According to my mom and 3 birth certificates, I’m the youngest of triplets born 13 years ago at St. Clair Hospital by natural childbirth to Charles and Karrie Erickson. My brother Chase (Charles Jr.) is the oldest and older than I am by less than an hour, followed by my sister Sasa who was born a few minutes after Chase. Mom says I took my time being born so she could rest before going into labor again.
Chase and Sasa were born before midnight, June 18; I was born 9 minutes after midnight, June 19. Though my parents always celebrated my birthday on June 18, Chase reminded me last year of my real birthdate, as if I were committing a crime celebrating my birthday with him and Sasa. So, to make peace with him, I chose to gain some independence by celebrating my birthday on its proper day this year. That proved disastrous when lightning struck my father and me, and our home in Upper St. Clair PA. I awoke from a coma to discover I had developed telepathic powers and that the lightning had killed my dad and burned down our home.
About My Dad
My father, Charles Keith Erickson, was born 41 years ago on May 11 in Wheeling WV where he grew up. His parents are attorney Reginald Maxwell Erickson (70, retired) and school teacher Sara Jane (McGuire) Erickson (67, retired). He was the second child of three children and the only son born to Grandpa and Grandma Erickson. Dad’s sister, Jane Anne Erickson (45, graphic designer, married and lives in Cincinnati OH with husband Paul Watson and family) is the oldest, and Michelle Alexis Erickson (43, kindergarten teacher, divorced from Justin Roth, and lives in Monroeville—suburb of Pittsburgh, PA) is the youngest.
Reginald Erickson, married Sara McGuire, Wheeling WV, retired; winters St. Petersburg FL; 3 children: Jane, Cincinnati OH; Charles, deceased; and Michelle, Monroeville PA.
Jane, married to Paul Watson, Cincinnati OH; 4 children: Sara, Joel, Thomas, and Holly.
Michelle, divorced from Justin Roth, Monroeville PA; no children.
Dad graduated from Wheeling Park High School at age 18 and then from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law (Pitt Law) at age 22. He met my mom at college and married her when he was 25. They lived in Upper St. Clair where he was a lawyer. He died June 19 this year (on my 13th birthday) when lightning struck him while he put away his lawnmower that I left in the rain.
He was tall (6’ 3”) and had blonde hair and blue eyes.
About My Mom
Karrie Louise Lybrook was born 37 years ago on November 19 in Ridgewood PA, the only child of her dairy farmer parents Jonathan “Jack” Edward Lybrook (66) and school bus driver/substitute teacher Evelyn “Evie” Renee (Doyle) Lybrook (64) on Myers Ridge. She lived a childhood of milking cows, baling hay and harvesting crops when she was home. At high school, she was a 4-year cheerleader for the football team.
Mom graduated Ridgewood High School at age 17 and moved to Pittsburgh where she attended and graduated at age 21 from University of Pittsburgh School of Education, receiving her teaching degree in secondary education. She lived with her Aunt Helen (Pittsburgh schoolteacher) and Uncle Ken McCormick (news editor) while attending college, met my dad Charles Erickson while at college, and married him in a July ceremony in Pittsburgh after a whirlwind relationship. They lived in Upper St. Clair where Mom taught school for 16 years until lightning killed Dad and burned down our home.
Mom is 5’ 4” tall, has thick auburn hair worn in a stylish pixie cut, and green eyes that never look blue like mine do. She drives a silver-colored Kia Sorento SUV that has a transmission that rattles and an AC that stops working during long drives. Ridgewood High School hired her to be the seventh grade science teacher when the school year starts in August.
About My Brother
Charles Jonathan Erickson
- Named after our dad; Middle name is maternal grandfather’s first name.
- He is sometimes called Charles Jr.
- His nickname is Chase.
Chase was born at 11:46pm on June 18. He has hazel eyes, is 5’ 11” tall and lean like Dad was, and has blonde hair kept short in an Ivy League crew cut—a style worn by Dad most of his life, except that one time when he was a law student at the University of Pittsburgh—an incident Mom refers to as The Lost Bet of Haircuts.
Chase is sports active, outdoorsy and loves playing football, basketball, and baseball. He enjoys bicycling and riding motorcycles and 4-wheelers. He is mechanically inclined and is handy at fixing small engines, which has endeared him to Grandpa Lybrook. Since he is the only boy in the family, he seeks out other boys with similar interests.
