The Long Journey By Barbara Sisney Daniel

Winter of 1946 was harsh as snow and cold moved into the warm autumn season. 

It was December with Christmas approaching soon.  

I was now relocated from General Hospital to St. Mary in Kansas City.  A physical therapist was assigned to give me treatments. She was a strong, lovely lady.  Miss Mague came every day to give me treatments.  She moved my legs and arms. The exercise was exhausting and I was not able to use my right leg.  She continued with me for a few weeks and did all she could, after that I was on my own and limited to any activity. 

My mother came to visit me before Christmas. She had to take the bus from Ava to Kansas City.  She was anxious to see me, but concerned about my condition. My mother had a lot of responsibility with two other smaller children at home. She was 31 years old and had worked hard. My mother had red hair and a strong will.  She looked so pretty to me with her red hair and green coat as she entered my room.  I felt I had been away from home a long time.  We looked at each other with tears in our eyes.  Mother had been given my prognosis, yet, somehow we knew I would make it through another hurdle.  

I had by-passed death, paralysis from my neck down and the iron lung.  Mother and I had gone through so much together in my short life. 

I was a Great Depression child. Born in 1932, my parents were very young.  They went to the cotton fields and picked cotton, dragging me on the cotton bag so they could take care of me. 

When I was two years old I walked away from our small cabin home with the two dogs that never left my side.  When my folks found me I had crossed a large creek which the dogs had swam me across.  When I was found the dogs had almost torn my dress off getting me across the deep water. 

We had survived a short hard life with more to live.  Somehow we would win over this disease. 

Many years later I saw my mother suffer with cancer and lose the battle, but before she died, she told me that “which ever way this goes, I’m a winner.”  I was with her the night she left us, and I know for sure the angels carried her home to heaven. 

That was harder on me than the polio experience.  She had always been there for me; I struggled without my darling mother. 

Life is not always kind to us.  We make our own journey here.  There is tragedy which comes sooner or later than we would choose.  But “the one who upholds the universe will never let you down.”  After some tragedies, life can leave us to a point, it leaves a hole so deep in our soul it could hide a mountain.  Nothing will fill that part of us until we get out of our own skin and look at the pain of others and reach out to them with complete understanding. 

 The polio brought me to a place of surrender and trust in the Lord and His care.  With time He showed me His strength. 

There is a time and a season for everything under the sun.   Eccl. 3:1

To be continued…….