Today is my brother Anthony Charles Godlewski birthday. He is the baby of the family, youngest of 5 kids. I had just turned 12 when he was born in 1967. It was exciting. My Mom had a c-section and I had to go to school that day. I was anxious all day and probably didn't do very well at school. I can't remember. I do remember getting my other little brother after school and practically running home from school to find out if I had a sister or a brother. Back in them olden days, you didn't know until the baby came. My only sister was married and had her first baby in August. Yes, you read that right, my Mom and sister were pregnant together, and my Mom was a grandmother before she became a mother for the last time. The baby was either an aunt or an uncle at birth. My Dad was home and told Vincent and I that we had a brother. Okay I admit it, there was an ever slight period of disappointment, I wanted a sister, but hey I had a niece and she was beautiful.
Back there in them olden days you stayed in the hospital for one week, even I did in 1977 and that was a tough week. I wanted to get my hands on MY baby. It was going to be so much fun. I was a mommy or so I thought. I was old enough to visit in the hospital and I had to look through glass at my brother. Sometimes he would be crying and I would get so angry at those nurses because they were letting my brother cry. My Dad would say that sometimes a baby has to cry, but no, you have to pick the baby up and rock it. Even the day the baby came home from the hospital, I was had to go to school. I was madder than a wet hornet. I ran all the way home from school again. I finally got to hold my brother. My Dad didn't think I was big enough to get the baby, he made me sit and someone put the baby in my arms. Try getting the baby out of my arms once he was put in my arms, good luck. From that moment on, that baby was mine. Once I got home from school, I was his Mom, I just couldn't pick him up, I wasn't allowed to. but........................
Paula and Tom, were staying with us with Kim to help my Mom as she had the c-section. I know Paula and my Mom were upstairs with Kim my niece. Chuck, that what we called my brother, was on the dining room table in his crib like thing. My Dad was at the drug store getting supplies, probably the first or second day Mom was home. Chuck started wailing, and cried for a good few minutes. I called Mom and Paula and no one came. I started crying because the baby was crying which meant he was hurting and no one was doing anything about it. I climbed on the dining room chair and picked the baby up. I almost fell with the baby. I never told anyone that until this Christmas. My Mom never knew and when she found out this Christmas she wasn't too happy. She knew I picked him up and wasn't happy about that then, but didn't know I almost fell. I had him like a football held to my chest. Scared the bejeeze out of me. I sat in the rocking chair and rocked and cuddled with him. When my Dad came home he asked me Who gave you that baby and left you alone? I said I got him because he was crying and no one would come. Did you ever see a man's face turn red
with fury. He went up the stairs and I could hear him saying something to either my Mom or Paula. I was told in no uncertain terms I was never ever to ever pick that baby up again. Kim was older and I could pick her up now. I think if my Dad knew I had almost dropped him, he would have killed me on the spot.
I did everything with and for that kid. On his first birthday I was making him a birthday cake and he was being rushed to the hospital by police car because he was having an asthma attack. I wouldn't give the police officer my brother and he said he was going to arrest me if I didn't. I was so scared. He couldn't breathe and he was wheezing like crazy. I kept asking my Mom if he was going to die, which made my Mom anxious. It scared me to go to the hospital and see this almost lifeless child under an oxygen tent. He would get better and we would have races in the hospital hallway with other kids. I would put him in a shopping car and race or a wheelchair.
When I was working at McDonald's I would take him shopping on the weekend with my girlfriend Kim. She had a brother the same age and we would take them everywhere. We would buy them candy and take them out to eat and buy them toys. Then we would take the bus home just like Mommy did. We would also take them for walks and to the movies. Chuck was very spoiled because everyone felt bad that he was sick with asthma. He was in the hospital a few times. We would buy him anything that he wanted to make up for it. One day when I came home from work, Chuck asked me if HE got paid that day. That was the end of the shopping trips weekly. My Mom said no more, he was "getting spoiled." Getting nothing, he was spoiled.What Chuck wanted Chuck got.
One time I had a girlfriend sleeping over and I heard Chuck fall out of his crib. When I ran into his room there was blood everywhere. I screamed and my Mom was getting ready I think to get into the tub. He fell on his bottle and it had broken. His head was split open on top. He was bleeding profusely. I ran and got my Dad who was outside with Vincent. I don't think my Dad's fit hit the steps, he flew. He told me to call the police but I was hysterical and he called. I went screaming over to the neighbor's house that he was dying. The police came again and took him to the hospital. The neighbor left me with her husband and went to be with my Mom who was almost catatonic Donna said. Chuck came home with stitches in his head. He had what we called 3 rollers in the top of his head. My Mom started using plastic bottles. To this day there is a dip in Chuck's skull.
It kind of makes me feel old. Here he is 46 years old. I changed his diapers, burped him, walked the floors with him late at night when he had an asthma attack, rocked him to sleep, put on scary Halloween masks and scared him to make him cry, worried about him, fought with him, loved him and got mad at him. Years later I would take care of his daughter, love her to pieces, take care of his son adore him, now they are grown. You know It is a Wonderful Life.