counting sheep

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

5th of July 1953

My Grandparents
They lived on a cotton farm in rural TN and Daddy had sent for the doctor.  It was a 3 room sharecropper house with no running water or inside bathroom. The kitchen had a wood cook stove and a flour barrel, table and cane seat chairs. There was a refrigerator and an old baking cabinet. A makeshift counter stood in front of the window that held a water bucket, dipper and a wash pan. Above the wash pan hung an old medicine cabinet that held aspirin and shaving items.  The curtains on the window were made on her treadle and what baby things that awaited the arrival were made by her hands. The clock ticked on and the pain worsened. She was afraid because she was 41 and not in the best of health and would the Dr. Olds get there soon enough to help...

Down the road came a black car, a nice black car. Daddy knew it to be Dr. Old's car.  He pulled in the driveway and came in with his black bag.  He spoke softly with Daddy and told him the charge would be fifty dollars.  He and Daddy went in to Momma. She was covered in sweat and the pain had become different. She had bore 3 other children that lived and this time it was much more painful, worse that she ever could remember.

The room was dark and stuffy, the window was open but no breeze was blowing. The bed that held her and the unborn child was the same bed her own Mother had died in just a few years before. Grandmother died of sepsis from cutting up a rabbit that was sickly and cutting herself and tainting her own blood with the rabbits, she lasted only three days. That same window is where Grandmother had seen the white doves gathering just before her last breath.

 She told Daddy she had listened to the fireworks at the country park all night and she could here them having a big party. Sound carries out in the countryside when there are no buildings much to stop it, the park was about 3 miles away.  She tried to talk to Dr. Olds but was not making much sense, he took Daddy out in the front room. "We will have to give her morphine and I will have to help her because she is beyond helping. If I don't put her out her heart will give out on her I am afraid."  Sometime in the middle of the morning of July 5th, 1953 Dr. Olds brought me into this world with all his might and all his knowledge. Momma slept for almost two days and so Daddy named me, after his old girlfriend. I was supposed to be named Christine, not Gwendolyn... Momma never said one way or another if that bothered her, she was just smile.

That is the story I was told whenever I asked about my start in life.  I guess I am a true primitive, made when there was not much and brought into a house that was well worn. I have kept my story in my heart and am sharing it this July 5th, 2011.


  1. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Great story. I was named after 2 of my daddy's ex girlfriends. funny

  2. what a story!Happy Birthday!

  3. Wonderful story sweetie! The good Lord was watching over all of you that special day. Thank you for sharing! ~ Blessings

  4. thanks so much for sharing your story. I'll bet you have a lot more, please write them down!