Monday, November 10, 2008

Louise Wicker Long: Birth of First Child

(Jaclyn and Louise Long on the back steps (4612 A Arsenal) of her parents---Wes and Vennie Wicker--13 days old)

This is one of those few times when I have blog over-lap! This blog is about our parents, grandparents etc. and my other blog is about ME and my life. Well, I found all of these cards and other paper documents related to my birth which Mother saved. To see them just go to the posts on November 7 and November 9

While putting it together, I realized that all of the stuff Mom saved, said more about my mother Louise Wicker Long than it did about me. She was ALWAYS thinking---her brain was still ticking away even on her death bed. "We left the walker at the hospital," she said before she was even settled into her hospice bed. She never even used the walker, but I knew she would never die happy if she had to worry about the walker that she "paid for."

I can remember 20 years ago, picking up a vase and finding masking tape on the bottom with the name of the person it was to go to on her death! When she died, I found notebook after notebook of notes to herself, grocery and packing lists, doctor's notes, lists of correspondence---3 sets of "address books" (because she might want to know her cousin's address from 30 years ago?).

Her efficiency almost drove me crazy. I no sooner got home from college, than she was putting things aside in the corner of the basement for me to leave again! Were we the only family packed for vacations a week ahead of time? "Where are my blue shorts?" "They're already, packed and don't you dare unpack them!"

In the case of my birth, her planning ahead is somewhat understandable --- my dad was in Shanghai, I was her first child (practically the first grandchild on both sides of the family), it was war times and she had to plan ahead---how to get to the hospital (cars and gasoline were not easy to get), which hospital to go to (she chose a small Catholic hospital because she'd heard we'd get better attention). She was sharing our flat with my dad's cousin's wife and child (Gladys and Michelle McKay--see below photos) and living next-door to her parents (whose porch is pictured above), so she wasn't alone, but still, Louise was always thinking (you think the living arrangements were a coincidence?).

(Me and Michelle with Grandpa "Wes" Wicker---above. Below Michelle and Gladys)

Mom must have thought I was going to be the first female vice president (that's another blog---"Twins Separated at Birth") , the way she saved every scrap of paper. Click here to see paper scraps. Not only do I know whom I was named for, there's a photo of us, a note to call Jaclyn's parents to get the spelling right, every card and telegram received, a note in my baby book that told who drove us home from the hospital---"Dr. & Mrs. Neumeyer brought us home from the hospital (7 days old)": First Automobile Outing. (See below for the Neumeyers and my aunt Mary Long Wassmund) I know more about my Birth Day than I do about what I did yesterday!

Hmm, and here I am blogging about it all---maybe I did inherit some of her personality---I am recording every minute detail that she recorded. . . .and we are full-circle again---my over-lapping blogs!

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