Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sibling Chronicles: Chapter Four

So even though we have had the big meltdown here in Portland--last night at bedtime it was 50 degrees, woo hoo!--I still seem to have plenty of free time to update my blog. It is so much less stressful now that the holidays are over, the snow is gone and I am not anxiously waiting for UPS packages to arrive (which never did, by the way). Joey's gifts are not even going to make it here by the last night of Hanukah (tonight). I am now boycotting UPS. Fedex and the US Postal Service delivered their packages on time. For Pete's Sake, the paper guy and the NW Natural Gas Meter Reader even made it to our house last week, but not UPS. That just doesn't seem right.

On with the blog. This Chapter of the Sibling Chronicles is dedicated to sibling #6, Byron Gene Godsey: My Dad's First Son, Hallelujah. I'm not sure if ultrasounds were around back in 1976-77, but if they were, surely Dad had started his celebration early. If not, then March 26, 1977 was a gloriously exciting day. Byron was named after Papa Nip (Byron Isanhart) and Dad himself (Loy Gene).
Everyone loved holding Byron, especially me at age 13.
I put this picture in because I think it is so
funny. Kim looks to be in a real mood.
Byron's 1st Birthday.

So, it seems, if memory serves that sometime around Byron's 2nd Birthday he contracted Spinal Meningitis. It was most devastating for the entire family. Sarah was a baby and Karen was pregnant with Betsy. Byron was rushed to Hood River General Hospital. I was a freshman in High School in Portland. His condition was so bad they did not even feel he would make it if they life-flighted him to Portland. Now that is pretty bad since it is only an hour's drive.

Tiff and I were brought in one evening when the doctors only gave him... and I am pulling off a teenage memory here, a 20% chance to make it through the night. We went to the hospital, possibly to say good-bye and he was being blessed by a bunch of men from the church. Karen was basically living at the hospital and everything was just so out of place.

I actually cannot think of a sadder moment in my life. I mean, I was devastated when my Grandparent's died, but they had lived a life... Byron had barely lived at all. And the tests they were doing on him were supposed to be some of the most painful. It just wasn't fair.

By some miracle, Byron made it through everything. He couldn't walk or talk (which of course he had been able to do before the illness), but he had the most amazing disposition and he quickly re-learned everything he had been able to do before and more, lots more.

This picture was taken on one of our summer trips to Sunriver. We had been spending our summer vacations at Neskowin on the Oregon Coast, but every year it rained, so Dad switched to Sunriver. We all rode bikes and swam and generally had a blast. This particular summer Byron was still re-learning some coordination, but nothing could ever stop that kid--he had skills.
This picture was taken at Nana & Papa's house in
Tillamook when Byron was three.
Here's a picture at the Hood River house on State Street.
The pictures are really starting to remind me of Bridget now.
This may have been taken some time around the time Byron
drove the car into Karen's freshly planted garden.
Like I said, the kid had skills--driving at three. Such good times.
Another all-time favorite.
Ahhh, and then the Godsey family moved from Oregon to Arizona and along went a bunch of my siblings with them. Byron has found a frog... and is very happy about it. That 'Dukes of Hazzard' t-shirt must be lucky.

Two more siblings arrive in Arizona. Byron is holding Ben. More boys, yay! Possibly the Golden Child will have to share his throne? As it turns out, not really.

Mesa, Arizona is one big playground where t-shirts in the winter time are standard attire.
Byron, age 9 comes to the airport to see me off when I leave Arizona for Kyoto, Japan.
Quite a trio--reminds me of Sand Lot. Hey, Byron is already wearing a Blazer's cap--and his destiny was set. Not sure about the other two and their hats...
A visit to Byron in Hawaii before he graduates and returns to civilization.

Byron and Jennifer, November 27, 2004.
And the adventure continues....


2 comments:

Andy said...

My favorite pic is the one where he is dropping you off for Kyoto. The Michael Jackson look suits Byron well.

kjlubitz said...

Sammy likes the picture where Byron looks like the kid from Sand Lot.

My favorite is the one with the frog--pure joy on his face.

Andy, are you making fun of Byron because of my throne comment???