About My Sister
Sara Evelyn Erickson
- Named after paternal grandmother Sara Erickson.
- Middle name is maternal grandmother’s middle name.
- Her nicknames are Sasa and See (from her initials), though we favor Sasa.
Sasa was born at 11:57pm on June 18. She is 5’ 5” tall, has brown eyes, and straight, shoulder-length auburn hair. She is musically inclined and likes to write and play songs on Grandma Evelyn’s piano and on her own Gibson acoustic guitar. She sings with a beautiful soprano voice. She had a trio “rock band” in Upper St. Clair (Pittsburgh) called The Saras (all the girls were named Sara—she and Sara Schweitzer are still best friends, but the move has changed their relationship to an online one).
About My Maternal Grandfather
My grandfather Jonathan “Jack” Alan Lybrook is 66 years old, tall and thin at 6’ 2”, has bushy but well-groomed gray hair, frowning brown eyebrows, serious looking brown eyes, and an upturned nose above a pinched mouth on a clean-shaven face.
Grandpa often wears brown coveralls and spends a lot of time mowing the yard and fixing things in the 2-car garage at his newly purchased house on Myers Ridge at 31619 Ridge Road, Ridgewood PA. The house is an unusual foursquare farmhouse built around 1890 by a sheepherder and farmer named Ludwik Dekownik. The roof is a standard high sloping gabled one instead of the pyramid style atop most foursquare houses. The A-frame roof allows more headroom in the attic, which is a plus since my sister Sasa and I sleep up there. The house is white trimmed in blue and has a long, stone paved driveway on the right that leads to the garage painted to match house. Inside the house are 4 boxy rooms on the ground floor: the living and dining rooms have wall-to-wall plush cream carpets, plush furniture, velvety drapes, animal and pastoral prints and paintings on white walls, a glass chandelier in the dining room, and a large kitchen next to a laundry room and a small bathroom. Upstairs are 4 more boxy rooms: 3 bedrooms, including the master bedroom where Grandma and Grandpa sleep, and a large bathroom. Downstairs in the basement, the low ceiling with copper pipes everywhere make going there a headache for anyone who is taller than 5’ 10” and forgets to duck their head. Still, Grandma and Grandpa keep it clean, the lighting is adequate, and the cement floor has good drainage, so it’s good place for storage.
Grandpa grew up in nearby New Cambridge where his father George Lybrook and his brother Paul and sister Janet Baker live. His brother Jerry lives in Albany NY with his wife Alice and family. His mother Helen Jane Crawford Lybrook is deceased and his 91-year-old father lives at New Cambridge Retirement and Health Center, a senior care home.
Paul, married Elaine May, New Cambridge PA; 2 children, daughters: Erin and Kay.
Janet, married to Ronald Baker, New Cambridge PA; 2 children, daughters: Debra and Anne.
Jerry, married Diane Marrs, Albany NY; 3 children, daughters: Brianne, Donna, and Gail.
Grandpa had to move from his dairy farm on the other end of Myers Ridge because the ground collapsed, creating a large sinkhole in the cornfield next to the house.
About My Maternal Grandmother
My 64-year-old grandmother Evelyn Renee (Doyle) Lybrook is short at 5’. She is plump but fit and strong from living on a farm. She has short, red hair and green eyes. She drives school bus during the school year and is a part-time substitute teacher for the Ridgewood school district.
Grandma grew up the youngest of 4 at nearby Alice Lake where her father James Doyle (now 89) was a Presbyterian minister and school bus driver and her mother Adali (now 87) was a housewife; both live at Alice Lake’s Lakeview Living Center. Grandma’s oldest sister Judith Ziegler and husband Kurt live 10 miles south of Alice Lake in a small community called Blooming Valley where their son John Luke is a Presbyterian minister. Her older brother Matthew and family, and her sister Sara Davies and husband Nathan live north of Ridgewood in Brookside and Bakers View, respectively.
Judith, married to Kurt Ziegler, Blooming Valley PA; 3 children: John Luke, Mary, and James.
Matthew, married Roxanne Stills, Brookside PA; no children.
Sally, married to Nathan Davies, Bakers View; 4 children: Jean, Carla, William, and Pamela.