Family Business

It’s Ann’s birthday. That’s significant because she’s my sister, and the only one of my four siblings whose day of birth I clearly remember. The one recollection I’ve shared in the family to the point of bored weeping is seeing the family car, a red-and-white 1958 Ford station wagon, going around the corner of Monee Road and Indianwood in Park Forest as my brothers and I walked home from school at St. Mary’s.

We’d been home for lunch, and I remember what might have been a routine for my mom and dad, who were waiting for their fifth kid. Dad did accounting-type work at Spiegel’s, and I think he’s always had the habit of recording numbers that might be significant. At lunch, Mom was having contractions; when she had one, she’d tell Dad, who would look at his watch and write down the time on the back of an envelope. He’d been writing the times down since after we left for St. Mary’s earlier in the day, seeing how close the contractions were getting. I remember seeing the times and thinking something exciting was happened, though I wasn’t entirely sure what it involved beyond the expectation we’d have a new brother or sister at the end of it.

Dad drove Mom to Ingalls Hospital in Harvey. Chris, John, and I were having dinner with our neighbors, the Lehmanns, when Dad called about 5:30 to say we had a sister. Boy, did she have a treat in store. Somehow, she survived.

Happy Birthday, Ann. I won’t mention the exact year you were born, only that according to Popstrology, you were born in the Year of the Four Seasons, and your birth star is Connie Francis.

4 Replies to “Family Business”

  1. I do not remember that day, though I was only in kindergarten over by Talala school. I do however recall the day Mom and Dad brought Ann home. I was running (walking very slowly) late on my return from school and Dad came looking for me. What I remember of Ann was she was very quiet compared to us, and very small in a bassinette. Seems like just twenty or so years ago!

  2. You are all right on. I checked out my popology yesterday. I always knew Connie and I had a deeper connection. Thanks for all the well wishes. It has been a remarkable 29 years!

  3. I remember that day like it was yesterday. I was on my way home for a little R&R, having been at the front, non-stop, since the previous September. I was walking along with Dan. It was around 3:15 or so and the light was early spring, late in the day, the sun in the west, behind us. I guess that is why the car looked so red and so white even from what I reckon was the equivalent of two New York City blocks. At any rate, Dan and I figured out what was up. It is funny how instinctively people, even kids, can think.
    And I remember Dad’s call to the Lehmann’s. It was a happy day.

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