From Fat to Fabulous
Betty Lou Sweeney, author
Quite naturally, I do not remember the start of my life. No one remembers the day they were born or those first couple of years. I was lucky to have a much older sister who was willing to fill me in on that time span. I was born on March 7, 1940, and according to my older sister Delores, this was two months earlier than I was supposed to have arrived. I was told I spent my first few weeks wrapped up in a shoe box and placed on the open oven door to keep me warm. Grandma Mannerud was elected to be the one to feed me with an eye dropper every two hours to keep me nourished and alive. Obviously, she did a great job as I thrived and grew stronger. I was to be the second to the last child born to Eileen and Neil Mannerud. Delores informed me that there had been eleven of his children born from this marriage?two sets of stillborn twins, one who also died at birth; an older brother, Burton, whom I did not remember at all who died in a boating accident; Delores, who tells me she was my main babysitter (I had not remembered her at all); another brother, Jack, (I remembered him as being mean and always torturing me and making my life miserable); a sister Pat (all I remembered about her was that she had a birthmark on her cheek; and a sister named Peggy, whom I recalled as being a very loving sibling. Then I came along, and after me was the last child born, Zoey. I did not remember this baby at all and was told she died of double pneumonia before her first birthday. That left five of us?Delores, Jack, Peggy, Pat, and me to be raised by Grandma Mannerud. I remember her being a very caring, loving woman who wouldn?t stick up for us kids as she was terrified of her son.