This is grim. I had a grim little epiphany sometime this weekend.
My grandmother Lucille (Granceil) had three children, Jimmy, Delores, and Mom.
I could post a photo of Jimmy, but you wouldn't believe it - he was a perfect, curly- haired tow-headed boy. The photo of him as a toddler in the thirties looks like an advertisement. When he was five he got scarlet fever and Granceil was told she had to put him in the children's Quarantine hospital.
On his death certificate a month laster, the doctor listed: "scarlet fever, measles, mumps, chicken pox, rubella, whooping cough." When Granceil asked why so many illnesses were listed, the doctor told her Jimmy caught all those other diseases in the hospital, and he might have lived if he'd been allowed to stay at home.
A few years after Jimmy died Granceil had Delores and then two years after that, Mom. Mom got polio when she was 13, in 1947. The doctors explained to Granceil that it was quite possible that Mom's immune system was too weak to fight off the polio virus because Granceil was very clean, and specifically, "washed the grapes."
Delores, Mom's slightly older sister, was a poor replacement for Jimmy from the day she was born. She sassed, she disobeyed, she grew up to have boobs and boyfriends and an abortion. At 19, she and "Aunt" Carleen drove to visit Mom during her second year at Columbia. It was raining, and her car spun out of control on Hwy 40. Carleen survived, but Delores was thrown from the car, hit her head on a milepost and died instantly. While the doctors did not place the blame for this one on her, Granceil still felt responsible.
Then, after all that, Granceil started taking in foster children during the next ten years, until her daughter and grandkids arrived from Houston after Mom's divorce. I asked Mom why Granceil would want to take in foster kids; she said she thought Granceil wanted to get it "right" at least once.
So, if anyone asks why I don't have children, I can point them back to family history. We can't be trusted with them.