That's me on the right, the oldest of 3 of us there but with 4 more in the future. Yes, the straight blonde hair and red red nose which hasn't changed a darn bit! Hear that song playing right now while you look at this? "Catch a Falling Star", is one of the songs that my dad would teach us to sing sitting on his lap. There were more songs and advertising lingo's from that era....Sugar in the Morning, the Marlboro commercial ditty, the Hamms Beer commercial song (from the Land of Sky Blue waters....), the Alka Seltzer song! Sitting on his lap and singing, hearing stories and rhymes, being teased; those were such happy times.
On his left side is Shelly, a naturally wavy haired, strawberry blonde that I loved beyond measure. In the center, as a 3 month old new comer was my first brother. I know he doesn't appreciate it but I have no memories of him until he's a bit older. I think maybe it's possible I wasn't too thrilled with him sharing time with my Dad and Mom. Shelly and I were as close as sisters could be and still I feel how much I loved her.
Not long after this photo, within a year's time, Shelly died. I still have vivid memories of that time and a big part of me left along with her. Shelly died from Rhys syndrome; she had a cold/flu whatever and was given aspirin as we all were in those years. We know better now days but it was too late for Shelly. Over 50 years and I still miss her, ache for her and I talk to her. My Dad is gone now, too. A part of him is with Shelly here on earth and I know up in Heaven, he's with Shelly and my Nephews, still telling jokes and singing Catch a Falling Star.
Anyway, I think this was the defining time that made a change in my young life. It took away a piece of my heart, trust & comfort. There were other things going on then, too. Things I don't talk about too much to anyone and things my Mom and Dad didn't know then and don't know now. I also had a "invisible friend" during this time. I don't know why because Shelly definitely consumed my time and thoughts; I was her protector. We had a large fun extended family; we always had plenty of attention and love. But still, I had 'Seymour', a tiny man dressed all in green. I'll tell the story of Seymour some other time. I wonder where he was during this picture. LOL!
I think when Shelly was taken away so sudden, with no time for good byes or explanation, part of me just shut down. I became shyer and more held back as years went on, I found it harder and harder to trust, I had no confidence in myself. Being alone with music, playing with dolls, finding special quiet places outside and most of all coloring on paper and in books made me happy and content.
You would think that with the passage of many years I would understand this defining point and "get over it" but it doesn't work that way. Other things through the years add on and add on until you can't go back; you try but really it's just all too much.
Well, anyway.....sometimes you can see where maybe depression and anxiety got it's start, you can see where choices made it even worse....what I can't find is the end of it. I can say that the depression sort of comes and goes but the anxieties and the phobia's, now they're tough to handle. You have days where you push them to the side but they never ever leave you alone. It's a battle and I always win in the end. So I don't know the whys; I know others have been through much much worse but I know this was the beginning.
Still, I love this photo. I was so happy.