Vol. 12


The Unforgotten Months

1966; Queens, New York, New York, USA"The Unforgotten Months" illustration: Two hands hold open a wallet showing two credit cards and a photo of a baby

Mr. Weis crossed his fingers. He’d been crossing his fingers for the last fifty-five and a half seconds, not to mention the past month. Finally someone came out and told him the dreaded news. He felt dizzy, as a little baby wrapped in a pink baby blanket was handed to him. Questions swirled around in his head like bees whose hive has been ruined. His shoulders suddenly felt heavier than before. How would he take care of this baby — not to mention his other two kids — without a wife? The kids would grow up without a mother. It was then that he decided to name the baby “Esther,” after her mother.

Meanwhile, David and Evelyn Poppick, my great-grandparents, were sitting around their dinner table when the phone rang and they were told the dreaded news. They knew what they had to do. Although they had two kids, Judy, who was fourteen, and Rhonda, who was eleven, and although Mr. Weis was only a distant relative, they offered to take care of Esther for Mr. Weis.

After a lot of debate, Mr. Weis gave Esther to David and Evelyn Poppick to take care of for three months.

My great-grandparents soon developed a fond relationship with Esther. David Poppick loved Esther like a cat loves her kittens. Every day he would push Esther in her carriage up and down the block, over and over. He did that not to get to a certain place, but because he loved spending time with Esther.

Often neighbors questioned, “Whose baby is that?”

Great-Grandpa would smile and proudly answer, “Mine,” before returning home.

Although to others three months may not seem like such a long time, to my great-grandparents and their kids, it felt like forever. Maybe it was because of all the time my great-grandmother spent watching Esther, or because of how proud my great-grandpa felt whenever he was with her. Or maybe it was because of how happy Judy and Rhonda felt to have a new baby in the house. For all of these reasons, the Poppicks grew to love Esther as if she were their own.

Finally the day came for Esther to be given back to her own family. Although the day was bright and sunny, to the Poppicks it felt cloudy and cold. It was very hard to return Esther to her father, but they knew it was the right thing to do.

Although this story took place fifty years ago, it is not forgotten. To this day, my grandmother Rhonda carries a picture of Esther in her wallet. And when my great-grandma Evelyn died a few years ago, Esther’s family said Kaddish1 for her. My great-grandparents were kind people who stepped up when someone was in need. Their kindness led to a relationship between the two families that has lasted until this day. I am proud to be their granddaughter, and hope that I will follow in their footsteps one day.

Kate Alper; New York, USA

Illustrator: Sindhu Vinayak Kalabhavi; Missouri, USA


1. Kaddish is a prayer that Jewish mourners recite in the daily synagogue services after the death of a close relative.



This copyrighted story may be copied and/or printed for limited classroom or personal use. To reprint this story in an article about The Grannie Annie, please contact The Grannie Annie Family Story Celebration for permission.


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