While reading a wonderful post yesterday by Susie S I started thinking about growing up with 7 siblings quite a long time ago, although at times it seems like only yesterday.
I am number 6 of 8 children. Our family was very poor. While I was growing up I wasn’t overly concerned about this because most of the kids I went to school with came from a poor family too. Our entertainment came from being barefoot and playing softball in the street on warm summer evenings. The days were pretty full with household tasks.
Mom always had a big garden and we spent long hours in the summer time working in it. Mom made us sun bonnets to wear. The garden work fell mostly on my next older sister, my younger sister and me. My 2 older sisters had married young and left home. This in itself brings back a memory for me that is hard to remember but it is always there. When my next to the oldest sister married and left home I remember dreaming almost every night about her. The dream was nothing but the color of orange and thoughts of her. You see she had always been like a second mother to me and I was broken hearted when she left home.
I can remember when she was dying of lung cancer quite a few years ago that Jim and I would try to get across the state to visit her as often as we could. I can remember her saying to her husband that she and I were always ‘tight.’ I was her little sister and I was special to her and she was special to me.
My mother did not have an easy time of it. It was hard for her to be able to put enough together to feed us all. I remember many a meal of cornbread and milk. I also remember the rows and rows of lima beans spread out to dry on newspapers in the attic. We had planted those seeds and picked and shelled those beans. Many things I had to eat as a child such as dandelion and turnip greens, spinach, wilted lettuce, etc. I will not touch to this day. I do love lima beans though.
My younger sis, my next older sis and I were always close. Just writing these words is bringing tears to my eyes. I lost my next older sister to pancreatic cancer in December 1997. She would always call me each morning about 6 AM and to this day when my phone rings early in the morning I think of her.
I miss my brothers and sisters that are gone and my mom and daddy! My youngest brother was just diagnosed on Wednesday with a mass in his stomach. He is to see a surgeon on Tuesday. My niece and brother in law in WV are not doing well either. My mind is in a turmoil and I am praying a lot for them. I would be so grateful if you would join me with a prayer or a kind thought.
Stay safe and be happy!!