Sunday, January 13, 2013

Life Story: My Sad and Happy Birthday

But first, a little intro to this new "feature" of my blog. You may remember that I talked about doing this awhile back, but since then I've chickened out many times. I've always been drawn to writing down life stories. I actually interviewed both sets of grandparents and compiled stories for all four of them. It was an awesome experience. I've written down my stories in various random boring forms, but never have I actually tried very hard to work to make it more interesting.

Then I went to a class at the library a few months ago that got me all fired up to try again. And I thought, well, if I posted little articles or essays about different little incidents of my life on my blog, that would give me motivation, and an audience to write for. I figure if I picture you my readers reading this stuff, I may write better. You know? Does that make sense?

So even though it scares me something terrible to post my stories to the blog, I thought I'd at least try it for a bit (maybe twice a month) and see what happens, how it feels and if I continue to freak out about it. (I will be obscuring some details and names of people who might rather not be public on the web, at least I will try.)

Anyway, I figured I'd start with the beginning and so for my first life story post I give you:


My Sad and Happy Birthday

Once upon a time, on the Thursday evening of November 11, 19--, my parents went to the final session of their childbirth classes. At that class, they watched a movie of a baby being born which was something quite new to both of them, this being their first baby and all. While not making her especially nervous, Mom did say that  it must have made her a bit excited and ready because in the middle of the night, her water broke.

But the thing was, she had planned to work another week for BYU’s The Daily Universe student newspaper, and then after that have days and days, weeks even, to plan and prepare for the baby! You see, I was a month early!

When her water broke, Mom said to Dad, “ah, something is happening! I think maybe the baby is coming. I think maybe we should go to the hospital!” Dad said “you’ve just peed your pants I bet, try going back to sleep.” Mom said, “Ah... no... I don’t think so.. I think that yes, we really better go!”

They were living in a small student apartment south of BYU campus and so off they went in the middle of the night to Utah Valley Hospital in Provo Utah to see what was actually going on. A short couple of hours later, and despite the fact that the nurses were not convinced it was really happening, I was born early Friday morning, November 12th.

Mom called her mom, Grandma T and said, “It’s a girl!” She was so excited to get a girl and couldn’t wait to share the news. Grandma said, “You’re joking, right?” Remember, I was a month early, not due until mid December! Mom said, “No, no I’m quite sure there’s a baby here!”

Grandma was waiting to hear from Grandpa’s parents, Grandma Goldie and Grandpa Lem, who were serving an LDS mission in New Mexico. She told Mom that she would give them the news when they called. Grandpa Lem had been sick with blood clots and had recently had surgery down there in New Mexico, but infection had set in and he was not getting better. Grandpa was trying to make arrangements for them to come home as soon as possible, which was why they were waiting for the call.

Later on that afternoon when the phone call came, it was not good news. Grandpa Lem had just passed away. Now both Grandma and Mom would always be sad that they didn't make that phone call sooner so he could know that he had become a great grandfather before he died.

As you can imagine, the day turned out to be quite the bitter sweet one. Mom didn’t know what she was supposed to feel. Happy to have a healthy baby girl, yet sad to have suddenly lost her grandfather. Grandma had planned to come help Mom, but with all the funeral arrangements and things going on, she couldn’t come for several days. That was also a bit disappointing for them both.

But as it turned out, Dad’s mom, Grandma L, was able to come for a few days. This was another surprise to all involved as it wasn’t the normal thing for her to be part of the excitement of birthdays. On that side, I was the 9th grand baby of what would end up being 72 plus (I’m not even sure of the count.) Babies were happening so often that she could barely keep up! But it was nice that she could come be with Mom until Grandma T. could get there.

And that is what happened on the sad and happy day that I was born. For the rest of her life (and she lived a long time!) whenever I would see Great Grandma Goldie, she would say to me, “you are my oldest great grandchild! And you are the one born the day my Lem died.”


About 1 month old

With Dad,  and his dad Grandpa L, and
and HIS dad Great Grandpa Fred (who immigrated
from Switzerland when he was 19 years old)

With Mom and Dad

With Mom, and her dad Grandpa T, and HIS mom
Great Grandma Goldie 

21 comments:

  1. Aww, what a bittersweet story. I applaud you for putting yourself out there. Thanks for sharing this bit of your life story.

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    1. Angela: Well, we'll see how it goes! Thanks for reading!

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  2. Posting personal stories can be a little scary, but you did a great job! Very sweet story of the day you were born! Thank you for sharing!

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  3. Writing it down can be scary enough, but thanks for sharing with us. Can't wait to read more about you. As Angela says it's bittersweet. I put together a book of memories for my daughter and had it printed through Create Space, I've given her the proof. I'm not ready to publish it out there.
    Ann

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    1. Ann: I'll have to check into that.. sounds interesting.

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  4. Very bittersweet. I love it when people share personal bits and I also think it a great idea to compile a set of"family stories"

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    1. Melissa: Family stories are the best.

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  5. Good job! It's scary putting personal stories out there but you did great and it's fun learning new things about you. Keep 'em coming.

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  6. I absolutely LOVED reading this!!!!! You need to keep posting them!!

    This past fall, I started attending a journaling class through my library, where others share portions of their writing. I have never been good at writing down stories or thoughts in a regular manner, but I am sure trying to be better. I think these stories need to be passed down because they are a very important part of our lives. I am determined to be better at this, and hearing stories like this one and the ones shared in my class are so very inspiring! :)

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    1. Tif: This is what I needed to hear! Thanks!

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  7. What a nice, and also sad, story. It is special because you'll always have that connection to that great grandparent that you were not able to meet, who I'm sure would have loved to have the opportunity to see you.

    Interesting to note how often I've heard similar stories to your mother's in that the mom KNEW things were happening and family and doctors were unconvinced. Glad your dad listened at least and took your mom to the hospital. :)

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    1. Carl: I did always feel a connection with this grandparent. I plan to meet him in the after life! :)

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  8. what a great way to learn more about you. It was sad to hear about your lem. Yes its amazing when you are inspired to listen or you just know something good or bad might happen.

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  9. this was so great Suey. I look forward to more.

    ~L

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    1. L: Glad you liked it. Thanks for the encouragement. :)

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  10. What a great story, though not exactly a happy one. I am really looking forward to more of this, it's fun to read people's histories!

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  11. Oh that is a bittersweet birthday story! I hope you keep going with this … and including the photos!!

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  12. It is a bittersweet birthday story but it's a really wonderful one!

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