I was surprised to discover that these photos were taken after my return home from the hospital, where I had an operation for pyloric stenosis that saved my life at 26 days old. I always thought they were taken right after my birth before I got sick. How could I have thought that–a nice family photo taken between episodes of projectile vomiting? My throw up, according to my mother, shot three feet through the air. And no matter what she did to care for me, I lost weight. She was frantic, trying to figure out what was wrong. She had no time to gather family for this event and dress up pretty. I could never have worn white, for gosh sake!
The date on this photo is August 17, 1952. Given that I was operated on July 26th and in the hospital for at least two weeks, I’m sure my stitches were still healing. On the photo album page on which this picture appears, I wrote: “Dad, Wayne, & Me day of christening”. My father and mother, if you notice, are not beaming. In fact, neither smile, Dad’s forehead bunched into a thick bulge in the shape of a V and Mom’s face shadowed, eyes squinting and lips unsmiling. Maybe the sun was in their eyes, but that doesn’t prevent my Aunt Helen from smiling in the last photo.
This next photo is a shot of my father, Wayne (my brother), and me. This picture was taken before my brother was shipped out to Aunt Helen and Uncle Harold’s house for a couple of weeks so that my parents could better take care of me. My white dress reflects a lot of sunlight; I’m glowing!
Below is a photo of my godparents, Aunt Helen and Uncle Harold, and me, a photo in which my face is most clearly visible. My aunt is smiling true to form. She was a very comforting and accepting person. My Uncle Harold became my brother’s hero after he came home from their place. On this day of my christening, I must have been doing pretty well to be taken to Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church in Union, New Jersey for a ceremony. That or they figured they better have me christened ASAP just in case I didn’t make it. 😉