One week ago today, my sister died.
My nephew called me about this time last week to tell me she had passed that morning.
Apparently she had avoided seeing a doctor for long enough, in spite of repeated complaints of feeling unwell and in pain, that when she finally did get nagged into seeing a physician, she was diagnosed with late stage lung cancer. She was dead within six weeks.
All of this came as a real shock to me because I didn’t know she was sick. Or at least, I didn’t know she was that sick.
It’s Ricky’s birthday!
Ricky turns 20 years old today, so from now until August 12th, all my children are in their 20s. Fancy that.
Ricky’s arrival in the world was an episode of Murphy’s Law in action.
It was a bright, sunny day at the end of May when I went into labor for what would be the last time in my life and the weather was the best thing about it. For starters, the neighbor who had offered to babysit for my kids when I needed to go to the hospital was nowhere to be found. I kept calling right up until the moment I needed to leave but she seemed to have disappeared into thin air. So, we all went to the hospital to welcome Ricky into the world.
I have no idea what that was like for anybody. I had other things on my mind.
I am in Arizona.
I’ve never been here before.
The skies are cloudless and clear, and in the mornings, between 7:00 am and 9:00 am or so, it’s pleasantly cool outside. Perfect walking weather.
After that, it’s hot.
There are flowering trees and bushes everywhere, so the air always smells wonderfully sweet like nowhere I’ve ever lived or visited.
It’s a beautiful place but even this early in the almost-spring, you definitely need to be indoors by about 10am. Continue reading
It’s Gina’s birthday! She’s 27 years old today.
Gina was my second baby and she was about as easy as it gets. I had another textbook pregnancy with her and she arrived two days before her official due date. Thanks to assiduous oiling and massage, there was no episiotomy and not even any tearing. She was born at around 10 am and we were both home by dinner time.
When it comes to producing babies, it really doesn’t get any easier than that.
Gina was a darling, amazingly cute little kid. She was very different from her little sister, in that she took everything extremely seriously. She had to kind of grow into her sense of humor. I never had any problem with that because I, evil person that I am, had enough of a sense of humor for both of us. I spent a lot of time laughing at Gina when she was little. She didn’t know it, of course; I’m evil but I’m not cruel. Continue reading
It’s Kimmie’s birthday!
Kimmie and David have birthdays that are closer together than any of their other siblings. They are only three weeks apart. Gina doesn’t get older for another couple of months, in late November and Ricky is all by himself in distant May.
Under the circumstances, it seemed only fair that seven-year-old David got to choose her name. Well, her first name. Her middle name runs in my family; a string of younger daughters have the middle name Renee. Looking back, I realize that name, which means “rebirth”, is perfect for her.
The fact that Kimmie’s birthday is today was not a matter of choice for her. She was late so I elected to have the doctors induce labor. That, I am suddenly realizing as I sit here typing this, caused all kinds of problems. Since we induced labor, the baby wasn’t really in the right position for labor. Because of the ways in which the doctors tried to deal with that situation, she ended up with a paralyzed arm and I wound up with 22 stitches.
Ow. Continue reading