The Story of Vera And Her Family, Chapter 19

9 06 2008

Along with being taken off of your morphine–you were expected to start some fairly heavy duty physical therapy.  You were put on a tilting board to help you get used to sitting up again.  Even with your brace, you still couldn’t sit up.  That was a horrible experience .  You turned white and experienced nausea.  The physical therapist demanded a great deal from you.  Not only did the therapist want you to sit up–you were also pushed to stand up.  It was grueling work.  Alas, about the 7th day you were able to stand long enough to maneuver yourself into the wheelchair. I remember the process well.  Yo would scoot to the edge of your bed and stand.  Then you would very gingerly take a seat in the wheelchair.

I coped by buying newspapers, magazines and junk food with the cash that people sent to me at the hospital.  Every diversion was a God send.  The company was another pleasant diversion.  A couple of your teachers drove to the hospital to see you.  A wonderful neighbor brought Dad, Sandy and Maria up for a visit.  Another neighbor brought the whole gang up again.  This time my brother, Phillip, came with the family. The next to the last day we were at Welborn– your pastor made the trip to see you again.  I put you in your wheelchair and we rolled you down stairs.  Then your pastor and I rolled you around the grounds of the hospital.  My former pastor also made the trip to the hospital and gave us $200.00 in cash.  He was always a very compassionate man towards our family. 

The neighbor who origially brought up a car load of our family– decided that he wanted to make the trip once again to see us home.  Our family car was not in good shape.  He had a comfortable van.  It was a very pleasant ride home.  When we arrived home –we found that another neighbor had built a ramp on our front porch . I remember a whole host of neighbors arriving just about the point we got home.  They all welcomed us back.  I will always be thankful for such kind neighbors.

While we were gone, Sandy and Maria worked so hard to keep the homefront going smoothly.  Sandy took charge of all the laundry.  Maria delivered all three newspaper routes.  Phillip did come over each afternoon to help roll the newspapers.  He had a factory job that enabled him to be at our home by mid afternoon each day.  Sandy also kept the house clean.  By the time we got home –our refrigerator was full of meals prepared by kind friends.

Ben had been with his friends the entire time we were gone.  Jim felt like he could not cope with Ben in our home while you were recovering from your accident. While I was in Indiana–Jim went to the courthouse and signed papers to have Ben placed in a group home.  This meant a court hearing.  The court hearing was on our wedding anniversay.  I was filled with bitterness that Jim would do something like this behind my back.  During the court hearing–we argued in front of the judge.  That settled it for the judge.  He immediatly ordered Ben to be in the custody of the state.  Ben would be driven to a group home in Henderson, Kentucky that very afternoon. We had to meet with a social worker and sign papers.  I was in a rage that I had nothing to say about my son being taken from my home.  I felt like I hated Jim.  I wanted nothing to do with my husband.  Thoughts of divorce permeated my mind.  It was a double tragedy happening to our family. How could life be so bitter for us.  Hadn’t we suffered enough through the years without having to have the state in our lives? 

I placed all of my energies in taking care of you.  My hostilily ran it’s course and finally I was able too see some good in Ben being away for awhile.  Many people came to visit us that summer.  I had to get up early and make sure you were bathed and clean before the visitors started coming.  We turned the living room into your hospital room.  We had a hospital bed and all the paraphernalia that goes along with a person recovering from a serious accident.  I remember it was extremely hot that summer.  We only had one air conditioner and it wasn’t able to put out enough air to make you comfortable. 

We fell into a routine.  After I bathed you each morning –I put on your back brace.  Then I helped you get to a comfortable chair.  You loved country music.  You would sit and watch country music videos.  Or you would listen to some of your many country music compact disks.  If you tired of that –you would watch old reruns of The Walton’s or Little House On The Prarie. After lunch you were exhausted.  I would help you get to your portable potty.  Then I would take your back brace off and you would take a long nap.

Soon the newspaper bundles would arrive.  Phillip always showed up to help fold the newspapers.  By this time Jim was home from work.  Thus, Maria and I would deliver all of the routes.  When I arrived home from delivering the newspapers –you were ready to sit up again.  I put your brace on you and you were able to sit up until about 7:00 p.m. each evening.  Then I took your brace off and helped put your pajamas on.  Sometimes we would watch a movie together.  Those were the soft moments of the day.  During one of those evenings the director of the group home called and told me how well Ben was doing.  He believed that Ben would work through the difficult time of his life and that someday Ben would be an outstanding person.  I drank in his words of encouragement.  I missed Ben so much.  He was my little boy wrapped up in a man’s body.  The director said that we could start making visits on the weekends to see Ben.  How would we accomplish that with a car that was not really safe for long distance driving?  We had a great deal of problem solving to do.  At least I had some quiet moments in the evening to forget my troubles.  There was still a long road ahead of us.




2 responses

15 06 2008

It had to have been God’s Grace that sustained you through all of these event’s. Your mother’s heart must have felt so torn and broken in so many pieces as you gently nursed one child and felt the loss of the other…I admire your strength…and I admire your ability to hold your marriage together. I don’t know how I would have handled the situation with Ben…that could have been a “deal breaker”.
I enjoy Vera’s Story very much. Thanks for sharing it with all of us and thanks to Vera for wanting you to write it…
Your friend

15 06 2008

The loss of my son during Vera’s recovery tops the list of stressful events in the life of our family. Indeed, it was God’s grace that pulled us through those times. I hope my story can help other families living through tough times. Vera wanted the story written back in 2001. I’m using my hand written copy and editing the original script for blog format. Back in 2001–I could never imagined having a blog. It is so great to hear from you.

Your friend,

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