked even happier than I'd been during our luncheon. My friend took some photos of me and later mailed that one to me from Boston."


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Re: Remember When (Carolyn/Elizabeth)

Post  Carolyn Stoddard on 11th August 2009, 11:29

"Oh, that sounds ever so delightful!" Carolyn thought about how happy her mother must have been that day, and wished that she could be so cheerful like that everyday. When happy, her mother was like a different person, although she knew her mother very well, when happy, she felt she didn't hardly know her at all. "What a great day indeed mother. I wouldn't mind having one of those luncheons with you myself; oh do I have ever so much gossip I'd like to tell you!"

"I couldn't have chosen a better mother, even if I'd gotten my pick. Out of all these pictures in this book that we've looked over, I can just see the happiness in all of the picture. All of the happiness that you have given me; all the memories and good times that you have given me. Everything and more a child needs to thrive you have given me."

As soon as Carolyn said all her flattering comments, she'd wished she hadn't. She wish she hadn't, because she then thought about all the unhappy moments in her life. Her mother hadn't done her finest to try and make them better: she'd just have Carolyn a new dress bought or give her extra dessert. The next picture on the page they had gotten to showed just that.

The next picture was indeed living proof that Carolyn hadn't always been happy in life. This picture was an art of a younger, disturbed Carolyn. This picture she remembered very well. This picture, she was ashamed of, for it had been torn with childhood anger.

Of what was left of the picture, what was missing was clearly known. A picture of Carolyn, probably around 10, standing with her mother in their best dresses. However, to a person who'd never seen the picture, they wouldn't know what was missing; they wouldn't know that out of pure rage, Carolyn had ripped the picture in half, completely shredding the half with her mother.

Now, years later, Carolyn still remembered the childish act of hate. She remembered how she ripped that picture in half whilst still in the album. She remembered how much hate she had built up inside her, much like her cousin David has now. Carolyn now wished she'd never done this act. Not even wanting to bear the grief that she felt over the picture, Carolyn turned away and started to cry.


"I won't give up, if you don't give up ♥️"
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Re: Remember When (Carolyn/Elizabeth)

Post  Elizabeth Stoddard on 11th August 2009, 15:41

Elizabeth was gazing towards the windows planning a garden luncheon with her daughter, when she turned and noticed Carolyn’s mood had taken a sudden turn for the worse. “Why darling, why are you…..” she looked down and saw the damaged photo. “Oh…well….if I’d known the torn photo was in the album it would have been removed a long time ago. I guess you did that when you were a child, Carolyn.”

Elizabeth considered her daughter. “Carolyn, all children become angry at their parents; I know I certainly did. It’s my desire that someday you’ll have children of your own and I hope you’ll have learned from me that it doesn’t serve a child for its mother to sacrifice everything for the child and neglect to do what she thinks is necessary to take care of herself well enough to meet all of her responsibilities. No child of mine was going to learn to manipulate other people by acting out. I realized that I often did not conform to your wishes.”

Elizabeth paused. “I don’t like to see you upset Carolyn but I won’t apologize for what is considered to be my failing through the eyes of a child.”

She decided to give her daughter time to compose herself and began to tell a story. “I once had a close friend who went to New York and became a high fashion model. She was semi-famous but gave it all up to marry and have three children. One day she was in Collinsport for the day and came here to see me. All she had left of her modeling days was one glossy, framed eight by ten photo. She kept it on the mantle, not out of pride or vanity but as a reminder that she’d once been something besides a wife and mother. One day, when her children were between the ages of six and ten, she came home and found that the photo had been removed from the frame, an ink pen had been used to blacken out one of her teeth and the photo had been replaced. No one would confess or tell. The children weren’t punished but she warned them they would be if they ever touched the photo again. She left it on the mantel and it became quite the conversation piece for several years when they had company.”

Elizabeth calmly removed the photo and threw it into the fire. “What’s one small act of destruction in the grand scheme of things?” She waited for Carolyn to work through her difficult emotions about the past.


