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Upon Their Hands They Will Carry you
Page 24


Sonic Booms on Easy Targets

Vincent Van Gogh responded to a nurse when she asked why his painting depicting death and dying was so bright and not dark. His response to her was that death comes at all times, sunny or dark. It was a little like this while we lived in the house we bought. Surely there had to be higher forces at work, both good and evil. There was a change coming about as far as the treatment and care of the disabled. Were all the evil forces who found these children to be such an easy target shook a bit while parents and grandparents suddenly came into a battle for the protection of their imperfect children. Were those evil forces so angry the literal powers at their disposal was to be brought down to earth?

We were so pleased with the little row house where we moved. It was tiny clean and new and we owned the mortgage. The floors were shiny oak, walls were clean and the fixtures all new. However, we were only to enjoy hope for a normal life a short time.

One after another events of such large proportions began to come down on us. One of which was the testing of how sonic booms affected the population. No one asked me my opinion but I can tell you it was horrible.

The children at play on the swing set when the shattering sound came down upon them resulted in their screams because they were so startled. 

I never timed the shocks but wished that my documentation of events had included that. It seemed to me there was no pattern. Sometimes, more than other times blasts shook us down to our shoes. This kept a person so unbalanced and there was no getting used to the very loud noise. About the time a peaceful activity was being enjoyed down would come the explosion from some place high above as an airplane broke the sound barrier. I felt like an animal in a jungle for whom the mighty lion’s roar as he put his head to the ground caused all to run in every directions because it was not known from where the sound is coming. The impact of the noise alone did not bring depression on me but it was anger I felt. This was the thing to bring depression because absolutely nothing stopped what seemed to be insanity. A defeating emotion which was certainly something I didn’t need at the time hung over me like darkness even in broad daylight.

The woman who lived next door had two children, one with a hearing impairment. The mother knew he couldn’t hear the noise but the sudden bursts of sounds seemed to cause her extreme fear about where the child was and what he was doing. She knew he couldn’t hear the sonic booms but there must have been some psychological thing tied up with her anxiety. Why would a tiny little woman who was so conscientious about her appearance, children and house suddenly be so unsettled by the noise? Did she know if the boy was frightened by vibrations from above? He liked to put his ear to the radio to feel the music and loved those pleasant waves of sound. His snapping dark eyes always shined as he "listened" via the bones in his head.

This was disruption on the home front but a change in the way the doctors were willing to work with Rhonda was happening, too. A doctor with a child like Rhonda who he had institutionalized became too emotionally involved with our situation. We had little to do with him but evidently the man was looking on from afar. Whatever demons to live with must have caused the doctor to have poor judgement regarding what he thought was the right thing for us to do, also.

I’m thankful I was able to stand up to that group for as long as possible because Rhonda was in the speech and hearing clinic everyday, too. They were teaching her to talk, one day at a time, and that was marvelous. All the exercises with peanut butter in the roof of her mouth to use her tongue, blowing a ping pong ball suspended from a string were just a game for her and this worked to strengthen the muscles in her mouth. Soon and slowly words began to come. It was wonderful and no one cared that she was four years old, certainly not me, before she could begin to speak.

I waited one afternoon for Rhonda as she enjoyed an hour play time with a small group of children. A tall good looking gentleman sat beside me where we could both see our little girls at play in the next room. His child had Cerebral Palsied and looked to have more involvement than Rhonda. He was a personable man and seemed to want to visit. Our children were our mutual concern.

He was a doctor whose wife had divorced him to leave the care of his child for him to do alone. This is just the opposite of what usually happens.

"How are you doing with her physical therapy?" He asked. The question was a loaded one because, in fact, I was at a real insecure, testy place with the doctors at the university.

"Funny, you should ask." I laughed because laughter was the only way I could cover up my real feelings." Do you have an hour or so, doctor?"


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