Happy Birthday, Cara Peace!!!

My life as an only child was cut short when I was 17 months old.  On January 4th, 1975, my younger sister, Cara Peace, showed up on the scene. Of course, I don't remember anything about the next couple of years, being so young myself. But my parents tell the story about how I tried to comfort Cara when she was crying....or maybe I was trying to change her diaper.  They walked in to find me in her crib...and Cara covered in baby powder!  My own earliest memory of Cara was when we lived in the apartments in North Olmstead, right by the mall. We had these white paint brushes, that probably came in a cheap watercolor set. For some reason, my parents let us drop them off the balcony. Then we climbed down so many steps, rushed out side and retrieved them...Lumbered back up those steps, the 50's/60's kind with no back (so they were floating in a way)...through the door to our apartment and back out to the balcony...only to drop the paint brush once more and run to retrieve. Here we are in our apartment:

I remember that rocking chair on the left. We also had a  yellowish one. 
And that stereo system and cart..that carpeting...that plastic kid table set....
and of course that sewing table on right.

Doesn't she look angelic here?

My sister and I were so lucky that we got to share the upstairs bedroom in the 809 Warwick Drive Bungalow.  I remember our beds situated underneath the double windows on the south side of the house, just like Bert and Ernie. And to me, my sister was always so serious.  (But in the end, I think she was just more like Nephi and I was probably more like Laman/Lemuel.) I remember countless Sundays when I was told to go "find Cara's missing black patent leather Sunday shoe." Oh how I disliked doing that...minutes before leaving for church.

 I remember one year, just before school started in the fall, we had all of our new supplies. We sat up on our beds and pretended we were an infomercial for all of precious new items.  (Now, this was before infomercials or HSN! We should have cashed in on the idea.)  My book bag had a rainbow handle and it had a rainbow on the canvas front. I'm wondering if Cara had the same one; only in a different color. That was often the case.  I remember she usually go the red item (the red tupperware lunch box, the red tupperware crayon box).  But if that is true, it was probably b/c Cara knew early how to make up her mind..and she probably chose red as her favorite color. She was good at choosing.

Of course, prove me wrong...here is me in the red. haha

I remember watching the old B&W Disney Movie called "The Shaggy DA." That night, I had a nightmare about Cara. We were told (yet again) to go clean our room. (It was usually a mess.) Cara decided she would go down stairs and pick a couple of roses from the rose bush that was directly under that south window. After sometime, when she didn't come back, I looked out the window. And it was Cara's head on a dogs body! Oooh, what a nightmare!  But, I also witnessed 2 tooth fairies, dressed in white to pick up a tooth one night. That was pretty fun!

Back then we were forever "starting a club" with the neighbor kids.  Of course we also needed supplies. One day, while we were at the grocery store, I took a pad of paper and she took a small bottle of Elmer's glue. Well, of course, I got caught and had to return the paper and apologize...a most tramatic event in my life!  But I didn't rat out Cara.  To this day, I am convinced there is a small Elmer's Glue Bottle in the rafters next to the chimney at 809!

Cara was lightening quick on the playground and with anything athletic. Every spring, she would bring home lots of ribbons from the Forestlawn Field Day.  I remember singing  Primary songs with her as we walked to and from the Parks & Rec Summer program behind that elementary school every summer.  While we were there we played games, made so many loom pot holders and other crafts like leather working, plaster of paris treasures, and so many popcicle stick items. haha.  She learned to ride a 2 wheeled bike with out training wheels months before I did.  One summer, mom signed us up for gymnastics at Knollwood Elementary. Every morning we had class, we'd ride our bikes a couple of miles to this school. It seemed so far away and such an adventure to us.  Cara tried out for sports teams...and made them in high school!  She even walked on as a red shirt freshman at Eastern Michigan to try to get a chance to play basketball in college.

But we didn't always get along and mom and dad got tired of our squabbling.  Soon enough, there were too many bodies and not enough bedrooms and my dad slowly finished off the basement for us. Her room was completed and she got to move in first. Cara was always so patriotic and her colors were Red/White/Blue.  I remember Gunner and BonPapa gave her this large Statue of Liberty pix for her room which has white walls and red carpet.   After a while, my room was finished so I could sleep down stairs too. As Christmas approached, we plotted how we could stay up all night waiting to be called up at Midnight to open gifts. We had a schedule of times and whose room we would be in. What games to play. When to eat the stuff we had smuggled down to the basement.  We would take the top mattress off so each of us had a "bed" when in the other person's room.

