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The Long Journey By Barbara J. Sisney Daniel

November 1946, came warm and dry. The leaves left trees bare, covering the earth like a thick brown carpet.

Thanksgiving was a few days away. And the season of the holiday, at time of peace and thankfulness for the family with loved ones returning from a long war.

World War II left many vacant chairs around Thanksgiving tables. The pain was raw in their hearts and their compassion real.

The little farm home in Douglas County was about the business of milking cows and living as well as being about to suffer a long, hard blow that was another kind of battle with one of their own being struck down with a disease that would change their lives.

My parents, little brother and sister, would live to see the oldest child become sick with Infantile Paralysis A disease we didn’t know very much about in 1946 where we lived among the rolling hills of Missouri.

I became sick in the night with a horrible headache and vomiting. By morning the vomiting had subsided but the pain worsened. The pain traveled from my head down my spine. I tried to keep going throughout the day. My mother went to the barn to do the chores. I felt so bad I couldn’t go to help her. I walked the yard with pain in my back so bad I couldn’t keep still. I remember my mother coming to me and saying, “You couldn’t have polio,” and me asking her, “What is that?” I never realized the long night ahead would be my last at home for many months as well as my last normal walk across the yard covered with a brown carpet of leaves. 

I will write more later about the long journey into a strange life and some wonderful people.

It is my story of a lost time and a short one as a teenager. We all have a story to tell. Some as painful as mine, but this one I lived and I’m thankful to be able to write it in hopes to encourage someone else.

I was 14 years of age. My life was put on hold and I never knew what it was like to be a teen.

Thank you for letting me share my life with you. It’s good and bad!

Love you guys. And thanks Big!