Ruminating On:

My Semi-Fictional Life #127 (Who is Herman Sheckle, Part One: Birth)

Who is Herman Sheckle

Part One:

Birth

Herman Sheckle, born on August 18, 1980, was the only child Pete and Barbara Sheckle ever had together. Each brought children from their previous marriages to their own marriage in 1975. Because of this, Herman had three half-sisters, all of them much older than he, only two of which he claimed as family. In order of appearance: Tamara (August 6, 1966) and Regina (July 21, 1968), who were fourteen and twelve years older than Herman, respectively; children of Barbara and her first husband Charles; beloved and claimed; and Little Tammy (September 9, 1972), Pete’s second child from his second marriage; daughter of Gerry; most decidedly unclaimed. Pete’s first daughter Vicky, whom the family rarely ever spoke of, had been born after Pete’s marriage to a woman named Wendy was annulled after only four days of marriage proved to be too much marriage for Wendy to handle. Neither Pete or anyone else in contact with him ever knew any more about Vicky than her first name, so there is no wonder why Herman didn’t consider her a sibling, claimed or otherwise.

Barbara, a nurse of some experience and joviality, and Pete, the unemployed monarch of House Sheckle, attempted to become pregnant for five years before Barbara’s doctor decided that the couple were wasting their time and fluids. Barbara was informed that Tamara and Regina were the only children she would ever have and sent home, where she became pregnant with her third child, the ever rebellious and perpetual-latecomer Herman. Nine months later, via cesarean  birth, Herman came screamingly into the world. It would surprise everyone close to Herman that he would never find success as a vocalist for a Norwegian black metal band.

During her six week post-birth checkup, Barbara’s doctor, Juan Gutierrez, PhD, OB-GYN, found growths on Barbara’s cervix. The malignant-and-swiftly-growing cancer spread to her uterus and Fallopian tubes within weeks. Dr. Gutierrez gave Barbara an ultimatum: a full hysterectomy or death. Pete, who was present during the big reveal of the horrible news, would go down in history for supplying the following comment, “Do you think she could have another baby before the cancer killed her?” Dr. Gutierrez, caught a mite off guard, replied, “At this point, Mr. Sheckle, I wouldn’t suggest sexual intercourse, much less another pregnancy.” Pete responded, “Please, call me Pete.”

Needless to say, Barbara opted for the full hysterectomy, a procedure she would later joke “scraped me out and left me with nothing but the box it came in.” Whether Barbara fell out of love with Pete over the heartless questions he directed toward the doctor, or Pete fell out of love with Barbara over her refusal to die giving him another child, no one would ever know. What was terribly clear to Herman if nobody else was that he would grow up being the wedge driven between his parents. For seventeen years, Barbara and Pete would pretend to love one another, because an unhappy home, in their uninformed opinions, was far preferable to a broken one. And, beyond those seventeen years, Herman Sheckle would wonder why he alone wasn’t enough for his father.

See you tomorrow,

E.

Pic of the Day

sheckle-banner

 

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