Cara always seemed to be a planner.  She had drawings of how she could arrange her bedroom. And she liked to switch it up.  She knew early on she wanted to go to a MI school...then figured out how to do just that.  While she was fast in sports, she was slow to wake up. SO SLOW. In fact, I think she had 3 alarms at one time...to get her going for Seminary.  Cara was quick with the dating too. As a freshman, she caught the eye of a senior. So..sure enough, she went to Prom that year!  His name was Mel...and that year I worked in the Guidance Office. They had some new candy bars to hand out that were called Caramello bars. Well, I thought I was so funny giving her these candy bars any time I could snag one to share. Cara + Mel. The perfect candy bar for them!  Another funny:   In high school, you always had to double check the water pitcher lid...or salad dressing cap b/c Cara didn't screw it on all the way. We had several spills after she took the top off the water or dressing!   I remember in Middle School when she was a 6th grader, and I was in 8th. A class member of mine thought Cara was rich. I laughed out loud. "That girl? That is Cara Hatch! She's my sister!" I exclaimed. But Kathy Burget  said, "Wow...she is always dressed nicely and her hair is always done up nicely too."  To this day, Cara does have an up to date style of dress and hair.  She even tries to help me. She got me new make up when I turned 40..and this year, trendy, chunky jewelry for Christmas.

Cara got married while in College and quickly became a mother. But that didn't stop her from finishing a degree, even though she was very pregnant with #2 when she walked through Commencement Ceremonies.   In high school, my mom said repeatedly, that Cara would marry a doctor...and sure enough, she did.  Even though she and Jacob lived on a shoe string while he was attending Medical school and Residency, she always found ways to make or buy gifts. Cara was Miss Moneybags as a teenager too. She saved money and things. I remember a years ago seeing her old sticker book...saved after so many, many years! haha. I had an identical one...but not saved. haha. I think she still has a marionette puppet from Grandma Hatch. She was always careful and worked hard.  Growing up, she had a small black safe where she saved her money! She made good decisions and had a testimony of the gospel and choose the right.

I remember when Andy Lester took her to a car race in high school. It was later in the day and he had her "hop the fence." She really didn't like being dishonest. And the next day was Sunday...and she chose to repent and skip partaking of the Sacrament till she felt worthy.  Of course, I rolled my eyes at that.  B/c Cara and I don't speak the same language at times.  In recent years, I learned of a time when a guy was interested in me at Brookside High School. Cara didn't think he was good enough for me...and she told him in no uncertain terms to "leave my sister alone."  And he backed off.   But she has always been a good sister to me. Except this one time at Girl Scout Day Camp. I was probably in the 4th grade...and on Thursday night, my age group was allowed to sleep over. Boy, I must have been so home sick. I remember being in this cinder block room...waiting for Cara the next morning when my mom dropped her off for the last day of camp.  I ran up to her crying and tried to hug her. And she pushed me off her and said, "What is YOUR problem! Stop crying."  So, I guess if that was the worst thing she has done to me, then she is a pretty great sister.

She was so patient and long suffering when it came to dealing with her problems.  She didn't get loud or seem upset.  Most things were internalized...for better or for worse.  I was away at College when my parents had an exchange student from France for a year whose behavior was not up to Hatch standards. This so ruffled Cara, yet she kept it in check. Until that one day....when she dumped a tray of ketchup and fries all over him.  Boy, I would have loved to see that!  (I think the teachers even cheered.)  Then years ago, she suffered from severe Rhumtoid Arthitis.  Cara just didn't complain about it.  She didn't give us updates.  I was talking to her one Sunday morning when I had afternoon church. Cara said she was in a lot of pain. And for her to say something, anything, meant it was bad. I got off that phone and (thank goodness for the internet) found the phone number for my parents' ward. When someone answered, I said "Hi. I need to get a message to Susan Hatch who is teaching a class this hour. She needs to call her daughter Cara. ASAP." And that was all that my mom needed to hear. Within hours, my mom was driving to Indiana to help her out.  Cara and Jacob had such faith that they were granted a miracle, a reprieve from the hurt. Although, she has to continually keep on top of it....diet, exercise.  We know that she is still in pain from time to time...yet she continues to carry on.

Smiling and serving and keeping it all in.

I wish I did understand her thought process. B/c now I have a daughter who reminds me of my sister every day. My daughter runs fast like her Aunt Cara. She has started asking for more than one alarm clock so she can get up for Seminary. Adelle fixes her room up so neatly...it is always clean, just like Cara's teenage bedroom. Adelle always has oodles of money and is generous in her gift giving. But just like Cara, I don't understand how she thinks.  I must have missed out on a lesson from Cara...and now I need to learn it from Adelle.

I have always said that Adelle couldn't wait to join Connor here on earth and that is why she came so quickly after he did. And perhaps, Cara felt the same way about me.  At least I would like to think so, even if she is the better person (who wants to live until she is 107...shudder!)

My sister is kind, generous and patient and peaceful...just like her name.
Cara has always chosen the right and been blessed for it.
She has shared this with her family growing up as well as with her young family now.
I'm sure there will be many more memories for me to recall.
But for now...enjoy these...
Happy birthday, Cara Peace!
I love you!!


Cara said...

Wow Dawn this is so beautiful! You have a great memory! I guess I don't have to write an autobiography anymore! Love you big sister! thanks for thinking so highly of me!

Jocelyn Christensen said...

Great post, Dawn!!

Susan said...

Loved this...might copy it for my blog just so when I make it hard copy next January, I'll have it forever.

Candace White said...

Perfectly Cara Peace. Great post, Dawn.