In expecting Carole and me in 1957, Mom wasn’t expecting us, really. She knew she was pregnant, but she and her doctors had no idea there were two of us in her womb. Twins.
Apparently our heartbeats were in sync, so they could detect only one. Those were the days before ultrasounds had become routine, of course. We were also small, weighing together under 10 pounds when we were born. Mom said her belly didn’t show more than her two other singleton pregnancies. And any magnified queasiness, sickness, exhaustion, or discomfort she experienced was attributed to her history.
After Mom had had such a difficult pregnancy and birth with our brother, Fritz, 12 years prior, her doctor told her she would never be able to carry a baby to term again, even if she could get pregnant. A few months before we were born, her new doctor, concerned for Mom’s wellbeing, told her and Dad about Coldwater, Michigan. He advised them to rent a cottage at Snyder’s Landing on North Lake, where they could relax and let their worries go. So, they did. That’s how The Lake became our family’s home away from home before one by one we loaded up Fiats, suitcases, Ryder Trucks, U-Hauls, and Plymouths and moved ourselves to California.
Mom gave birth to Carole and me on October 2, 1957, at Lima Memorial Hospital in Lima, Ohio – first me, then Carole six minutes later. The story of that event is Mom heard her doctor say, “Whoops, there’s another one!” Mom’s first words were reportedly, “I knew we shouldn’t have gotten rid of that other bassinet.”
Mom was strong, devoted, generous, kind, thoughtful, full of grace, loving, courageous, trustworthy, faithful, and unwavering in her belief in me. I’m grateful for her. I miss her. I miss hearing, “Hi, Cheri.”