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Re: Remember When (Carolyn/Elizabeth)

Post  Carolyn Stoddard on 11th August 2009, 16:15

Carolyn pulled herself together, realizing that it was childish of her to start crying in the first place. She was sure that people probably got tired of seeing her break down: as if she was asking for attention. She dried her eyes, noticing that her eyeliner had started to run. "Guess I'm something right out of a horror story," Carolyn tried to smile. She was still a little shaky and a little uncomfortable around her mother, which didn't happen often at all. Having her mischievous deed from years ago finally exposed wasn't what she planned on having happening.

"You know, mother, if you are tired of looking through this book with me, we can always set it aside for later." Carolyn wasn't sure if her mother was growing restless or not, she just seemed unsettled; to Carolyn's eyes at least. "After all, these memories have waited this long for us to revisit them, I don't think they're going anywhere."

Carolyn flipped the pages a few more times, until she came across a picture of her and Joe. Joe had just brought her back from an obvious fancy night out in town, as they stood together in the foyer. "We surely were pretty great together, I thought." Carolyn then began thinking about Joe, and about how he was now with Maggie. "He makes her look so happy; did I look like that," Carolyn thought.


"I won't give up, if you don't give up ♥️"
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Re: Remember When (Carolyn/Elizabeth)

Post  Elizabeth Stoddard on 11th August 2009, 19:16

"Oh, I'm glad you kept the pictures of you and Joe and put them in the album. Out of all your boyfriends, he was just about my favorite."

They looked at photos of Carolyn and other boyfriends, some whose names they couldn't remember, sometimes pointing and laughing at some of the hair and clothes. Styles had been changing more rapidly of late, it seemed. Most of the photos were of Carolyn and Joe, with Joe always being a good sport about being photographed.

Elizabeth began laughing. "Remember when Joe showed up unexpectedly and was so drunk that he passed out on the sofa after insulting both you and me? It certainly wasn't funny at the time but it seems amusing now. Vicki was here to witness that." Elizabeth searched her memory. "You know, I think that's about the only time I've known him to get out of line, except for the time I heard he almost punched Roger at the Blue Whale for insulting Maggie. That was around the time you two broke up"


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Re: Remember When (Carolyn/Elizabeth)

Post  Carolyn Stoddard on 11th August 2009, 19:32

The tension between Carolyn and her mother began to vanish, and she was feeling more comfortable again. Of course, talking about boys might have helped that a little. She was glad that their bond was strong enough to allow such gossip without feeling awkward.

"Oh yes, I remember all of that all too well, mother." Though their relationship ended ever so suddenly, Carolyn still hung on to all the happy moment they had shared. "I wonder what I'd been like if I'd agreed to marry him? But then again, I wouldn't like having to leave here. Leave . . ." Carolyn let her thoughts trail away. It was need to think about what would have been, when the reality is what's now.

"Oh boy - - - a portrait of Uncle Roger, David, You and I. I do believe this is one of the only times we have all been in the same room and were actually happy!" The picture was a professional shot of the four of them: Elizabeth sitting in a chair, Carolyn to her right, Roger Slightly behind on the left, and David in front of his father.

The sun outside was beginning to set as the two continued reliving history inside.


"I won't give up, if you don't give up ♥️"
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Re: Remember When (Carolyn/Elizabeth)

Post  Elizabeth Stoddard on 12th August 2009, 11:07

"Well somehow we can usually manage to insert a few lighthearted, humerous moments in even the most dire circumstances," Elizabeth told her daughter. "For instance, that day your Aunt Laura was being moody and difficult and refused to be in the photo. Everyone was feeling uncomfortable and then David starting talking about how we could make the photo really, really big and hang a framed copy in the foyer. His enthusiasm was contagious and the photographer caught the moment."

She turned the page and pointed, "Here.....later Laura sat in for a few pictures. She looks well enough in the one with David, but with the rest of the family she looks.......seething. You can see how it affected us all....you not so much, but look at Uncle Roger."


