When I was 8 my life changed twice, one in a positive way and one in a negative way that would scar our family for a lifetime
The first was the birth of my triplet sisters – yes triplets, some of you know this, and others may only ever know me as having sisters that were twins as that’s the easy version of this story. In fact this post came about because a family friend of ours gave me the article from the paper (in the attached photo from when my sisters were born) but was too afraid to give it straight to my parents or sisters in case he caused them any heartache and he thought I was the only person he could give it to. It made me wonder what image we portray as a family to others that people feel they have to tiptoe around us in case our feelings get hurt.
We were a happy family for those first 3.5 months, life was hectic, I was often overlooked but I didn’t mind as I had 3 sisters that I would get to grow up with and my only child status has disappeared so I could be like the other people at my school with brothers and sisters who always appeared ‘cooler’ then me.
Emma was the smallest triplet weighing in at a small 4.9 pound birth weight. She was the one I always held the most for some reason, maybe because she was a fairly easy baby, quiet and not as fussy or grizzly as the other two. When I went in to get a stapler from my dad’s desk early one Sunday morning Emma was asleep in her bassinet in the lounge and I had a quick peep in at her as I went past while she was sleeping peacefully. Little would I know that would be the last time someone saw her alive. Half an hour later at feed time when I couldn’t wake her and my mum came in everything changed. All I recall afterwards is my mum’s screams, my Oma’s (grandma) wails and me pressing myself into the corner of the kitchen next to the fridge wishing I could disappear. This was the day Emma passed away from SIDS /Cot Death.
That day changed our family irreparably, my mum would go on to have post-natal depression which would see her in and out of hospital for the next 10 years and would change her character forever, my dad became a hardened man that kept all his feelings buried deep within while he tried to be super-dad/husband and I grew up about 10 years overnight.
Those 10 years were tough and are a whole other story but the point of this post is to tell you Sienna that you had an Aunt Emma who shouldn’t be forgotten. Our family never mentions Emma, mainly because it’s easier to say mum had twins so we don’t need to explain it. We don’t do anything to remember her passing or mention her on my sister’s birthday and now I have you Sienna, I want to change that so people can feel comfortable mentioning Emma or SIDS as it’s not a story to be hidden. Emma was a beautiful little girl who deserves to be remembered and we as a family shouldn’t be ashamed or afraid to talk the effect it had on us.
So Emma – may you always be remembered as a treasured part of our family although you only lived a short while on this earth xoxo – Your big sister