Forty-nine years ago, my Mom had to go to the hospital. I was six years old then and really don’t know what I was thinking of. I knew we were going to have a new baby at our house because my Mom told me, but that’s about all I knew. I didn’t know why my Mom had to go to the hospital. Complexity is lost on six year olds. As my Mom left for the hospital I told her, “if it’s a girl, send it back.” I had a brother at the time and it must be that I wanted another brother. I knew some girls from school and must not have liked them too well. All I knew was that it was days before Christmas and my Mom wasn’t going to be there. My grandmother and grandfather came to stay with us because my Dad had to go to the hospital too. That Christmas was special, my brother and I got a train set. What a great gift for two boys who used to stand outside Rosier’s Hardware window in downtown Arcade, New York and admire the lovely train set that occupied the front of the store.
I don’t know what day Mom went to the hospital, but I know that on December 23, 1958 I got a sister. I remember my father came and brought us over to the hospital so we could meet her. I remember seeing my Mom with a little white Christmas tree that my father bought her and my sister in her arms. My sister was the best Christmas present I received that year. The train is long gone, our home was sold fourteen years later, my father died, we all grew up and went our way. I learned that girls are great. I married one and today we have a daughter and a son. I learned a lot that Christmas in 1958.
Having a sister broadened my life. She was the valedictorian of her high school class, she became a remarkable athlete. She was the best athlete in our family. I never saw anyone before our since slide into second base with shorts on. She held the discus record at Pioneer Central School in Yorkshire, New York for just shy of thirty years. She played basketball with a vengeance and has become a great golfer as an adult. She’s married and lives a long distance from me. We only see each other about once a year. I try to remember her birthday with a gift each year. This year and last I sent a box of Monks Bread. Maple-Cinnamon is her favorite so I sent 3 loaves of that. I hope she has a lovely birthday and gets all that she wishes for.