Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Nothing Nicer Than Nieces
Kristi's birthday has me thinking about nieces. If anyone asked how many nieces I have, my first response would be three, Kristi, Lorrie and Christine. But then I realize I'm leaving out my nieces by marriage - Michelle, Tina and Heidi - so, six. But wait, including my grandnieces, Jesse, Gwendolyn, Esmerelda, Samantha and Maya, the count is almost doubled. All of them are lovely young women and cute little girls.
But I have another niece; one I hardly ever talk about even though she is often on my mind. She is my second born niece, Jennifer Lynn. Here is what I wrote about her thirty-nine years ago, December, 1972:
"I must write of Ron and Ruth's Jennifer Lynn. She was born Wednesday, December 13, but our joy and happiness was so very short lived. Mom called Saturday night, December 16, to say that the baby had died that day in Omaha. Her heart was not fully developed.
The kids and I went down to Mom's Sunday a.m. Everyone feeling so badly - not knowing how Ron and Ruth would take it after waiting so long. (They had already had several miscarriages through the years.) Finally, in the afternoon, Dad, Mom, Betty, Preston and I went over to Ron's. Ruth's sister Marianne there. Friend and wife of Ron's from work. Neighbor lady. Mom went to Ron. Held each other and cried - talked.
Ruth was on the couch. I went to her and sat down. Hugged her, cried, said, "Oh Ruthie, I'm so sorry." Drew back and looked at her, wiped some tears off her cheek and then kissed her. She said, "That's the first time you've ever kissed me." Then I moved for someone else - Dad I think.
Went out to Ron in kitchen - hugged each other and I cried. It soon became obvious that Ron and Ruth were going to be o.k. They were comforting us in our sorrow for them. Their minister came and the three of them talked quite awhile. The kids felt much better then. There was so much love and understanding that day. They are a unique couple.
Denny and I went to the funeral in Red Oak on Tuesday. We took Mom and Dad and Leslie with us. The shock of seeing that tiny, tiny casket was too much. I stood and looked at her a long time trying to memorize what I could of her. Trying to visualize what she would have looked like. Wondering why she wasn't granted the chance. The minister talked about her "playing in the streets of heaven." Ron and Ruth great against it. Many of Ron's friends from work there - just the men. A feeling of great pride in my brother came over me again.
Some of family back to Ron's after funeral. Ruthie said, "I feel so much better now." They have so much faith. Ruth showed us the things they had gotten for Jennifer. Talked about how thankful they were even for the three days they had her. Talked, laughed as though it had not happened. Great acceptance. Great inner strength - and peace. God is with them."
So, when I think about my nieces and how lucky I am to have them in my life, I wonder about the one I never got to know and what she would be like. Would she have been a Jenny? or a Jennifer? How would she differ from Lorrie and Christine in looks and personality? How would she being the eldest have changed their family dynamic? I also think about her being born on Santa Lucia which was an important date for her Swedish mother and that Jennifer and my mom have the same December 16 death date.
I can only speculate about my second niece, luckily I can go help niece #1 celebrate her birthday. There's nothing nicer than a nice niece!