Tattered Past

Tattered Past: My ongoing journey through genealogy, history, writing, self-exploration and art. ~~~ Rita Ackerman

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tuesdays With Rita: Birthdays

My birthday is tomorrow. Here's a picture of my mother holding me at about four or five months. I was a very small baby, born at home, in the middle of the night. I got conflicting stories but one was that my drunken father had lit in to mom and brought on labor 2 or 3 months early. I caught a cold and spent a couple of months in an incubator in the small town clinic. I weighed around four pounds. The doctor always called me his miracle baby. Frankly, I think that woman in the plaid dress was a miracle mom. I has her sixth baby. My sister the oldest than a few miscarriages and a baby brother who lived a couple of days. How my mom lived through that is impossible to comprehend.

This is my mother holding my daughter at about 4 months. Jessica didn't want to come in to the world and I was in labor for 18 hours but no other problems and she never had any health issues as a child.

Mom was so proud of her. Since my sister's family lived in another state she wasn't able to be around my niece and nephew when they were babies. Or when my niece had her babies. Jessica was ten when we lost her Nana. While I was in Washington this summer we talked a lot about her memories of Nana. Mostly that there was always lots of food. Mom loved to cook and she was an amazing cook.

I miss my mom. Jessica misses her but her memories aren't as strong. Because of that amazingly strong lady we are both here. She left us an amazing legacy.

Tell us about your mom, your birth and the connections that reach into this time.


  1. Great pictures of your mom. She sounds like she was a very strong woman. Somewhere, packed away, I think I still have a few pictures of my mom. She was the youngest of 7 children and her father died when she was a very young child! Always the baby of her family, at a time when the Depression was happening, she grew up in a household where her mother was struggling to raise all those children by herself. I imagine her older sisters and brothers played a big role in raising her.

    My mom was never a very happy person on the inside, unfortunately, though in "public" she always had a big smile on her face. That must be something she learned growing up - to hide what she was really feeling and that somehow it was wrong to admit you needed help.

    When I was born, my mom apparently had the mumps, so was placed in an isolation ward. I guess she and I received lots of attention. I have always wondered if this gave me some immunity to that childhood disease, as I never had that one myself.

    By the way, Rita - HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

  2. Happy birthday, Rita!! I loved seeing these photos. I don't know how your mom managed all those losses, either. My daughter is trying to get pregnant now and has had many losses, too - and each one is a heartbreak. Your mama looks like a baby in these pictures.

  3. Rita, you were one lucky baby! I can imagine how your mom felt when you got sick and had to be in the incubator. She must have been so scared that she's gonna lose you too. So nice to see her holding Jessica. She sounds like was an amazing woman.

  4. Happy birthday Rita! You look a lot like your Mom! Nice you have these pictures, they're precious.
    My Mom was pregnant with me during the tragic fatal illness of my sister at age six. I like to think I was her bundle of joy during the hardest time in her life.

  5. Rita, your mother sounds valiant. I think that would be a good description of my mother as well. She had a stillborn baby and another baby that died and is buried in the Athens, Wisconsin, cemetery. Like you, I spent some time in an incubator -- just think, if they hadn't been invented by the time we were born, we probably wouldn't be here!

  6. oh my!
    how beautiful and lovely all of this is, words, memories and the pictures, THE PICTURES!!!!
    i love the pictures!


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