Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Family With Polio from the Heart of An Eight Year Old – Yucky Eggs

Matthew 19:14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

This week found me at Aunt Shirl and Uncle Jack’s house. I am making the rounds this summer of my Mom’s relatives while she and my sister get treatment for Colette’s polio in Denver. Dad is home in Rochester working six days a week. I am in Wisconsin.

Debbie is my ten month old cousin. I get to help feed her and play with her. She grins, slapping hands on her high chair table. I am joyful with her.

“OK, let’s see if we can get her to eat this soft boiled egg……” My aunt spoons a mouthful into Debbie’s lips while saying “yum, yum.” Aunt Shirl then turns her head away from the baby to look at me and stuck her tongue out mouthing “yuck”. Oh, my goodness, someone who likes runny eggs just as much as I do, I laughed out loud.

“You don’t like them either, do you?” With that question Aunt Shirl won my heart while Debbie innocently smacks away at her breakfast to my aunt’s “yum, yums….”

We play and build with blocks. When Uncle Jack comes home from teaching school we get the stroller and go out for a walk around the neighborhood. Debbie is excited about everything from the neighbor’s dog to a fluffy tailed squirrel which scrambled up the maple tree scolding and scolding us for interrupting her nut gathering process.

It is still hot and sticky, Wisconsin in the summer, but I am enjoying this. Aunt Shirl lets me help her with dishes and setting the table but most of all I love helping with baby Debbie. She is a most delightful cousin.

There is the old Royal typewriter in the hallway on a little table and I am looking at it. Well, OK, I am touching it and I break it! Some of the keys go up and will not go back no matter what I do to them. I feel terrible. I walk away. How can I say anything? I have wrecked the typewriter. I know I shouldn’t have been playing with it. I am sad and upset. Am I going to be in big trouble? I wished I was home. I miss Mom, Dad and Colette. I miss playing dolls with my sister and going fishing with my Dad. I miss talking to my Mom.
I go back to the typewriter, touching those broken keys again, getting ink all over my fingers. Then all of the sudden both keys go back down where they belong. I am so relieved. I run to find my Aunt.

“Aunt Shirl, I thought I broke your typewriter.”

“What happened honey?”

“Two keys stayed up and wouldn’t go back down no matter what I did.”

“Let’s take a look, they seem to be fine now. Sometimes two get stuck together and you have to carefully un-stick them like this.”

And my aunt showed me how they stick and how to un-stick them.

I can’t help it. I get tears in my eyes. Aunt Shirl drew me into a big hug with her arm which wasn’t holding Debbie. “That’s OK honey, it happens all the time and you didn’t break anything.”

But my tears were then for something more than the typewriter. My family has been broken by polio and my heart is too. My Aunt Shirl’s arm hugs me tight. Knowing she cares is more than enough for that day as I smile through my tears. Someday maybe I can go home again and we do not even have a typewriter to get stuck. I sure hope it will be soon.

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved - use giving proper credit only.


Evert Heskes said...

Really enjoying your biography. Wish my memories where as clear as yours.

God Bless,

Marijo (Mary Jo) Phelps said...

Thanks Evart for coming by and reading!