Thursday, October 8, 2015
TEDLOCK OR FRENCH - TAKE YOUR PICK
A baby in my arms. He's not mine to keep, but he did live with us – us being my first husband, me, our small son and an even smaller daughter, both under the age of 2. Why would I have another baby living with us?
His mom and dad were college friends of ours here in California. While I was busy having children after college, his mom started teaching school and his father – well, I don't really remember much about him, mainly because what I thought I knew turned out to be false. While we knew them, his mom became pregnant with this first child and in due time a darling little boy was born. Kevin, they called him. He was born in March of 1959. My own third child was due in early June.
When the baby was ready to come home from the hospital - in those days they stayed in the hospital for 5 days after the baby was born - the doctors released Kevin to his father but kept his mother hospitalized. She had become very sick and tests were being done to find out what was wrong. The father came directly to our house from the hospital, asking me if I would care for the baby until Kevin's mom was released. Of course I said yes; what was one more baby in the mix.
To make a long story short, things were not what they seemed. I kept the baby for 3 months and his mother got sicker and sicker. The father rarely appeared at our house to see his son, and my husband and I felt something was terribly awry. We called the baby's grandmother in Kansas and told them what we were seeing with the baby and his family. They came as quickly as they could and took their very sick daughter and her new baby to a new home in Kansas. Kevin's mother lived less than a month after leaving California. She had been diagnosed with Lupus Erythematosus.
My husband and I had discussed the possibility of adopting Kevin if that was the way the events would turn, and we both agreed that we stood ready, if needed, to take that sweet baby as our own, but hoping, of course, that his real mom would be able to raise him.
Over the next few years we kept in touch with Kevin's grandparents, and I still have, after all these years, pictures of them, and us and baby Kevin. And even a few of Kevin's school pictures. But time moves on and contact was lost. But I never forgot that horrible time and I always wondered how Kevin fared in his life.
My hope in writing ImmortalNobodies is to tell a story of a non-famous person that brings a moment of their being to life, even if it is for only a short moment or two. Most of the people I write about are on my family tree, some are people I've merely been acquainted with. Others are strangers I only know about because of a "story." As far as I know, Kevin never knew of my role in his life. I have no way of knowing how much he was told about his first few months of life or of his mother's death. I also believe that he was called Christopher, not Kevin, as he grew up. I believe he married and had children. So I'm going to believe that he had a good life after all. I do know that he died in 2006, young at 47. And he did leave children.
For me, both he and his mother Dawn will always stand high in the ranks of my Immortal Nobodies.
Dawn in high school
Mr.and Mrs. Tedlock in Long Beach taking baby home to Kansas.
My last photo of Kevin sent to me by the Tedlocks