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Re: Remember When (Carolyn/Elizabeth)

Post  Carolyn Stoddard on 12th August 2009, 11:56

"Yes, I must admit mother, I really didn't like Laura all that much, and think that Uncle Roger is much better without her." She thought about the time that Laura returned to Collinwood: how strange she was. Carolyn was actually glad she didn't manage to take David with her; she often had run ins with her cousin, but enjoyed his company none-the-less.

She flipped over more pages with Laura in them, and then they went back to regular pictures, without her. They had somehow managed to relive almost the entire book, in what seemed like so little time. They got to the section of the book that wasn't as old as the other parts next, and Carolyn saw many pictures that she almost remembered taking.

There were pictures of Carolyn by herself: almost like she was modeling. Then there were pictures of her and David, her and her Uncle, and her and her mother. Carolyn enjoyed the pictures of her and her mother almost better than the others, but wasn't really sure why. It wasn't like they never got to see each other everyday, so these pictures were more like reminders, not memories.


"I won't give up, if you don't give up ♥️"
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Re: Remember When (Carolyn/Elizabeth)

Post  Elizabeth Stoddard on 12th August 2009, 13:21

A large envelope fell out from between the pages and Elizabeth picked it up. "Hmmm...I wonder what this is. Oh yes, now I remember. I don't quite know what to do with these." She studied the photos with a frown and then showed them to her daughter.

"Look Carolyn, these are so odd. It was when Uncle Roger was married to Cassandra. I don't know who was worse, Laura or Cassandra. No wonder Roger doesn't want to marry again. But he was so enchanted for a brief time; that's why he looks so good here and I can't bear to throw them away. I took most of these and the ones of just Roger are in the album. These were of Cassandra and Roger and at the time I thought she looked haughty and cold....but look Carolyn, she doesn't even show up in them at all. It looks like Roger is smiling and talking to someone who doesn't even exist."


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Re: Remember When (Carolyn/Elizabeth)

Post  Carolyn Stoddard on 12th August 2009, 13:27

Carolyn searched through her mind for memories soon forgotten of Cassandra. So many strange things happened while she was here. In fact, she was strange, herself. Her Uncle Roger surely did seem to pick such very odd women to marry, she began to think.

"That's very strange mother. Could the film have gotten damaged somehow? But how though; the pictures look close to perfect: no smudges, glares, nothing." Carolyn picked up one of the pictures and examined it closer. "Yes, you can tell that Uncle Roger was actually standing beside someone here - why can that person not be seen? Have you ever noticed this before?" She handed the picture back to her mother and waited for an answer.

~End Scene~


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Re: Remember When (Carolyn/Elizabeth)

Post  Elizabeth Stoddard on 13th August 2009, 22:24

Elizabeth felt disappointed at the disorganization of the photo album. It was not up to her usual standards.

"Carolyn, when Cassandra was here...well, it was about the time I developed that phobia about being buried alive. There are envelopes of pictures shoved in here, pages out of order...it looks like something David would put together."

Elizabeth heard the grandfather clock chime in the foyer. "I like your idea of having a luncheon in the garden with a table cloth, good china and silverware. Let's do that soon. Carolyn," she went on, "how do you feel about spending some time helping me put some of these photos in better order? You could get a new album next time you're in town and we could work on it in the study together. We have all the specialty albums, like my wedding pictures, and we could take some photos from each and reorganize this into something more cohesive. Does that sound tedious darling, or do you think it's something you might like to do with me?"


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Re: Remember When (Carolyn/Elizabeth)

Post  Carolyn Stoddard on 13th August 2009, 22:35

"Of course mother, I'd love to spend time doing such things with you. A day spent with you is a day well spent." Carolyn glowed with excitement of their future arrangements. Even though she was no longer a child, she still enjoyed time with her mother very much.

"Tomorrow when I go to town, I'll take a look around for just the perfect album. I'm sure I'll find one that we'll both admire." Carolyn knew that her mother trusted her taste in merchandise, and she knew that Carolyn wouldn't let her down.

Carolyn made her way upstairs with her head in the clouds; a day well, indeed.

~End Scene~


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