My mother shares her heart concerning my struggles

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My Mother Speaks

This is from my heart, because my hands have been tied behind my back since the beginning when there was nothing I could do.

My parents, John and me a babies, sitting on a blanketWhen she was three months old I noticed Joanie’s head being pulled to the side as she grew. The more she grew the more her head pulled down to her shoulder. None of my nieces and nephews had anything happen to them physically. In my 19 year old mind I thought it was my fault. I was always such a good girl, I couldn’t understand what I did.

When I think about it now, it breaks my heart—it touches the floodgates of my heart. As terrible as it was then, going back in my mind thinking about it, it is worse because now I know what was to come.

I am angry with myself because I didn’t see what was being done to her. It makes me furious with myself. I feel I should have protected her—but yet I had no knowledge. I believed the doctors—being god-like in my mind—knew what to do.

Jack went to India, to a place where the year before Chinese had gone into and killed all the people, and they were talking about Joanie having more treatment. I wanted to run away to a place where I would not have to face everything. I had a nervous breakdown... not sleeping for 40 days, and when Jack came back home I was put into the hospital to hopefully relieve the stress. They pumped me with drugs to settle me down, but nothing worked.

Mom sitting in chair with John and me standing by her, about 3 years oldI kept hearing over the radio about all these things happening to people, like Frank Sinatra’s son being put into a trunk of a car. And then as I walked the halls of the hospital I heard a baby crying sorrowfully. I went to the baby and saw it’s little legs were tangled up in the spokes of the crib. I had to find a nurse to help the baby, as it was out of my reach. When I stuck my head in the door of a room looking for the nurse I saw this baby with a huge head... what we called a water head baby back then. The baby was a vegetable, and had been flown to Seymour Johnson AFB from Texas, and two days later the baby died.

After seeing this baby and telling the nurse about the other baby I walked to my room. It was as if God told me that Joanie had two arms and two legs and could walk, and that she had a brain that was unbelievable. Flood gates of emotion came out of me, and I went to bed and slept for two days. It was a dramatic experience for me, and then I was okay and went home.

I felt like I was in a deep, deep pit and there was no one to pull me out. Only God could reach down and pull me out. He used that little baby to do it. And the beautiful thing about the mercy and love of God, is that I did not even know Him at that time. I had searched for Him in churches, but never found Him there. It was not until many years later, when I saw what He did in Joanie’s life that I came to know Him.

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