December Babies

December 29, 2016

My Mom, Carole, and my husband, Gilbert (c. 2007)

(Pictured above: My Mom, Carole Grace – furthest left – with her 5 older siblings, plus sister-in-law, Helen.)

Today is Dec 29th and it has just occurred to me that my husband, Gilbert, is now a year older…39 today! My Mom turns 79 on December 30th, so they are basically 40 years apart. My Mom always tells my husband how glad she is that they are “neighbors” with their birthdays so close together. 🙂

There is a cute story in the family history that it seems appropriate to share at this time, about the birth of my mother, Carole Grace Edstrom Falk. (Looking through the family history records I have, I don’t see all the details of my Mom’s arrival recorded, so I’ll partially retell the story based on my memory of the things my Mom has told me.)

Apparently, my Grandmother, Harriet Louise Bone Edstrom, was one of those women who occasionally has a baby and surprises everyone. When my mother was born, none of the neighbors or relatives knew my Grandmother was expecting. Whether my Grandparents themselves had any idea, is unclear, but when my mother was born, she initially had no name. According to my mom’s older sister, my Aunt Rogene (pictured right) (who was 12 at the time of my mother’s birth):

Louise Rogene Edstrom Kokesh

Carole was born and we didn’t know…Roberta and I suspected, but we didn’t know; we thought [if Mom was pregnant] it would be in June, and it was the night we were talking about it that she had her.

So then we stayed overnight [(Dec 28th/29th, 1937) at Grandma Mary Etta’s house], and then the next morning—about ten o’clock in the morning—telephone rang, and it was Uncle Jack on the phone, and Jack said, “Mother just had a baby girl.”  We almost dropped over dead; my grandmother didn’t know; we didn’t know for sure; we suspected it, but we didn’t say anything to my grandmother about it.  And Aunt Vi was having a fit—another kid!  And I said, “Well” . . . we were having one big fit, ‘cause there was another kid, and we didn’t want any more kids; that was enough—five was enough, but six of us!  ‘Cause all the, kids used to—in them days, “Boy, you sure got a lot of kids in your family.  You got an awful lot of kids.”  And—Depression years, you know. But then I was very upset about it, and so then my mother was in the hospital for ten days; they kept ‘em ten days.

Carole Lombard

So, these factors led to my Mom being given no name and when people began to call to ask about the baby and what her name was, my Mom’s much older siblings took it upon themselves to name her! They named her Carole Grace since she was born around the Christmas season. And I suppose that is a good thing, since having named her, they had to accept this 6th, unexpected child, as truly one of their own!

The spelling of my mother’s name, with an ‘e’ on the end, was because my Grandmother was superstitious and having an ‘e’ on the end of your name was meant to be good luck. Also, she was named after the popular actress, Carole Lombard (who died in a plane crash, Jan 16, 1942, at age 33).

As a side note, when my Mom was visiting us recently down under, she met the mother of a friend of mine who is also named Carole (with an ‘e’), and in talking, they discovered they had that in common…that they were both named after the actress, Carole Lombard. They both shared a laugh and commented how, in living up to their namesake…as they’re both now beyond their youthful days…they may perhaps reflect Carole Lombard’s outward beauty, by being stunningly beautiful on the inside.

To this, I can attest! Love you, Mom! 🙂



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1 Comment

  • Reply Becky Diesner January 1, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    Love it! This kinda reminds me of some of my Moms stories. Mom was one of 12 that lived. But two of her siblings died after birth. So there would have been 14. Mom was second to the youngest so her older brothers were always playing pranks on her. She only had two older sisters the oldest living sibling a sister then one more a couple of brothers before she. All 9 rest were brothers older than her. So Mom wanted a baby sister. Her brothers were ALWAYS playing pranks on her and she got where she didn’t trust anything. Her Mom had a baby girl and Mom about four at the time was SURE her brothers knowing she wanted a baby sister so bad borrowed a neighbor baby to trick her and would take the baby back as soon as mom bonded with her. And now her MOM and the neighbor lady were in on this trick! Moms baby sister Valerie was one year old before Mom believed she was really that baby sister she always wanted. 😊🌸

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