A Brother Is Born In Brooklyn
I first wrote the following as a journal entry in August of 2008. The year I turned fifty. This year I turned fifty-nine and I haven’t written regularly in a journal since that time. That is not true I was writing and stored everything on a flash drive. It was accidentally thrown away by me. When I lost the flash drive I felt like I lost a part of me never to be found again. I think I was associating it with my Dad’s diagnosis of dementia. Over the past nine years there have been quite a few family issues to cope with and writing did not seem to fit in anywhere. I hope publishing this to my Hub Pages site changes that for me.
I am in the last year of my fifties, my brother is in the last year of his forties. To commemorate this milestone I wanted to “get down on paper” the events of his birth from my point of view. I think mainly because I can remember the day he was born like it was yesterday. I thought I better write it down once and for all before I forget about it, because possibly someday I will.
It was August 22, 1968 and I had turned ten years old the month before. My mother was pregnant and I didn’t understand at the time that a woman her age, thirty-eight, and with a heart condition was at risk. At this time in our family I was truly the middle child, my sister Valerie was seven years older than me and my younger sister Phyllis was four years my junior. The whole family was excited Mommy was pregnant, maybe now we would have a brother, someone to carry on the Turco name
That day in Brooklyn, New York was very hot and of course humid. It was a Thursday, and during the summer the drive-in would have discounts for families. Our family was planning on going to see “The Odd Couple”, with Walter Matheau and Jack Lemmon.
Mommy sent me to the grocery store to get what we needed for our outing. In 1968 you could send a ten year old to the store with almost no worry. Key Food was about four to five city blocks away and the only two way street with a light was Bedford Avenue. The clerks in the store knew me by sight. They would look out for me, especially when I was having trouble reaching for something. Mommy never had me get anything that would take much thought. Just cold cuts, bread, soda, no produce or meat, maybe some paper products.
When I got home we unloaded everything from the cart, it was that metal kind with two wheels. All of the groceries were on the kitchen table and this was when we would go over the list to make sure I purchased everything. Mommy didn’t look too good, really tired and she just asked me if I thought I bought everything on the list. I told her yes, she said “OK lets put everything away.”
I think after that we had some lunch, and Daddy came home from work. The next thing I knew Mommy and Daddy were gone and the neighbor from downstairs (we lived in a two story apartment building) was in the house. I asked where they were she said they had to go out and she seemed very nervous.
I thought they decided to go to the movies without us. Did I do something wrong and was being punished and they forgot to tell me? Funny how a ten year old’s mind works.
It wasn’t even eight o’clock and Mrs. Lovley (that was her name and that is how it was spelled) was sending Phyllis and me to bed. Valerie was at work, so I could not even ask her what was going on.
Phyllis was only six and really didn’t understand, but I laid in bed thinking all kinds of things. Finally I heard my Dad’s voice and Valerie’s. He asked Mrs. Lovley “Where are the kids?”. Before she could answer I jumped out of the top bunk and ran to my Dad. I asked “Where’s Mommy?” He answered with a question, “What was Mommy supposed to bring home?” All I could think of was a balloon I had been promised. “No”, he said, “you have a little brother and his name is Tyrone Philip Turco and you will get to see him tomorrow.”
The mystery where my parents were was finally solved. We never did get to the drive in that summer to see “The Odd Couple”. Come to think of it I have never seen the movie.