National Siblings Day: Village Woods residents share stories

CRETE, Ill. (April 2015)Today (April 10, 2015) is National Siblings Day!  Like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Grandparents Day, Siblings Day is a time to celebrate family members who mean so much to us. According to the Siblings Day Foundation, today is “a celebration for all ages.” In honor of the day, we’d like to share stories of the sibling relationships between some of our residents at Village Woods.

Herm Doorn and Eva Tanis:

Eva Tanis and Herm Doorn

Eva and Herm

Herm and Eva grew up on a farm on Stoney Island Avenue, between Lansing and Lynwood.  They are seven years apart, and of seven children in the family, they are the only surviving siblings.

Herm says that of his four sisters, he got along best with Eva, who he calls Babe (her nickname, because their mother was also named Eva). “She was always nice and she never had anything bad to say about anyone,“ Herm said.

Eva says that Herm was a quiet, good boy who always listened, helped out, and was not hard to get along with.  “We all liked him, and I still like him,” she said.  She remembers playing house up in the barn, and Herm was always the “baby” because he was the youngest.  She remembers watching him closely on their two-mile walk to and from Glenwood School.

At Village Woods, the two occasionally eat supper together. Sometimes, Eva (who suffers from dementia) will come down to Herm’s room and say she is not sure where her room is, and he will take her back. He says their roles are now reversed — she used to take care of him, and now he takes care of her.

Marv Anderson and Doris Gudmundson:


Marv and Doris

Marv and Doris are the only surviving siblings of five children in the Anderson family. Marv was the youngest in the family — and the only boy. Doris says her father was so “happy and joyful” to have a son after four girls.

Doris remembers Marv being a boisterous and fun child — like when he washed her face with snow in the winter.  She remembers they would take the dining room table leaves, lean them up against the piano bench, and slide down them. Doris said she apologized to Marv later in life, because she got him in trouble a lot and he got some spankings she probably should have received.

The family spent summers at the Cedar Lake conference grounds. Marv slept on a couch on the porch, and Doris and her sisters used to put pennies under Marv’s pillow to keep him quiet about what time they came home (Marv later upped it to nickels).

Marv remembers being the best water skier in the family.

Doris and her husband, John, and Marv and his wife, Ruth, continued the traditions later in life — they took vacations together and had family cottages on Cedar Lake.

“To the outside world, we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other’s hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time.”  – Clara Ortega, author


Happy National Siblings Day!


Other stories about family:

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