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Thursday, February 11, 2010

D is For Devotion

My parents decided to send me to live with my aunt, who was a nun and run an orphanage somewhere in the country. I was seven and had never attended any school before because of my physical disability. Heck, let just be bold and said I was a handicap. I like to say it like it is, and don't want to use words like "physical disability" to avoid the ugly part of it.

I wasn't born that way. I had polio when I reached eight months old, and the doctor didn't know it or bothered to exam me. He went ahead with a flu injection on my right thigh, which never dissolved. I lost the ability to stand up, went through seven incisions to drain the fluid out of the injection site, and my right leg shrunk because the main nerve was damaged. I became an invalid in the eyes of society.


For years, I couldn't stand up, and my right leg couldn't support my body. It didn't know what to do because it was shorter than the left leg. It also had no control whatsoever! I resorted to crawling, but mother was a strong believer in Virgin Mary! Mother prayed! Mother was on pilgrimage trips to find a miracle and a cure.

She didn't find a cure, but she did found a miracle at a water fountain where people testified to have seen Virgin Mary statue cried. She bathed me in the water. She prayed. She had me drink the water. She prayed for three days and nights. She slept by the fountain ground, while carried my little brother inside. She believed that only Virgin Mary could save me from a doomed life.

Her belief and persistent paid off! Two months after that faithful trip, I gripped on to the wall, furniture, or people and stood up. I then took my first steps at five-year-old, at a time where normal children already went to school.


Mom and dad loved me. Two years after watching me longing to go to school, they sent me to live with my aunt. They thought that she would nurture me, educate me, and keep me safe from all the kids' torment. I was not an orphan. I was not without a family. Mom and dad sent the money to pay for my room and board.

Once in the orphanage, my life changed! I went straight into first grade to catch up with my peers. My aunt had me study days and nights. I topped all the other kids in class, and brought back nothing but A for every subject.

Mom and dad were right, living with my aunts sheltered me from the teasing and the torment with other kids, but that was the only thing mom and dad was right about.

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14 comments:

  1. Powerfully poignant. I so enjoy your blog as each post adds a new piece to the puzzle that is you! You are a wonderful writer and have one of the blogs that is my "must read" daily.

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  2. What a beautiful post, I loved to read your story. Thank you for sharing.

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  3. Hi, feel so blessed that I had immunisation against polio. My husband got it when he was 18 months old and has never walked and he was evacuated in WW2 to a home for kids with both physical and mental disabilities of all kinds

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  4. Thank goodness nowadays people with "handicaps" are I believe treated differently. I think people were ignorant and just didn't understand. I remember when I was young having to get a polio vaccine but I think mine was on a sugar cube if I remember correctly.

    I look forward to reading your next installment.

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  5. I am learning so much about you with each post you write. My husband's father had polio, and was treated horribly as a child. You write beautifully and from the heart, and even when your posts are painful to read, they are important to read. Kathy

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  6. i also had a "sugar cube" vaccination... and i am thankful for it. and hopefully as society changes, people become more understanding and caring about the differences in each of us ...

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  7. I really don't understand why people assume that being handicap is so terrible. I have a disabled friend and we have so much fun! we're always taking the handicap parking and people stand up for us on the train or let us cut in front of them when were in line. Sure my friend can't cartwheel(neither can I)or stand without help but that doesn't dampen her personality or make her any less of a person. She's still my BFF and the funniest person I know.

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  8. Mumsy. You are a puzzle. And your life is a puzzle. And, again, I feel honored that you are sharing this with us. It sounds like living away from your parents was a blessing. And what a horrible thing that could be so. I look forward to travelling this journey with you over the next months.

    And, as always, it feels so inane to give a silly grade for revealing your soul...

    So I'll just go against all school policies and give you a gentle hug!

    Oh heck. That is definitely A+ work.

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  9. Your paintings are beautiful. You already had an interesting life long before your schooling began.

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  10. I am the mother of a mildly handicapped child (well she is an adult now, still living with us).
    I am constantly amazed at how some people can be so ignorant towards people that aren't perfect. But then I think...Who is perfect anyways!
    Judy

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  11. Thank you for sharing a small part of you experience. You definitely have a story to tell. One of my best girlfriends in high school had contracted polio as an infant, and she had one leg that was paralyzed as a result. She was such a go getter, though! And we had great fun teaching her to drive a stick shift, and to roller skate, and play soccer and volleyball, and we double dated, as well.

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  12. That was an Awesome story!~WOW your Mom was your guardian angel as well, she believed and hoped and prayed I just can't get over it!!~ Love it and thanks for sharing!~ You wrote it so well too!

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  13. Mumsy, as a child I had several close friends who had polio. I still think about the struggles they dealt with. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

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  14. Thanks for sharing the link so I could read your story. Your mother showed much love and much faith. My thoughts are with you today, and I pray for continued healing of your body and emotional healing for your soul for having to go through this trauma.

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