Sunday, April 19, 2009

April 19th, 1981

April 19th, 1981 was Easter Sunday.

My friend Melissa had been staying with us for a few days. She had come to town for the impending birth of my baby, and had been walking me all over town at top speed, trying to get things moving. I was already past my due date, and Melissa was only half joking when she said, "Ronni, you need to hurry up and have this baby! I have to go home on Tuesday!"

Easter morning, we were dying eggs. I know that the usual drill is to dye them on Saturday and hide them on Sunday, but Chandra, at not quite four, was more interested in watching and helping Melissa dye them than in finding them. Melissa was an artist in batik, and her eggs were works of art, with designs etched in wax with the point of a pin.

Some other friends dropped in for breakfast--Kevin and D'Lynn. Kevin had been present when Chandra was born, completely by accident. D'Lynn was his new wife. They asked the question everyone asked, whenever they saw me waddling around: "Ronni! When are you going to have that baby?"

At that very moment, a small contraction clutched me across the back, and I replied, "Today!"

Kevin left, and the rest of us scurried around, making sure that everything that needed to be sterilized was, and everything else was ready, according to the midwives' checklist.

The day passed quickly, and, right around dusk, Vanessa was born. In those days, there was no advance warning of the baby's gender, so we had names ready for a boy or a girl. If the baby had been a boy, we would have called him "Michael Raymond." As it was, "Vanessa Renee" was a welcome addition to our little family.

Present at the birth were Melissa, Marie, D'Lynn, Chandra, two midwives and the ubiquitous SSS. He, of course, took credit for the whole thing, after having been a right bastard throughout the pregnancy.

Maybe we should stop celebrating Vanessa's birthday on the 19th, and have it on Easter Sunday, instead. Her 6th birthday fell on Easter, but it hasn't happened since. As several bad things in history have happened on the 19th of April, Vanessa has never been thrilled with the date, and on Easter, I always think of that very special one.


  1. Happy Birthday, Vanessa! I hope you get everything you wish for!

  2. Happy Birthday Vanessa! That same year my daughter was born on Good Friday.

  3. Happpy Birthday Nessa!

    (thanks Ronni, I forgot today is my sisters 40th, not that she will take my call mind you)

  4. Happy Birthday, Vanessa!
    Nice story & what an adorable baby picture of her.

    P.S. My brother's birthday is September 11th.

  5. Oh Ronni, my first born, Audrey was born on April 19th as well. IN Oklahoma City on the day of the bombing. I always say she was the good thing that happened on that day. Vanessa of course was too (different year:). Your Easter comment touched me as well because my birthday is April 6th and my
    8th birthday fell on Easter. I remember it being such a great birthday! My parent's got me a really frilly dress that I wanted and I had to hunt eggs and follow the clues in them to find it! Thanks for reminding me of two great memories!