Lissy, a tiny black-haired girl came to Vacation Bible School with her cousin Judy the summer I was ten. I immediately warmed to her, though she was so shy she’d only talk to her cousin. She and her mother had come to spend the summer with her Uncle Joe and his family. I didn’t see Lissy again until August when Mother spent a few days in the hospital delivering my youngest sister.
Lissy was Mother’s roommate. I was almost totally ignorant of anything to do with sex, having only accrued a bit of misinformation at that point, but I did catch on that there was a big secret about Lissy. I overheard Lissy’s mother talking to the doctor, “She wouldn’t start, and she wouldn’t start, but when she finally did, she wouldn’t stop.”
Lissy was crying and wouldn’t answer the doctor’s questions. I never saw her again.
Mother sent me out before I heard any more. I felt bad for Lissy, but was intrigued. Knowing I’d learn nothing more, I sequestered that information in my mind, hoping I’d understand later. Long after I was grown, I remembered to ask Mother about it. She remembered well. Little Lissy had suffered a miscarriage and was admitted with massive blood loss. She was only eleven.