So, most of the U.S., as far as I know, recognizes today, February 2, as Groundhog’s Day. To most of us, it’s a funny or meaningless day, relating to this li’l varmint bastard who may or may not see his shadow. To others of us, it’s a day to remember and/or watch the terrifically funny Bill Murray/Andie MacDowell rom/com/fantasy “Groundhog’s Day”, which I recently bought on dvd.
But in my family, today is more important, because it is the birthday of my sister, Chloe. Her due date was late May, but she was born 16 weeks premature, on this day in 1987, at Emmanuel Hospital in NE Portland. The details of the medicine involved is a little hazy to me, but I remember that when she was born, her entire body could fit in my dad’s hand, and I believe she weighed about 2 or 3 pounds. She was small, but grew bigger and had the most beautiful eyes. She lived her whole life in the hospital, but did visit our home (with a nurse) on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Shortly before she died, she had a tracheotomy, but apparently it wasn’t enough to save her. In total, she lived about 14 months. I was 9 when she was born, and 10 when she died. Her life and death totally changed the relationships within my family, and I wrongly credited her death with much of my teenage depression. So she would have been 18 today. Happy Birthday, Chloe.