There is a treasure in my attic. It's a forgotten videotape. The films were taken mostly by my dad, Francis. Everyone called him Bats. Sheila knew him in high school, but the dance floor brought them together. Brian was first born, then Steve and finally me.
Reporter Joe Carroll: He was pretty straight and narrow.
Sheila Carroll: Yes, he was.
Joe Carroll: What was it like to have three boys?
Sheila Carroll: It was very easy.
Joe Carroll: Really?
Sheila Carroll: Yes.
A small family, considering my mom was one of nine born into an Irish-Catholic family in Rutland.
"It was fantastic, we never thought we were poor," Sheila said.
The house was filled with family and friends, singing was the entertainment. Sheila had good grades and excelled in biology.
Joe Carroll: Did you think you could be a doctor?
Sheila Carroll: I wouldn't have thought then, but I feel I could have.
Instead, she became a nurse working overnights in the emergency room at the Rutland Hospital. At that time, doctors were on call; it was the nurses who phoned them if needed. Some of the physicians didn't like to get the ring. My mom had an "S" list. And the S didn't stand for surgeon.
Sheila Carroll: Well, do you really want to know?
Joe Carroll: Sure.
Sheila Carroll: Well, I had my fecal roster.
It was all in good humor, though.
Joe Carroll: Oh, who's your favorite son?
Sheila Carroll: I'm not saying who's my favorite son. There's no such thing.
You might have remembered the Super Senior on my dad from a few year ago. Mom made a cameo.
My father was a shutterbug, every event was captured. One picture is special, it's the last one of us together. In fact, it was the last time I saw him alive. A few months later, Bats died in Florida at age 90. Sheila calls it a beautiful death; he lived long and died fast. He got to say to her "thanks for everything and I love you."
My mom did return to Florida with her sister, Helen, earlier in the year. I was there for St. Patrick's Day. A month later, she was back in Vermont. The first stop was to visit her husband of 61 years at the cemetery.
"I miss you, Bats. Everyone else does, too. You were a friend to everyone," she said.
Joe Carroll: No doubt that you will be seeing him at some point.
Sheila Carroll: Exactly, I have no doubt whatsoever.
Steve now lives with my mother.
Joe Carroll: Steve helps you out quite a bit, hunh?
Sheila Carroll: Oh, yeah, I don't know what I would do without him.
Sheila is just two months shy of 90.
"People say, 'Oh, I can't believe it, you look so well," she said. "I can't help it!"
It's meat and potatoes with an after-dinner drink.
"Well, here it goes," she said, pouring a glass of wine.
Sheila Carroll: I love being your mom and Steve and Brian's, too.
Steve Carroll (from the other room): Thanks, Mom!
A toast to my mom from all of her boys this Mother's Day-- and to moms everywhere.
"Cheers!" Sheila said.
As much as she loves her boys, Sheila said it would have been nice to have a girl, too.
PO Box 4508