Friday, January 13, 2017
REMEMBERING THE BABY DAYS
February 18, 1927 - January 2, 2017
In 1959 my husband and I bought our first house. It was in Westminster, California, and on our street most of the husbands were former GI's and qualified to buy a home on a VA loan. As I recall, the buyer had to have a monthly income of $350, and we barely qualified. Our little family at that time included a 3 year old son, and two daughters aged 18 month and 2 months. In 1961 our final daughter was born. The house was small - only 1100 square feet, but it was a mansion to us compared to the apartment we had been living in.
Everyone on the block, it seemed, had little kids, and the first thing we looked for was a good doctor who would take good care of our children.
Now in 1955, Dr. Melville Singer settled in Garden Grove, right next door to Westminster, and it wasn't long before the word went around that Dr. Singer - and later also his partner Dr. Kegel, were accepting patients ....and before long, every child on our street was placed in their care. There were children from the Brown family, the Ritchie family, the Umnesses, the Zepedas, the family of the Zachers, the Beckstroms, the Dews and the Dominskis. Oh, and there were more...but you can see that the word was out......and advice given was always: "You'd better take him/her to Singer and Kegel."
These children were part of the Shirley Street 'gang" -- all getting a good start under the good doctors.
It was comforting to know they were there for us.
Dr. Singer was the first pediatric cardiologist in Orange County, and he joined the staff of Children's Hospital of Orange County in 1964. His career spanned 60 years; he did good all over the world.
I was sad when I saw an obituary with his name. Although my "baby" at the time was 56 year old, I couldn't help but remember how it seemed just yesterday when I cradled her in my arms and took her in with a high fever. It was a good memory, not of her sickness but of Dr. Singer's legendary care.
Learning how to be a mom has to be credited in good part to listening to what doctors tell us to do for our little ones. Thanks, Dr. Singer, for being there when we needed you.