Well . . . . . . . . . I think it was you. Mom and Dad told me it was you. But, they could have told me anything. I was only 4 years old, had the mumps, was feverish, and was still extremely gullible.
On Mom & Dad’s behalf, I suppose that I wasn’t allowed to see you because I was contagious. In fact, we all had the mumps except Dad and you.
Actually, you really must have been a good baby because I don’t remember you again until one time when you were really very ill. I think if you had been a fussy baby I would have remembered something earlier.
I guess I could have repressed it all these years – or maybe Marty and I were busy outside developing our strategy for when you would be old enough to join us – in the BACKYARD!
I thought you were going to die that time. We lived on Damon Hill on the farm. Mom & Dad were very calm and quiet with worried expressions on their faces. Mom kept sponging you with cool water to try and get your fever down. It seems like the doctor even came – or maybe the nurse from the Homes.
I remember asking Mom if you were going to live and she quietly somberly answered that she didn’t know. I quietly left the room, shut the door, went to my room and asked God to save you. There were times later that I would wonder about the wisdom of that request but what was done was done.
Take a d-e-e-p breath. Now blow it out s-l-o-w-l-y. Tense all your muscles and then relax them starting down at your toes and working up to your forehead. Now . . . concentrate real hard and try to imagine this scenario. Far-fetched as it may seem:
You are living on a wonderful farm with huge lawns and
. It is sunny and warm. The grass is cool on your feet and the blue sky is filled with fluffy clouds. The cows are smiling at you over the fence. The birds are singing. All is right with your world . . . . . . . . . rolling meadows
But wait! The kitchen door has just slammed. Oh no! The dreaded monster is on her
I'm sure you were again thinking "What!? Just Melanie Ann? Where are “Martin Ellis” and “Janet Eileen”?
And the rest is history. To be repeated and repeated and repeated.
I remember ALWAYS playing in the front yard and pushing you over & over & over on the swing. What a wonderful swing. We had all the grass worn off under it. The wind would blow through our hair. It was great.
Marvin remembers all those letters that Abigail the Alligator used to write to him. You would put all these little curls on all the letters. Supposedly it was Abigail your stuffed Alligator writing letters to Marvin. It was a kill. We really enjoyed it. It actually helped keep me connected to home in a wonderful silly way.
Of course, this was when you did NOT want to be reminded that your birthday was coming. And, of course, I always INFLATED your age by several years on the outside of the envelope.
It was so much fun. I would chuckle for days thinking of the envelope making its way thro the mail and then to your porch with the wrong age promptly displayed on the front and on the back for all the world to see.
Today - I won't even attempt to try to remember what birthday this is. I've distorted it for so many years how could I remember. I'd first have to remember how old I am and then work back from there. Don't want to go there!!
I’m glad YOU are MY sister.
Thanks for being silly, and fun, and serious, and creative, and smart.
For having great kids who have given me 5 wonderful beautiful great nieces and 1 miracle great-nephew.
Thanks for sharing them with me when I’m home.
Thanks for sometimes calling me to cry, sometimes to laugh, sometimes for advice, sometimes to give advice, and sometimes just to say ‘hi’.
God brightened up the world when he made you. And don’t ever forget that regardless of what happens in your life, God loves you and loves being your friend.
I love you
I will always love you