Saturday, October 21, 2017

Family Search 52 Stories Week 37

What was it like to be the baby of the family?

me in 1956
Though my mom and dad had five children, I grew up with just one sister and two brothers. The oldest child, Roy, died of aplastic anemia was he was only 7 years old. My sister Kathy was 5 at the time of his death, and my brother Ken was 3. I wasn't even a twinkle in my mom's eye when that happened. Following her first successful pregnancies, my mom suffered at least one miscarriage and an ectopic pregnancy, which resulted in the removal of one ovary and all but a piece of her second ovary. She was told that there was a chance in 10,000 that she would ever conceive again, and a chance in a million that she would carry a baby to term. A couple of years passed, and my brother Joe was born. I followed 16 months later. So much for the statistics!

Since my sister is 11 years older than me, she was like a second mother to me. She was also saddled with a lot of the care and responsibility for both Joe and me. I've always felt like I was doubly blessed to have two women who loved me unconditionally. Because Joe and I were so close in age, I always had someone to play with when growing up.

Being the youngest in the family had its advantages. I think my dad mellowed a lot by the time Joe and I came along. He was much harder on Kathy and Ken than he was on us two younger kids. Having said that, I also think that I was an observant child. I watched what my older siblings did to set dad off, and I just didn't do those things.

As the baby, I felt secure in my place in the household. While my parents probably felt as though they were raising two families, from my perspective as the youngest, I had the best of both worlds.

Ken, Joe, me & Kathy 1959

1 comment:

Mrs. Wryly said...

You certainly did! You are very fortunate to have had that placement in the family with such loving siblings ahead of you. And that you were born with the skill to figure out how to stay out of hot water!