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by Esther Griggs

Today is my youngest sister’s birthday. She is not only the youngest sister but bears the brunt of being the youngest of seven and forever being the “baby” of the family.

I remember the day well. My family was living on St. Joseph’s Island, close to the south east corner of Lake Superior. It was a cold January day. When we kids questioned Dad on mother’s whereabouts, he was vague and suggested that perhaps she had gone to visit her sister in Galt. There was some suspicion around his response but being only seven at the time I just continued with my morning.

That afternoon, while holding my woolen leggings and waiting for the bus ride home, an older girl came up to me and said “Your mom just had a baby.” I didn’t believe it. However, in the days when the phone call went to an operator, and whoever wanted to could listen in, the news was out.

Today memories flood in: the day we came home from school and there was mom with the little bundle, how they arranged the chairs to make her a bed and especially the discussion about her name. There were the jokes we had heard about calling her ‘quits’ and then choosing her middle name. My younger brother did not like what was chosen and emphatically stated to him it was “laweasle” How we loved her and as she grew mother said if she didn’t turn out it was the fault of all of us; but turn out she did, magnificently at that. I wonder if we can take some of that credit? Each of us are blessed by the woman she is. I know it was hard on our mother, being a bit older, already having six children. However, I can”t imagine how dull our lives would have been without our Joyce! and am grateful to God for the gift she is to us.

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