Today would have been my mother-in-law, Joann Schulenberg’s 89th birthday, but she went home to Heaven just over two years ago. She was born second of her parents’ 4 children. Her older brother Everett Knox passed away shortly after birth, due to a complicated birth, and the lack of medical assistance. The baby should have been taken by Caesarian section, but he was born at home and the doctor did not think the C-section was necessary…sadly. When grandma, Nettie Knox found out that she was pregnant again, she made up her mind not to take any chances with this Rainbow Baby. Grandma decided that she would go stay in the hospital for the last month of her pregnancy, until her baby arrived. She paid $5.00 a day for the privilege, and she would stay there for 40 days by the time her baby, my future mother-in-law was born.
I’m sure lots of people though her solution was extreme, but she did what she felt was prudent for the times. She never wanted to deliver another baby, so far from emergency medical services. As it turned out, her three daughters were born without incident. Nevertheless, her daughters were all born in a hospital. She wasn’t taking any chances.
My mother-in-law may not have had a rough beginning, but she would, nevertheless, remain an only child almost 15 years, before her sister, Linda joined the family. Margee would follow just over two years later. Many things have changed in the years since my mother-in-law was born. Home births have become less common, but they are making a comeback these days. Babies dying in childbirth are more rare now, but it doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. I think that if all that happened to Grandma Knox today, she would still react to it in the same way as she did then. Today would have been my mother-in-law’s 89th birthday. I’m thankful that she lived all those years ago, because if she hadn’t, my life would have been much different. Happy birthday in Heaven, Mom. We love and miss you very much.
My grand nephew, Isaac Spethman is a sweetheart of a boy who is kind to those around him and a good brother to his siblings. His birth was a little bit difficult in that he was twisted sideways and so his mom had to have a C-section to deliver. That never mattered though, because they always considered him to be a wonderful early Christmas present and one of their greatest joys. Isaac takes great pride in being the baby boy. He never wanted a little brother, and told his mom, with both of her subsequent pregnancies, that they better be girls because he wants to be the baby boy. Thankfully they both were, because how do you break that news to a determined little boy. It never mattered that there was a baby girl, he just wanted to be the baby boy.
Isaac loves his mom so much, and still makes the bed on the floor beside her every night to sleep in his parents’ room. He isn’t afraid, he just wants to be near her. His mom, my niece, Jenny Masterson Spethman has always seen a lot of his great grandpa, my dad, Allen Spencer in her baby boy, and she told me of a picture of her grandpa holding him in a little Santa suit, which is one of her favorites. Isaac often makes faces just like my dad, and behaves like him in many ways.
Isaac is a kind, giving boy. He has a heart for the new kids in school, or even new teachers. He does his very best to welcome them, by searching through the house in the hope of finding something that would be the perfect welcome gift for them. He goes out of his way to make kids at church feel welcome too, often inviting them to sit next to him and shares his Bible.
Still, the most important way that he identifies himself is that he is the Big Little Brother. He considers his place in the lineage to be the very best place. When his first baby sister, Laila died he filled the biggest void for his mom, by continuing to be her baby, even if he was a little old for that, in reality. He saw what her heart needed, and he took it upon himself to make sure her need was supplied. I think he will always be that for Jenny, because his heart tells him that she needs him to be her baby boy.
Now don’t get me wrong, because Isaac is all boy, and loves to roughhouse with his brothers, Xander and Zack, and even pick on his little sister, Aleesia once in a while. I’m sure people might think that picking on his sister is a mean thing to do, but you really have to know Aleesia before for assume that Isaac is mean. Aleesia is a sweetheart too, but being the only girl, with three brothers means that she pretty much rules the roost, if you know what I mean. Aleesia can take care of herself…trust me. So when Isaac was being annoying this last time, his teasing met with Aleesia’s attitude, when she told him, “You are getting on my very last nerve!!” I doubt if that stopped Isaac from his teasing ways for very long, but I’m pretty certain he had to stop for a minute and laugh about that one. How could anyone not laugh at it? Today is Isaac’s 9th birthday. Happy birthday Isaac!! Have a great day!! We love you!!