As a 1 (1/2) year old, Christmas started out like most of the Christmases growing up — spending them as a family with grandparents. In the picture, I’m the little one having my apron tied by mom. My grandfather is setting the table and my grandmother is behind mom cooking. I believe that is Barney (my grandparents’ dog) joining us in the picture.
This is the only picture of that Christmas of me with my mom. I have several precious pictures of me with dad, with grandma and with my great-grandmother — but in a 1 1/2 year old’s mind — mom has gone missing.
For you see, my mom was spending this Christmas in the hospital delivering twins that weren’t due until March. My brothers, Duane and David were born that Christmas. It was a Christmas of great joy — and I’m sure great sadness. Having been born prematurely, Duane did not survive.
According to stories told by my parents (and grandparents),dad returned home to Emporia sometime after Christmas (and before school started back in January) while my mom continued to recover. Mom and I returned to Emporia sometime later leaving my brother David in the Dodge City Hospital. [Dad was a teacher at Kansas State Teachers College at the time.]
David’s first trip was in the arms of my grandmother Crawford as she boarded a train in Dodge City to bring him home to Emporia.