Monday, September 21, 2009

My Inspiration

My grandmother, Vera, had six children. In 1949, five of them were stricken with polio before they had reached their teenage years. My father was severely affected, losing the use of one arm and one leg. But by far the hardest hit was my Uncle Rudy. At age 8, he was nearly killed by the disease. He needed an iron lung, but none were available. Machinists in Bloomington, Illinois heard of his plight, got together, and came up with a "wooden lung."

That wooden lung saved my uncle's life, and he proceeded to live longer than anyone could have anticipated.

The one who took care of him day in and day out for nearly 60 years was my grandmother. She passed away last year before I had a chance to ask her how she did it.


Marie said...

What a great testament to your grandmother.

I suspect she did it the same way all strong women do hard things: she just got on with what had to be done.

Love for your child carries you through.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful story.She would tell you with a lot of patience, love, and hard work.You have those qualities and I admire you for it.Love and hugs,Dede

Herrad said...

Hi Steve,
Your grandmother sounds like she was quite a woman.
A very strong woman too and I am sure a great grandmother.

Cranky said...

Steve - I think Herrad has simply and eloquently captured my thoughts about your grandmother. Thanks for the story.

Lynne said...

I saw your post on the DIY site about the wooden lung after I submitted my comment. Dr. Dolley was my great uncle and just yesterday I came across some papers regarding the wooden lung and did a little bit of internet searching. What a fascinating story.