March 22, 2015
Miss Reese Catherine Parker went home from the hospital today. She decided to kick her way out of her mother’s womb last Monday, March 16, 2015 at 3:43 P.M. She couldn’t wait for the remaining five weeks of baking that had been prescribed for her. The little thing weighed four pounds and eight ounces. She was eighteen and one half inches long. Her hair is blonde. Her toes are long. She is perfect.
It’s been a long week. That tiny girl has been poked, prodded and lit up in every way imaginable. She’s strong. Her impatience comes honestly. I blame it on the Becker side.
For some reason, I’ve been thinking about my Pepa. He was the firstborn of my grandparents. Thomas William Parker was born in Marshall, Arkansas on March 6, 1889. That means that, as of today, I will have personally known family members who were born one hundred twenty six years and ten days apart. That’s a long time. Three centuries are crossed. And I find myself almost smackdab in the middle.
Reese’s big sister, Riann, is two years and nine months old. She knows her way around an iPad pretty well. She can count and is good at her ABC’s. She adores Minnie Mouse and Anna and Elsa from FROZEN.
I wonder what Pepa was doing when he was two or three? How did he learn to read? How did he learn his numbers? They didn’t have iPads, kindergarten, nursery school or Sesame Street. At best, Pepa may have finished the eighth grade, but I doubt it. He had to work on the farm. At two, I assume he was playing in the dirt trying to draw up doodle bugs.
Not much is known about Pepa before World War I. I was only seven when he died, so I don’t remember that much. I do remember the Dutch rubs and Indian rope burns. I remember the smell of tobacco and beer. There was always a case of warm Falstaff on the back porch.
The little I do know comes from my father and other family members.
I know he was a smart man. Not well educated, but smart. The only book he ever owned that I know of was the Bible. My Daddy said Pepa knew the Bible inside and out, even though he didn’t become a Christian until his later years. When Pepa was growing up, the Bible was often the only book in the house.
I know he was a wise man. Everyone who knew him says so. He understood people and situations. That’s what I’ve always been told.
I know that he took care of his family. Even though they had to travel all over Texas and Oklahoma during the Great Depression, he took care of his family. His family loved him. They all had to pitch in and work hard. Daddy was the youngest and he was picking cotton when he was eight years old.
Tom and Reese Parker represent two extremes in my life. A lot has happened in this world between their births. Pepa would never begin to comprehend the world Reese has entered. I wonder how much she will ultimately comprehend his world. I wonder how much I really comprehend either one. I don’t even want to get a new phone.