Sydney Joyce and her Aunt Rose sat in worried silence.
"Here it is again," Syd wailed. Her face was white and her eyes wide.
"Sweetie, what does it feel like, is it a pain?"
"It doesn't hurt," Syd replied tearfully. "It kind of feels like a butterfly in there."
"Oh my dear," Aunt Rose said sitting back on her heels and hugging her, "that's the baby moving and telling you its okay."
From then on the flutters became stronger and grew into out-right kicking. Aunt Rose's
neighbor, Mrs. Larsen knew about these things and came over regularly and felt her stomach and clucked along with her aunt.
The fall turned into winter. Now it was December and the ladies were sittng sipping tea and stitching baby kimonos. Syd's back ached and she felt restless. She stood up to stretch and a sudden pain caused her to frown. She took several steps and then looked down in horror as a stain began wetting her dress and stockings.
"Oh, look what I've done," she wailed as a puddle began to darken the flowered living room carpet.
"Sweetie, that's all right." Aunt Rose said softly, trying to control her sudden alarm. She knew it was time!
"Let's go into your room and you can lie down." And Rose helped her undress saying, "now just rest and I'll go get Mrs. Larsen. I'll be gone only five minutes."
"I'm so scared," Syd cried clutching her stomach again as a new pain set in. Her face was stark white, her eyes terror strickened.
The two older ladies boiled water and found clean old sheets. They wiped Syd's tears and held her hand way into the night as the young girl struggled to bring a new life into the world. Finally, after hours of pain and exhaustion, her daughter was born amid cries of joy and relief.
It was December 12, 1932.
"I'll name her Merry Delores because its soon Christmas," Syd replied as she held the tiny bundle in her arms and looked her over with pride and wonder. After reassuring herself that the baby was perfect, she fell sound asleep.
That first year flew by and Little Merry D grew from a tiny infant into a chubby inquisitive little Miss and her great aunt and her mother doted on her every whim.
Aunt Rose loved having a family and their business flourished as they worked long days and well into the nights sewing dresses and gown for the elite of Chicago. As Merry D grew, her pure sweet voice joined Syd's as they sang together, learning the current songs they heard coming over the radio. Their soprano voices were beautiful together. One Sunday as they were sitting down having tea after church, Merry D piped up in her small voice.
"Mama, is my daddy in heaven?"
Sydney jumped up from the table and exclaimed, "Oh no, your daddy went away a long time ago"