A mini-narrative about my childhood: I was born in 1955, and my mother stayed at home like most of the mothers from that time. Preschool was unheard of in my small hometown, La Porte, Indiana, although I know my oldest sister did attend a program at the local YMCA. And, so the people who nurtured and cared about me as a child were all family.
My father, Eugene John Hatrak
He had four daughters when it is common knowledge a father often wants at least one son. My father taught us sports and played with us whenever he was home from his factory job. He allowed me to help him do errands around the house. He was utterly patient with me when I wanted to help him. He explained stuff to me. He was so loving and had a great sense of humor. My father was loyal to a fault to Detroit Lions football team although the team was a terrible team. He told me, “I support Detroit Lions because they are underdogs.” That in itself speaks volumes about my father whom I love dearly and who still has influence over how I live my life today by being involved in community activism for the underprivileged Deaf children.
My grandma, Clarice Lorraine Herran (camera shy)
Because I am Deaf, I did not get to play much with neighborhood children who did not learn American Sign Language. When my mother or each of my three sisters were too busy for me who wanted to do something, I would then bike over to my grandmother’s house, unannounced. She was ALWAYS happy to see me and willing to stop whatever she was doing to be with me. We talked a lot, and talked about stuff.
Best part was when my father finished work, he would check to see if my bike was in Grandma’s front yard. If it were, he would stop by and pick me up. Seems insignificant a moment, but I remember those moments vividly.
|Linda, Daphne, me, Kay|
My Three Sisters:
Because of my enmeshed family, my three sisters are important in my childhood and still influence me in more than one way today.
Daphne: I learned how to cross cultures through my sister who is a hearing child of Deaf adults (CODA). I learned to dance from her. She would occasionally allow me to tag along with her!
Linda: she loved reading and telling stories, mostly to me. She also loved television although she couldn’t understand anything without captions that started in 1988. Never mind that, she used her imagination when telling me what the movie she was watching on TV was all about. On long and boring car trips, she would create oh so imaginative stories! She led me on many adventures as only the youngest sister would be game to.
Kay: we shared a double bed in an extremely small room. That would require a lot of love for her as an older sister to bear with a younger sister! She's always there for me when disaster struck me more than once!