I have never been alone. From the moment of conception, as a tiny embryo, my sister was right at my side. Growing up we did everything together, even being born.
Keri was always the leader, sometimes at great cost. She was the first out of the womb, making the way easier for me, but the process took its toll on her. In December of ’74, just two months old, we both caught pneumonia. Being the first born, Keri’s immune system was weaker than mine, and her case was more serious. We were both admitted into the hospital. As my mom rocked Keri to sleep, she noticed her skin had become tinged blue, as well as her lips. Keri was rushed to Children’s Medical Center in Dallas. On the way to Children’s, Keri stopped breathing 2 more times.
I can remember spending many nights at my Grandma and Grandad Bailey’s house. During the summers we stayed for weeks at a time. We loved it. Looking back, I don’t know how she managed to keep her sanity. It wasn’t just me and my siblings there, it was ALL the cousins. At any given time she would have 7 to 8 kids running in and out of the house, sometimes more when we brought a friend.
Grandma never minded though. She loved us being there. I can not remember a single time that she lost her patience and yelled at us. That’s not to say she didn’t get on to us. I remember her chasing the older cousins around with a switch from the tree or more often, her fly swatter. I don’t remember ever getting a whipping myself, though I am sure I must have. Grandma had a paddle hanging on her wall that someone had decorated and given her. “Grandma’s Paddle” was written across it. I don’t remember the paddle ever leaving her wall. Grandma and Grandad both were easy-going, never yelling or screaming at any of us. Their patience seemed limitless…….or maybe that is why Grandad spent so much time out in the shed.
I headed out a short while ago this morning to take my children to school. As I got further on down the road, it appeared that there were vehicles just parked in the road. They were not moving, there was not any break lights, and I could see people standing outside their vehicles…. I assumed there must have been an accident. As I crept forward, a truck coming from the opposite direction pulled up, arm waving out the drivers side window… apparantly a house burned down earlier this morning and the firemen were not letting any vehicles through. I turned around and called the school to let them know, but they were already aware of the situation.
As I drove back home, my children in the backseat asked what I would do if our house burned down, and wanted to know if I would cry? My response: Most Definately!
This question of course led to numerous terrifying thoughts, of my house burning, children trapped inside, losing everything…..This is a fear that sometimes haunts me in the middle of the night, prompting trips through the house, checking on the kids. Hours of lying in bed, thinking of strategies of how to save my family if this happens. The kids have been taught fire safety in school, and we have discussed crawling on the floor, stop drop and roll, etc., but if a fire did happen, in the ensuing panic would they remember? Would I? The image of Mary Ingle (can’t remember her married name) from Little House on the Prairie enters my thoughts….the episode where she and her baby are trapped upstairs in a house fire, blind and unable to see, holding her baby as she beats on the window trying to break it…. the baby being lost in the fire… That episode scared me so much as a little girl. And it is a fear that many people have to face in their lifetime. In an instant, tragedy can strike and totally disrupt our lives. This was a reminder to me today to appreciate everything that I have. To not get caught up in my material possessions, to keep in mind what really matters in life.
My heart goes out to the victims of this house fire, and I pray that no one was injured. Our material things can always be replaced….eventually. I pray for this family that they all are unharmed, that they can rebuild their lives after this tragedy, and that they will eventually find peace in the aftermath.
I need to head back out and see if the road is clear so the kids can go to school. I do not know yet who these victims are, but they will be in my thoughts and prayers…….
This is the first post in a new series I will be doing every Wednesday. ln celebration of “Wayback Wednesday” I will post about a special memory in my lifetime. For my first post, I wanted to post about something very special. My memories on first becoming a mother……
I was fairly young when I first became a mom, only 19. I had been married for just a little over six months.