It occurred to me when I started writing about #5 that most people just tuning in may not have realized or maybe I have not mentioned #4. The #4 child in my family is smart, energetic, positive, happy, self sufficient, friendly, caring, and anything else that you can possibly think is a good trait. #4 is me.
I don’t talk a lot about myself as an individual. I tend to consider myself one of my many identities when I talk about myself. I really am a well rounded person. I have my faults and here I will try and list them for you, but I suppose it is important that you get a little background on me as well.
I was conceived when my #3 brother came out of his coma. I was born 9 months later. I was born on Thanksgiving Day, a 10 pound baby girl. My dad was thrilled. I grew up the fourth child and the only girl so I was picked on quite a bit. I have learned through my youth that an extra layer of skin is not a bad thing to have. My brothers did things to me that big brothers do to little sisters (and one of them things that should not have been done) and I could always go to Daddy and get my revenge. Growing up, people would ask me if I were spoiled and I would say no, because really I wasn’t. I got away with a lot of things but I also got away with a lot less things.
My brothers were allowed out after dark, I was not. My brothers were allowed to ride their bikes to friends’ houses, I was not. My brothers were allowed to hang out at the corner, I was not. My brothers were made to clean their room; if I cried enough Daddy would make them clean my room too. That only worked when Daddy was home. Mom on the other hand saw right through me and boy, did I know it. I got away with nothing, with Mom. I was allowed to date when I turned 16 and not a day before. Believe you me, I tried to get away with sneaking out but my Daddy always knew.
My friend Carolyn had me sleep over one night to go out on a double date. Her boyfriend had a friend and that friend was the one with a car and license. Carolyn’s parents would not let her out with two boys so she needed to bring a friend. Hence my first date 2 months before my 16th birthday. It was however not a date! My second date was with #2’s good friend, my now husband, and one month before my 16th birthday. Again, NOT a DATE! My third date, my first official date was on February 14, 1985. ~Killer is some people reading this were not even born at that time….if that the case-I don’t want to hear it. ~ I dated this young man (Walter) for a year. I then dated Bob for three years after that…the whole time hooking up on occasions with my husband to be (htb). I thought Bob was the one…nope he wasn’t.
I went to college to become a teacher. I graduated with my degree in Elementary Education and certified to teach in the state of Massachusetts. I started working right out of college as the Director of Education for the Sylvan Learning Center. I worked there for two years and then got a job in a school system. It was while working in the school system that I got married to my honey and the following year became pregnant with my first child. I hated being pregnant. I threw up non-stop for 9 ½ months. I kid you not. I lost more weight than what I gained the first 6 ½ months. I was hospitalized on and off for the first 4 months trying to keep me hydrated and not dead. I gave birth to a 8 ½ pound baby boy one week after receiving my pink slip from the school. I worked for the next few years as a dispatcher for the local police department second shift so that my honey and I would not have to pay for day care.
My honey’s umbilical cord only stretches so far, hence the reason we never moved far from home. My parents and his parents live less than a mile away from each other. We live less than 5 miles away from either one of them. Although, I have 7 brothers, I am always the one my dad would call for help. I painted my parents house, inside and out. I repaired my parents’ roof with my dad. I mowed my parents’ lawn when my dad was laid up. I was the one who went and shoveled them out when it snowed. I was the one who helped every year open and close the pool. I made sure that the lawn furniture came up from the cellar and was cleaned and put out every spring, and put it back every fall. I was “the go to girl”, my dad used to say. I did it all without even thinking that I shouldn’t. My honey’s parents would call and we would be there too. It only stands to reason that after a certain point in time that all family functions included them too.
I had a job at a non profit agency that a friend’s mother got me the job. I was working there about 2 years when I became pregnant with my second child in the beginning of 1996 and had him 9 ½ months later. He was a 9 pound 10 ounce baby boy. About this time I decided that it was going to cost me more to work than stay home with my children and I started my own Tupperware business. AWESOME JOB if you can get it! I made a crap load of money toward the end and made enough to support my family. I had been selling Tupperware for about 4 ½ years and we had a big conference in Florida. I came home not feeling well and found out that I was pregnant with my third. Pleasant addition to our family, and my husband immediately got snipped! Since then it has been a whirlwind. In 2004, my dad had his hip replaced and had a ton of complications, my father in law chipped his elbow and ended up with osteomyelitis. It destroyed his cochlea and now he has a cochlea implant. #8’s wife was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. In 2005, Justine passed away, #8 was sent to Kuwait and my children broke 2 bones. In 2006, I started working full time and Daddy was diagnosed with liver cancer. He died 5 weeks after he was diagnosed. I still cry every time I think of him…I miss him so much. He was the back bone of the family. He was my valentine every year. He was my daddy and I will never be able to see him again. It bothered me intensely that during the time my dad was suffering and I was spending as much time with him as I could, I would constantly hear my brother’s wives say how hard this was on them. I would be pushed to the side by my mother to console them. It bothered me to no end that my mother stayed strong for them but let me “have it” in private. It still does.
(long pause) Sorry.
As I go through explaining some of the up and coming brothers, my anger may get the best of me. If it does, know that it was completely justified. Two of my younger brothers think the world revolves around them and they are the only ones that hurt. They blame much of their problems on my dad. I apologize now for the language I may use.