Today, June 20th would have been my mother’s 93rd birthday. I’m going to forget the date she died and remember the day she was born.
Her mother told her about that day, and Mama told me. I wish I had written it down so I could remember all the details. It was 1919 and my grandmother had serious complications with her pregnancy. I don’t know what her trouble was, and back then, Doc Preston probably didn’t either. My grandfather arranged for my grandmother, Lillian to be taken from our small town to an Oklahoma City hospital where she could receive better medical care. She traveled by train and I believe my grandfather rented a private car for her comfort.
After her baby arrived, the nurse asked Lillian how she wanted to dress the baby. “Just put a gown on her,” she answered. Sometime later, Lillian realized that Baby June wasn’t expected to live. The nurse was asking about burial clothes!
I don’t know if my grandfather knew the baby was in critical condition. If he did, the silver dollar he found on the street in Oklahoma City that day must have been a symbol of hope. He wrote his tiny daughter a note, folded it with the coin inside, and tucked the keepsake away.
However, Baby June thrived, grew to a healthy little girl and a beautiful young woman who treasured the keepsake from her father long after his death.
My mother (a banker’s daughter) married a farmer’s son and took on the challenge of farm life. I know she hated dressing chicken for the flying pan, and I don’t think she ever learned to like living in the country. Over a period of twenty years, she gave birth to three children, two girls and a boy. My sister was born after I married and I always thought my parents got a replacement when I moved out. Much to Mama’s delight, they moved to town soon after Little Sister was born.
Although Baby June wasn’t expected to live through the night on the day she was born, Mama enjoyed a long life. She was a woman of strong faith who often said, “God has taken care of me up to now and He’ll continue to take care of me the rest of the way.”
And, He did.