Although it might not seem to be much of a major ‘thing’, this little excerpt from my mother’s July 7, 1957 letter to father (he’s in Alaska, we’re still in California) paints a very big picture of the contrast in the way my mother felt toward me (nearly 6) and my sister who just turned 4.
This dynamic my mother created with Linda being the BAD child and my sister being the GOOD child existed throughout our childhoods. There was NOTHING I could do to change how my mother felt about me. To my mother, I was as innately, inherently and completely a BAD child as my sister was a GOOD one.
My mother wrote:
I was hoping I could tie up our shots here tomorrow but Cindy still can not [sic] have hers. She’s well (or better) one day and sick the next.
Now she has developed a very bad glandular condition. On the same order as Linda’s (suppossed [sic] mumps) only much worse!
The big difference is with Cindy. She never complains and is such a good girl! Linda would have fussed all over the place.
Today we decided to go out to breakfast for a change and Cindy said she wasn’t hungry. (She seldom is anymore.) She looked listless and just not well. I felt her and she was truly burning up – but it was another ‘scorcher’ of a day!! But I felt the others and they were not as hot to the touch and I knew Cindy’s heat was not all due to the weather. She wouldn’t eat so I ordered her some peaches, which she enjoyed.
I felt her glands and her left one under her ear was the size of a small egg!
I brought her right home and took her temperature = 104 [degrees].
This afternoon I brought her to Hankins Medical Group in Azusa. The doctor gave her a very thorough exam and said it’s a bad cold (or virus) which has settled in her glands. They gave her a shot and she’s to have two more for the next two days.
Poor darling Cindy! She never even winces – how I love and adore that child of ours! She’s such an angel – I die when she’s sick.
I gave her some birthday presents and she was better tonight — .
Oh, Bill the other day All On Her Own she made the sweetest picture, which I’ll send you, of you. I [sic] when we got married, holding hands. She did us very well, even – hands, arms feet etc. The thought was so sweet – she’s our “own love child.”