When I was about 5 years old my brother, Gordon came home on leave and he brought his new wife Lily and her 2 children with him. Lily was born and raised in France. She had met Gordon while he was stationed there, and it didn’t take long before they were married. When they showed up at the door, we were all so surprised and thrilled to learn that they were expecting a baby. It was odd for me to have a niece and a nephew that were only a couple of years younger than I but I was also excited about having a baby niece or nephew.
Lily was a fun person to be around. She had learned to speak English pretty well, although she still had a little trouble making us understand some things she said. One day Lily and I were out in the yard walking around and she was looking very nervous. I asked her what was wrong, and she said, “I like spiders and I am looking for one.” I thought she was nuts! I hate spiders; they are probably the only creepy crawler that scares me. The next day my brother took me with him to the store and he gave me some money to spend. I bought a rubber spider. When I got home. I put it in a box and wrapped it up really nice. I was so excited; I ran to the dinner table and gave it to Lily. She was so touched that I thought of her she eagerly tore the wrapping off and opened the box. The next thing I knew chaos broke out. Lily threw the box into the air and was screaming hysterically! My brother was trying to calm her down, my Dad found the box which had bounced off the wall and had flown over the table and he tossed it outside, my sister was laughing so hard she had tears flowing down her face, the two kids were crying, and my mother fainted.
When everything calmed down my mother asked me “How could you do such a horrible thing to Lily?” I told her what she had told me the day before and then Lily started laughing. She realized she had said that she liked spiders instead of disliked them. Everyone was fine with it except my mother. I got in a lot of trouble for it and almost every day until my Nephew Earl was born I had to hear my mother tell me that the poor little baby was now going to have a spider-shaped birthmark on it and that it will be all my fault. After Earl was born Gordon called to tell us he was fine, no birthmarks of any kind. My mother never believed them; she thought they were just saying that to make me feel better.
I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.