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 lions 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 didnt
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
couldnt 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 couldnt 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
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.
Im 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
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
"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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