Saturday, April 21, 2007

Earliest Memories

Standing in my crib (actual baby crib) seeing my relatives lying in bedding on the floor of the little house. A couple of my mom's sisters and their families had come to visit us. From that visit, I also remember playing "Star Light, Star Bright" and having cousin Mike pick me up and carry me cause I had been "caught."

I remember the national anthem at the close of the broadcast day on the little TV. . .(but that could have been a flash-back when I saw it years later). I remember "Gucky" (Lucky) the Caldwells' yellow lab who came over to play with me. I loved to throw his rubber ball for him, and watch him fetch it - until it was so saliva laden, that it soaked my hand.

The little house was located among some Ponderosa Pines a ways behind, and a little to the left of what is now the Pinehurst City Library. It consisted of 3 rooms: the L-shaped livingroom / kitchen, the bedroom, and the bath. It seemed so small years later when one of my cousins - Bob - and his wife came to Pinehurst and lived there for a while.

I also remember my brother, Steven, sitting in the high chair. I was waiting to see if he would leave some applesause for me to eat. I loved applesause. It took me a few years to understand this memory. My sister, R, was born when we lived in a different house, and for years I wondered who the baby was in the little house. I don't know who "jogged my memory," but I realized one day the baby had been Steven. Steven had been born with a birth defect and died suddenly at 10 months of age.

We never talked about him. In those days, while my parents (and me?) were at the funeral, some of my parent's friends went into the house and cleared out all reminders of Steven. (Except his baby book and a few pictures I found years later). At that time they believed it helped the parents get over the death of the child. My mom was so traumatized by his death, she lost a lot of weight. I think she just buried the memories of him, because losing him was so painful.

I have a snipet of memory from the funeral home. (And if it bothers you - skip this paragraph.) I don't know if it was the actual funeral, or if it was just a viewing. . .but my Dad was holding me and Steven was lying "asleep" in a high "bed." I remember saying, "Daddy, aren't we taking Baby Steven home with us?" I didn't understand what was going on, and I don't know if anyone tried to explain it to me. After all, I was only two.

We must have moved from the little house shortly after that. For years, my memories of the little house were always happy ones. I didn't realize that memories for my parents were sorrowful.

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