My brother’s 60th birthday is coming!
Most folks remember their siblings being born. But I remember going to get him.
Notice that he was here and “available” came through Western Union. Preparation for his arrival meant I had to give up my cat and my dog, which made me quite sad. But since I was three, all I really remember was that I got a brother…
Although born in early September it was late fall before we could pick him up. We had to drive to Denver to get him. I remember I got a new dress, new shoes that were black and white, and a warm fall coat. I felt very special and we looked like a very wonderful, well turned-out family, I’m sure. My dad took a wrong turn I think, because there is a brief memory of slight panic and my Mom being a bit testy… We stopped and asked a man raking leaves where the Catholic Charities building was located and he pointed the way. I was so excited! Almost there!
I can remember the big steps to the old stone building which I ran up in front of my parents. I remember all the cribs with all the babies and I remember peeking into several of them! There probably weren’t really more than five or six, but to me it was a lot of babies! I remember the nun escorting me outside, telling me to “sit on those steps and wait…” Something about nuns…I sat still. I have a vivid memory of some yellowish leaves blowing by and feeling like I was missing out on something very important, but also staying so still partially because the nun told me to, but also because it all seemed so big and it was a bit scary. And then there he was… all wrapped up like a little gift. My mom and dad were so happy, with big smiles and proud faces. I was so excited that I forgot to miss my animals.
Back in Colorado Springs my mom’s attention went to this little thing and I found myself in the position of passing on all my worldly knowledge to the neighbors about how I got a baby brother. I’m sure I was unwavering in the “truth” as I saw it and gladly talked everyone’s ear off about our adventure. The people across the street had a son who I played with a lot and who was about my age. His mother was pregnant with his brother at the time, due that next year. They tell me I insisted that I knew how to get a baby “….you drive to Denver and find a man raking leaves and then you have to wait and wait….and that’s how you get a baby!!” She told me once she wished she had talked to me first.
And so here we are…just the two of us, brought together by Catholic Charities, Western Union, and two parents who had already lived 20 years of their lives married and been through WWII together. I wish they were here to see him turn 60.
Happy Birthday Tony!!