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Donna Flood
Finding Heart
Rhonda, Terry, Shorty, 1964

Rhonda, Terry, Shorty, 1964Wherever we lived, I kept a close association with the children around the neighborhood in order for Rhonda to have playmates. Children have such an extraordinary acceptance of a child with a disability it almost goes to something deeper and is harder to understand. In all the years we were around children there were very few children who were aggressive. Usually it was children who came from disturbed family situations to be a problem and we just avoided those. Not to say a disturbed family always had anything to do with the way they reacted to Rhonda. Sometimes, those children were ready to find a safe haven with this protected child.

These children in this picture were considerate to the utmost. They would devise games so Rhonda would not have to actively run and play with them, actually taking turns playing with her. I never interrupted their play, because they needed no instruction. It was really always uncanny the way children immediately came acquainted and were loving. How inventive play was set up so as to include Rhonda was a joy to see.

This grassy area where the children are sitting was very pleasant. It was a courtyard surrounded on three sides by the swimming pool and the apartments on both sides. This was in Irving, Texas. The town then was then 10,000 population. Some years later it was 120,000. I have no idea what it is today in 2002.

Rodney worked and I spent time with the children. We became acquainted with people there and a lot of my time was spent reading and studying my books on art while I sat with the children and friends. Some of my life long friends were made there.

Rhonda was in therapy at Dallas Society for Crippled Children and was chosen to be the Easter Seal girl there that year. Rodney was working at night and he drove her to downtown Dallas every day for that therapy. It was a good little drive but traffic wasn't like it is now. The highways were good and all roads led to downtown.

Since Irving set out a distance from his work and also for others living there Rodney bought a van and hauled passengers back and forth. He made enough money from that to pay for the new van. It was true we had problems with Rhonda, but we were young and we loved her so much. It really wasn't that hard to live through. In fact we were treated so well it was a very joyful memory we have.

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