When Tammy Sue Wilcox was born, November 30, 1958, I was ten years old and in the fifth grade. We named her Tammy because we loved the song, Tammy’s in Love, by Debbie Reynolds. The hospital wouldn’t let Mommy take her home, yet, because she was a blue baby. Mommy said it meant their blood was different so the doctors needed to watch her. I couldn’t understand why the doctors needed to stare at my sister for a week. After a week Mommy was still recovering so Daddy allowed me to help bring Tammy home.
On the ride to the hospital in our two-tone green Buick I was nervous and excited. Neither Daddy nor I said a word. I had never seen a blue baby before. When we drove up behind the hospital five nurses came out the door and one was holding a baby. Each nurse kissed the pink bundle goodbye while Daddy opened my car door. Tammy was placed in my arms by a nurse who was smiling but her eyes were teary. She kissed Tammy one more time and said all the nurses had fallen in love with her. I loved Tammy’s rose bud lips as she slept. She had lots of dark, wavy hair and she wasn’t blue at all.
I was frozen in my seat on the drive home. I didn’t want to wake my new born sister if I moved. My arms were going numb but I stayed still. She was so beautiful and perfect as she slept peacefully in my achy arms. I was happy I finally had a real sister.
Tammy Sue had two mommies. After school I fed her, changed her and sang to her as I rocked her in the big rocker. I sang every kid’s song I knew from church while she would cuddle and go right to sleep. I sang: Deep and Wide, I Met Jesus at the Cross Road, I’ve Got a Home in Glory Land, The Wise Man Built His House Upon a Rock, Jesus Loves Me, This Little Light of Mine, If the Devil Doesn’t Like it He Can Sit On a Tack, and Everybody Ought to Know Who Jesus Is.
At two years old she communicated in her own language. She couldn’t say she wanted a drink so she made swallowing sounds with her throat. I remember her sitting on a can of Premium Crackers while she watched television. She was always a very good baby and she made do with whatever was handy.
We didn’t know Tammy had found a ball of butterscotch candy until she started choking. I yelled for Mom to come quick. She ran and turned Tammy upside down and shook her. The candy flew out of her mouth. Mom held her for a while until she calmed down and stopped crying. Whew! That was a close call for our little Tammy Sue.
Tammy is a no nonsense person who has no time for silliness or wasting time. Her philosophy is not to blab about a project until you’re blue, just do it! As a second grader she could solve problems beyond her years. I asked her one day how she knew so much she said, “I learned it in my “Think and Do Book” at school, silly. After that I knew who had the brains in the family!
Tammy jokes all the time that she was switched at birth. She thinks it happened when Mom left her at the hospital for a week. For some reason she doesn’t feel like she belongs to our family. She says she doesn’t look like us, think like us or act like us. We tell her we’re sorry she got stuck with us.
Tammy married a wonderful Catholic boy named Donny Blankenship. (In high school my dad made me call off my date with a Catholic boy.) Tammy was not only allowed to date a Catholic but she was allowed to marry one. (My dad had changed a lot.) Because Tammy invited Donny to our church he realized he wasn’t saved so he got saved and became a Baptist. He is one of the most faithful Christians I know.
Tammy and Donny found the ranch home of their dreams with a wood shed for Donny who is known as the wood and garden man. Tammy has worked different jobs through the years and her greatest accomplishment is her beautiful rose bushes, trees and flowers all around her home.
My sister, Tammy Sue, was just diagnosed with cancer last week. Our family is devastated and sad but hopeful for her healing. Donny needs her. Her children need her. We all love and need her. Please pray for Tammy Sue as she starts her treatments soon.
The “C” word scares us. Maybe that’s why God gave us three
better “C” words like:
“CAST all your care upon Him for He CARES for you. I Peter 5:7