For my sister Margaret, she is literally a child of joy. My mother’s only one. There were nine of us all very loved but there was only one birth Mom chose to recall in all it’s hilarity and contentment.
That was Margaret’s. I think because Mom and Dad had lived through such a tough and scary time during World War II, when there was a chance she might never see my father again. It was such a scary time for them.
Such a love story my parents. My Mom and Dad ran away when they were kids and eloped to Covington, Kentucky. Mom was only one week shy of graduating from High School. My Dad was in his second year of a football scholarship at John Carroll University. Both sets of Parents had tried splitting these two up repeatedly, and this was the end result. My Mom told my Grandma Nell she was spending the night at a friends and my Dad’s buddy who had a “jalopy” drove Mom and Dad to Covington, Kentucky where they could legally marry and the rest is history. Interesting side note; Dad said they had 3 flat tires on the way down, talk about determination! Well, two years later my sister Maureen was born and then next Kate and then the war came up and Dad joined the Navy and ended up in the South Pacific. He served as a Radar man on a sub for a while and then on the aircraft carrier the Guam.
When He had left for the Navy, Mom had moved from Cleveland, back to her family farm in Geneva Ohio. Where she and my Aunt Anne and my Grandfather Brown (Poppy) ran the family farm throughout the war. She had my two oldest sisters and throughout that war was terrified for her Bill and couldn’t wait for him to come home. Before Dad left he had gotten on the Cleveland Police Department. (whole other story) He used to talk of taking state route 84 into Cleveland to go to work, there was a fellow officer who lived in Madison and they rode together when they could, he said mostly he had to work nights and he could remember just about every twist and bend in that road that eventually turns into Euclid Ave. in Cleveland. In his early years on the force he went to restrain a guy and took a hit under his jawline and the gland there swelled and got infected and I can remember Mommy saying how this was before antibiotics and when that gland got inflamed with infection If you laid down you could suffocate and how they (she and my Grandfather I imagine) had to tie Dad up to the headboard to keep him upright in the event he fell asleep he wouldn’t suffocate. When the doctor came by he told her either the gland will drain or he’d be unable to breath but he had done all he could. So they tied him upright and Mommy said in the small hours that abscess broke and she was so grateful. Then the war came.
And Daddy went off and she stayed on that farm and ran the tractor, and picked the peaches and sprayed the trees and grafted the trees and collected the eggs and did everything my Granddad and Aunt Anne were doing and they kept it running during the war, that man and his two grown daughters, God love them. And then finally, suddenly the war in europe was over and then the war in the pacific. And Dad was home. And Mom was again soon pregnant. She was so happy to have him home safe, and their life moving forward that when she went into labor the doctor came out to the farmhouse and took a look around and grabbed my Grandmother Nell ( who was a little more than round), thinking she was the one delivering , after all she was kind of chubby and pretty crabby. After my Grandmother gave him whatfor…she pointed out my little mommy who barely looked old enough to be pregnant and showed very little. Well, Mom used to say that having Margaret was an act of sheer joy…she had no labor pains she could remember, Dad was home they were starting all over and she was the happiest she had ever been. And that was the only one she cared to remember, that Marg’s birth was wonderful. And she was so grateful and happy. She always said Margaret was a child of joy. She still is… why you can almost see the fairy dust twinkling around her and I’m sure her Grandsons have more inside information on the shenanigans of Leprachans than any other little boys in the world. That’s just her way, living with joy and wonder.