Here is a little more about our recent family reunion.
This is my sister, Joanne's birthday. She was my parents first child, born July 6, 1939. I can only imagine how thrilled they were.
Sadly, she lived only one month. I cannot imagine how sad they were.
Our family never discussed this tragedy very much. (I am not even sure I have the birth and death dates right. I assume mother dated the poems for those days.) It was a precious memory shared by my parents. There were times in the year like today when you might see them glancing at each other, knowingly. Once on the anniversary of the baby's death I remember overhearing my mother ask my Dad if he knew what day it was. He said, yes! and little more was said. Only a couple of times did my mother ever tell me the events of her death. It was a SIDS death. Mother always referred to it as a "blue baby". My father went out to the carriage to bring the baby in after a little fresh air and she was dead.
August 7, 1939.
After my parents died my sister, Penny, discovered two poems my mother wrote which none of us had ever seen: one on the birth and one on the death. Below is the one she wrote on the birth of her first child. The other, which is just as touching I will not publish here.
(Click to enlage)
My mother had a talent for writing poetry. She wrote lots of dogril to celebrate family and friends at eventful times. If she were alive now I would not have been surprised to have her show up at the family reunion with a poem in which every person was included and named. Did I mention, she also loved to perform and often enlivened a party.
I am not the only sentimental one in the family. My grandchildren took some delight in presenting the plaque below to my sister, their aunt. It seemed amasingly approriate for the occasion. I am sure their mother Sandra was instumental in helping them find it.
I was quick to point out to Penny she was the Matriarch of the family, at which she winced: but was very pleased with the gift. Since I am the only one with grandchildren, Penny and David, have sort of come to share mine: attention the grandchildren enjoy, I am sure.
And, here she is, the Matriarch herself, giving that ernest look as only an "Oh so First Child" can give. (We spend some time at the reunion reflecting on the personality traits encouraged my birth order in the family). The idea always has fascinated me and the typology sees to fit our family.