Saturday, April 21, 2018

My Older Baby Sister

She's down there somewhere. Rochester Cemetery, Shawnee County, Kansas. Just West of North Topeka.  She was born June 5, 1959 to Rubye and Wayne Sullivan.  She died weeks or even months prior to this.

You may not want to read further.  It's pretty disturbing, but it's part of my history.  I'm not sure why I'm remembering things like this now, after so long, but they are coming to the surface of my mind and I think the only way to ease them is to write about them.

They wouldn't name her.  I'm sure it was too painful.  We only talked about it once that I can remember.  It was the Summer of '69.  Now, I can understand it as 10 years after.  My parents were going to have a baby.  No, not really.  My mother was going to have to have a stillborn child.

The umbilical cord had wrapped around the baby's neck and she was strangled in the womb.  For whatever reason, they said that my mother had to carry it to term.  To have to give birth to a dead baby.  When she did give birth, they didn't allow her to see it.  It was dead and apparently hideously deformed because ... well, I don't know, but I assume decay.  I can't imagine what that was like for her. 

The birth and death dates are the same on the memorial.  But she actually died before she was born.  I keep thinking about that.  Apparently, there was some
incompatible nature to my parents' blood or genetics.  I was told that Mom had to take certain drugs for it to be possible for me to be in the world.  For her to safely have a child with my dad.  I wonder about this too frequently, but not really acknowledging the poor sister I might have had.

Maybe now that I've written this, I can sleep a little bit tonight.  Good night Infant Daughter Sullivan.

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