Saturday, February 2, 2013

In 1955, when I was four

Sis & me, 1955
I was only four, but I remember well the other kids in the ward with me in Kaiser Hospital in Vallejo.  I remember incubators, braces, buckets of ice, and being haunted for years by the horrific thought of spending my entire life in an iron lung.  I remember missing Mom and Dad and praying like I'd never prayed before, from that moment to this day, for anyone who suffers such a fate. I remember when I first got sick, my folks bundling me up in the old Chevy for the two mile trip to town.  I remember Doctor’s Bliss and Elliot and the spinal tap that verified the prognosis.  I remember being terrified and held down, and screaming “Daddy, Daddy!” at the top of my lungs, and the sound of a scuffle outside my door as they tried to restrain my father. I remember tugging my cowboy boots on and walking out of that hospital with Mom and Dad. And I remember being very, very thankful. I remember sitting in the bright sunshine back home on Reservoir Hill, and pondering the whole experience over and over.  And I remember all through school befriending other boys and girls, who walked funny or talked funny, or for whatever reason, didn’t quite fit in. And it warms my heart to this very day when I see folks accepted for who they are.

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