Sunday, November 29, 2009

19th Edition of 'Smile for the Camera'

Eydie Dunbar

Genea-Bloggers is hosting the 19th Smile For The Camera!

The word prompt is “Gift”. We were given the following information: “It is the holiday season and a time for giving. So give Smile readers the gift of sharing, sharing a family photograph. It can be a gift given or received, it can be the gift of talent, it can be the gift of having the photograph itself. The interpretation of gift is yours. Admission is free with every photograph!

Your submission may include as many or as few words as you feel are necessary to describe your treasured photograph. Those words may be in the form of an expressive comment, a quote, a journal entry, a poem (your own or a favorite), a scrapbook page, or a heartfelt article. The choice is yours!”

I didn’t have to think too hard to come up with my special “gift”. She arrived all pink and squirmy, a skinny little bundle of baby on September 24th 1961 into our small household. And I was in love with her from the very start!

She was kind of sickly off and on the first few years, so we treasured her every moment with us! Then, at about 6 years of age she became a strong, vibrant young girl. Still skinny! We like to tease her still about having to wear suspenders with her skirts when she started to school, because she didn’t have enough “meat on her bones to hold up her skirts!”

When she was little we used to play together, we shared a bed off and on until we moved into a bigger house when I was about 7, and we used to take baths together regularly.

Yep! She’s my baby sister, Eydie! Actually, her real name is Velleda Kaye. Being only 22 months older than she, I couldn’t say her name when she was first born, and it came out “eedee”. Mommy, in her infinite wisdom, spelled it “Eydie”. And thus she was nicknamed!

Eydie married at only 16, and had her only child, also named Velleda, a year later at 17.

When Velleda was small, Eydie went to work in a nursing home as a Certified Nursing Assistant. She took every sort of training that was offered to her, even becoming registered to becoming a rehabilitation aid. About 1989 she left working for a nursing home and went to a physician’s private practice, where she soon became in charge of the entire practice! She earned several degrees along the way, including a degree in sedation, and finally settled on Bachelor Degrees in Medical Office and Business Managament.

In 1995 when our mother suffered a brain aneurysm and could no longer care for her own home, I was a single mother with 5 young children to raise. A small 14’ x 70’ mobile home, and no way to add our mother to my household that would be beneficial for her care. However, my beautiful sister opened her home, even to the point of building my parents their own suite of rooms, and have cared for them both ever since.

Eydie has taken in other family members during those years as well! Including two of my sons as they needed help and guidance!

Today, I am proud to say that Eydie is the unofficial/ official family matriarch, although our mother is alive and doing well! See, Eydie must make all of the important decisions for both of my parents, as Mommy isn’t able any longer, and Daddy asks for Eydie to do so. Eydie is the one whom we all rely upon. She is the one we lean on when we need someone to lean on. She is the shoulder we turn to when we need a shoulder to cry upon. She is the one we turn to when we want to share our joys, and our laughter. She is the one to whom we turn to for encouragement and support.

So, this is my special “gift”. I treasure it most for the laughter we have shared, and continue to share. And for the love which binds us together.


Greta Koehl said...

It's been a long time - when I was a little girl - since I've wished to have a sister. Your post has made me remember that wish and wish it again. Beautiful post.

Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith said...

A truly special gift - one I never had - thanks for sharing this great story!

Bill ;-)
Author of "13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories"