My relationship with my sissies, Kathy & Karen, began the night my parents brought them home from the hospital. I remember it like it was yesterday. They brought home two, not the one we all expected. That’s right-apparently in 1953, a woman could be pregnant with two 5# babies and it could escape the notice of an OB. Kathy was born first. Then much to my mother’s surprise, it was announced, “Shirley, I think we have another one.” Sure enough, there was Karen. The night they came home, my parents carried them in on pillows.
I likened it then, in my 5-year-old mind, to a grand procession, with royalty being carried about on pillows. I have joked about the travails of a middle child, my two older brothers–“the boys”, my two younger sisters-“the twins,” and me. In looking at old pictures lately, I have been struck by the consistency of how we are grouped for picture taking. Whether it is with just me and my brothers, me and the twins, I am almost always in the middle, or the 5 of us in later years, there I am, in the middle. Visual confirmation of the blessing of being the middle child. My brothers included me in their outdoor fun, up to and including telling me the fastest way to get down from the treehouse was to slide down a big rope-took weeks for the blisters to heal.
Their friends were my friends. They let me tag along to just about everything-if I didn’t cry when I got hurt. To be a part of a relationship involving twins is a blessing beyond measure. I have always felt it an honor to be a part of that unique bond that exists for twins, and treasure the times we have shared since childhood. After I married, they often would come spend time with me in the summer-this photo is taken in St Joseph, Mo during a summer break. When it was photo time we knew what to do-I got in the middle-not as second best, not the forgotten middle child-but surrounded with the love of siblings, shoulder to shoulder with folks that were and always will be beside me.