Happy Birthday Tammy, Today is Your Special Day…..


April 6, 1978, was 37 years ago.  It is so shocking to think it has been that long.  Tammy was born on a Saturday morning 1:37 am.  She was 6 lbs and 19 inches long.  She was our first child.  I was working at Toluca Garment.   We were so poor.  lol.  No insurance.  We were going to move from Oglesby to McNabb.  We rented a little house from Gertie and Buck Buckingham.  They were remodeling it.  Rich had just started to work for Sandberg Trucking the summer before.  Tammy was not due for 3 weeks.  We had started to move a few things and then I went to the doctor that day.  Dr. Farley and his Midwife, Mary Bradish said I was retaining so much water, that they wanted to induce me.   Grrrrrrrrrrr……..so off we went to the hospital that evening….once they broke my water, 4 hours later, Tammy was born.   It was a tough 4 hours as this was the first time I had ever experienced childbirth.  lol…..But now I realize that it wasn’t all that bad.   Only 4 hours, that’s pretty good.  In the meantime at home, Rich and his friends moved us to our new house.   lol.   When we came home, I didn’t have a clue where anything was.  The kitchen had been put away.  But it was all done.   Tammy was so tiny and cute…………and bald……….lol.   but then that’s how they all turn out to be….Buck and Gertie just loved her to pieces.  They never had any kids so Tammy became theirs also.  As she grew, they would take her everywhere, shopping, to the coffee shop, boating, even on a trip to Gerties moms one weekend in southern Illinois.

When Tina was born 2 years later, she was the best sister ever.  All she wanted to do is help.

As Tammy grew, she had the most beautiful blonde hair.  It was so pale blonde in the summer with a hint of curl.  She has her dads skin, she tans beautifully.  Tammy really wasn’t into sports.  She played girls softball one summer but didn’t really enjoy it.  When she was around 4 or 5, I enrolled her in Jodi’s Dance School…..

They did floor tumbling and also trampoline.  She was in it for 2 years.  Tammy also had a paper route as she grew older and she detasseled for Griffiths seed company.  She did that every summer till she was old enough to get her license and get a real job.  When she got their check at the end of the season, I make her spend half on school clothes and the other half she could spend on what ever she wanted.  It was like Christmas to the kids.  She would buy all the latest electronics.  Boom Boxes were big, cassettes were the latest thing.  Vcrs and all those video tapes…..

When the New Kids On The Block became famous, she became so infatuated with them.  I would take her and her good friend Jamie Myres to the concerts that came to our area.   Her walls in her room were just full off all their posters.  She bought all their music, videos, clothes, anything to do with them.  Even today, her and Jamie are still fans.

Several years ago, when the NKOTB made a come back, the girls went again several times.  They even went Rockford and took their other good friend from school Angie Reynolds and relived the old times..

Tammy graduated in 1996.

Her first child Cameron was born in 1998.  Then along came Cassidy in 2004.  During that time she held several jobs.  She worked for Starved Rock Trolley part time for a summer.  I thought that was pretty cool.


She would take the guests from Starved Rock Lodge over to Utica and The Lock and Dam.  She started working for Ryder Bus Service that was later bought out by First Student.  She was a bus driver and later went into the office and became dispatcher, and sub driver.  The employees all became family.  They were all very close to each other.  Tammy decided she wanted to become a nurse, so Rita her boss arranged that she could begin her classes and move her hours around according to her classes.  They were ALL SO SUPPORTIVE of her and her future plans.  Around the time she was ready to move on to the full time nursing school, First Student lost their contracts.  It was great timing for her.  On to Peoria and she enrolled fulltime in St Francis Nursing School…………..  Surprise, along came Carly……………….  But with all her support of family and her wonderful friends, she only lost 1 semester.  Rita even came and babysat Carly for the first few months.  What wonderful friends and family First Student were.   We had a Diaper Baby shower, and she received diapers for almost 2 years.  Amazing.  We all had our duties to help.  I did a lot of babysitting after work.  Tina was always their on call.  She took the kids a lot on weekends so Tammy could study, and Brandy and Scott had their evening also.  Brandy would pick Carly up from day care and Tammy would pick her up on the way home.   Betty’s Daycare, wow what a wonderful friend she was.  Betty was so good also.  She let Tammy leave Carly at many times whether it was really early and sometimes late.  Finally Tammy Graduated in May 2014 with her Bachelors in Nursing, and Cameron presented her with her diploma…..What an honor..

……Tammy Bergen BSN…..

Today we are all so Proud of her.   She has done this because she truly wanted it and strived to make it happen.  So much hard work.  Every time she hit a wall, she stepped back and picked up the pieces and continued.


Today she has a job at Mendota Nursing Home.    She loves it.  She loves helping people and all her co-workers love her.  We are all So PROUD OF YOU TAMMY……..It made everything we all did to help so so worth it, to see you                       “Happy”

…….You Achieved your Goal…….

…….Something only you could do for yourself…….



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