Let’s begin with the sisters:
Judy is the oldest. I followed her 18 months later. Then there was a four-year gap before Kaye was born, and another four-year gap before Jean was born. Two years later (I think), our foster-sister Cheryl joined us. She was one year old, so one year younger than Jean. Years later, her brother, Rod, joined us as well. He was one year older than Jean. The family became Judy and me – the older girls, Kaye in the middle, and the younger kids.
But, I want to go back to my earliest memories. Although I loved Mom and Dad, the person most important to me throughout our childhoods was my sister Judy. We were constant companions, playmates, best friends. All of my childhood memories include Judy. Our favorite TV shows were “Ramar of the Jungle” and “Sky King.” We pretended we were on those shows. We made forts under Kaye’s crib and played with our dolls. When the weather was nice, we played outside. We played alone and we played with neighborhood friends – Jeanne, Kathy, Karen and others. We trick-or-treated hand in hand and sledded down neighborhood hills. I remember sitting on the floor, shoulder-to-shoulder with Judy, watching Howdy Doody for the first time.
The fields that surrounded our subdivision were our playground. We gathered hickory nuts in the pasture behind our house. We rolled flat crop-circles in the wheat field and made them our play houses. We made bologna sandwiches, swiped matches from the kitchen, and hiked through a field to a pond. At the edge of that pond, we started a campfire, took the bologna off our sandwiches and “cooked” it on sticks.
Our dynamic changed as we moved to the lake, went to high school, got married, had children, and moved away. (She had the family’s first grandchild, a son; and 10 months later I had the first granddaughter.) But, Judy will always be my big sister and in my heart.
You don’t choose your family.
They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.”
– Desmond Tutu