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~Cara ~
The  baby years
Is  is very difficult to write my memories of my daughter, and since I
see her in a very special way,  I am certain at times I may seem to Just be bragging.   I will apologize now to those who see it that way. 
Just  12 hours old.  Bright eyed and ready to go.
It is the only decent hospital photo  I have ever seen.
I  wouldn't  say her Dad was delighted with
her,   but it was the only time I got flowers in the hospital,  Pink and a pink rattle.  A few days later  a pink outfit for my birthday.
   Cara was born on December 2 1968,  in Auburn WA.  I remember that year we had one of the worst snow storms to hit Seattle.  There was some concern about making it to the hospital.   I made it but  the doctor did not. 

       Her  father got out of the Navy on Dec 3,  so she was born just in the nick of time.  One  more day and we would not have had the insurance coverage.  We were living in a very small apartment in the city.  Every day my brother-in-law,  a merchant seaman would walk a couple of blocks to our apartment just to hold Cara and play with Clyde Jr.  When she was a couple of months old we moved to a house in Kent.  There she had two paternal aunts who would come over every day to just play with her.  My husband and I  were the last of our siblings to marry and then did not have our children until later.   We had been married over 11 years and had lived away from our families all those years.  So they enjoyed our children more since their's  were older now.

       So Cara and her brother never lacked for attention.  Everyone adored her and she was  the apple of her Daddy's eye.  He would get her up very early to visit with him and he always put a drop or two of coffee into her milk so she was having coffee with her Daddy. At 9 months old I put a stop to that because she really believed she needed that coffee.  When she was just over a year old we moved to the home where we now live.  So most of my memories of Cara are in this house.

        She talked very early and had this wild imagination.  Once when her Aunt Judy had a  small surgery next to her eye,  Cara went over to study the stitches on her face and then informed us that Judy had a spider on her face.  Between one and two years old she developed two imaginary playmates.  The main one,  was according to her, a big hairy blue monster.  His name was Charlie,  and he was her best friend.  I can still see the look on my husband's  face the first time that Cara introduced him to Charlie.  Clyde was trying very hard to understand and he said "Hello"  as he reached out to shake Charlie's hand.  Cara got a very annoyed expression on her face and said,  "Can't  you see he has a broken arm?"

         When I would take my bath in the evening she would come into the bathroom to visit with me.  I can still see her as she sat and would begin to describe how muddy and dirty Charlie's  feet were.  This was always followed by,  "Charlie is going to get into your bath."    I of course would respond with "You tell Charlie not to get into my bath."  Then the giggles would start as she would yell,  "He's getting in Mama,  he's  getting in."  So I always had to feign this annoyance at the muddy water I now had  in my bath tub and this would bring on more giggles. 

          Her second  friend Kathy,  was not a frequent visitor.  It was always when Cara had done something that she wasn't suppose to do.  When I would say something about it she would always tell me  "Kathy told me to do it."  But  Charlie was her constant companion,  he went every where we went and she saw him as her best friend.  When she entered Kindergarten and he disappeared from our lives,  I have to admit,  I really missed him. 
At a cousins birthday party
About 18 months old,  determined she could skate with her brothers skates. I put her on the dirt or she would have been on her bottom in no time.
     She was always outgoing and very friendly.  We bought a small variety story here in town when she was about  3 years old.  She would always follow the customers around and show them where things were located.  When I would try to call her back so that she wouldn't  annoy them,  I was always told,  "Oh no,  she helps me do my shopping."  On the few days  when I was at the store without her,  everyone would ask "Where is my little helper?"  One customer at Christmas time, came to the counter and said,  "I don't suppose you happen to have candy canes?"   When I said "Yes, I do"  she started to laugh and told me I had a little "shill"  working for me.  Cara had suggested that she buy this Santa Boot,   and when she asked what would she do with it,  Cara had told her to fill it with candy canes.   She did buy the boot, and the candy canes.  
         Cara was wild about shoes,  all kinds of shoes and was constantly in the closet every where we went getting out "people's  shoes" to wear.  It made no difference what size,  she would even wear her Dad's  shoes.   So  I went out and bought her shoes instead of toys one summer, all kinds of shoes from K-Mart.  She drove me crazy all day just changing shoes and when I got tired of tieing them  she learn to tie them herself at 3 years old.   By high school her taste in shoes had gotten so expensive that I made her save her  own money to buy them.  I paid for all her clothes  and other needs and she bought her own shoes.   

        At Christmas when she was about 3,  she put on a bright red snow suit,  filled a pillow case with junk  and came down the stairs yelling "HO, HO, HO"   all the way to the bottom.  After that she did it every year until she was about 8 years old.  The last time,  she had a rust colored sweater of her Dad's  stuffed to make her round, and the only hat she could find was a green one.  But it was the same trip down the stairs and the pillow case full of junk and the "Ho, Ho, Ho."  I didn't  get pictures of those early trips down the stairs  but I did get a photo of her last trip. 
wearing aunt Judy's boots and les's coat
Her cousin Les's  old tennis shoes
The last Ho Ho Ho, Christmas
     For her third birthday,  her Aunt Judy and I took her roller skating because she was so sure she could skate.  When we started around the floor with her,  she begin to yell "Let go of my hand, let go of my hand."  So finally we did.  She rolled for a little ways and then motioned her aunt to bend down to listen to her.  She said to Judy "Give me a push"   That was it.  I do not know how many times she fell,  but I know by the time we took her home,  she could skate.  We just stayed behind her to keep the big kids from knocking her down.  

      Cara was always very athletic and believed she could compete with any of the boys.
For that belief in herself she could have thanked her big brother.  Not many brothers would have insisted that his friends let his baby sister come and play ball with them.  So at three she learned to handle a bat and ball and use a baseball mitt.  When we got her a bike at 5,  it was Clyde Jr who came and told me on the second day she had it,  I needed to remove the training wheels.  She didn't need them.  He was right. 

       She really believed that she could beat him up for many years,  even though he was 5 years older then her.  When she would tackle him as a baby,  he would get to laughing so hard he would let her pin him to the floor.   It was a terrible shock  at about 6  when she learned that she really was not stonger then he was. 

        So many memories come to me.  I recall walking into the living room when she was little to find her standing in the rocking chair, rocking as hard as she could and smiling as she said "Baby gonna go Boom"  and she did go boom ,  before I could reach her.  Of seeing her out back playing with the little boy from across the road.  Sitting in the dirt.   She and her best friend Joanie, (who had 5 brothers).  Both believing they could do anything that the boys could do.  One day  I heard Joanie say to Cara,  "Your acting just like a girl"   and  Cara was furious yelling  "No I'm not!"  and  I was thinking .....  I hope you are!  This  is my only daughter!
The School Years
Teen Age years
The Adult
Her Death
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