April 13, 1990, was not only Friday the 13th; it was Good Friday as well. Dan, Nick and I colored Easter eggs. The next morning, we had planned on going to Wausau for some reason, and I was at the kitchen table, talking to my mom on the phone, telling her we were getting ready to leave. I stood up to hang up the phone when my water broke all over the kitchen floor.
When we got to the hospital in Rhinelander, the doctor said I was only dilated to three centimeters and if I hadn’t had the baby by the following morning, she would start me on pitocin. I thought to myself, “I am not going to still be in this room by tomorrow morning.” Valerie was born four hours later.
Like her brother before her, she was born perfect, an angel. The day she arrived was a beautiful warm spring day; when we took her home Monday, there was three inches of snow on the ground. Typical Wisconsin weather.
I went back to work at the lab in Tomahawk six weeks later. Somewhere along the line, Dan had gotten a job as a meat cutter at Nelson’s Supermarket and we were feeling pretty confident in our finances. The mobile home was getting a little cramped. The dryer was in Val’s bedroom, and I used it as her changing table. We started looking for a house to buy.
I don’t remember how many places we looked at, but out for a ride one afternoon, we spied a “for sale” sign and turned up the long driveway. I instantly fell in love with the house I saw, but we also quickly turned around not thinking for a minute that we could afford it.
Well, we moved into that very house that September, and I have been here ever since.