Friday, October 28, 2005

1942: Lady Liberty

Lady Liberty Posted by Picasa
"Liberty is to the collective body what health is to every individual body. Without health no pleasure can be tasted by man; without liberty no happiness can be enjoyed by society." ~ Henry St. John Bolingbroke (1678-1751)
This was taken in 1942, just before my mom turned fourteen. I think it may have been for a 4th of July celebration. The US was at war with Germany, World War II. She remembers her father listening to the big radio that Sunday morning the previous December, when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and feeling afraid. Mom tells of the air raid drills and black outs; how they pulled the thick curtains shut to keep in the light. How rationing of sugar, tires, gas and nylons was in place for the war effort. Both her parents worked at the local Visco plant making various types of nylon thread. When the ration books allowed he would go and buy my mom and grandmother one pair each; they treated those nylons like fine china. She said that when nylons were simply not available, the girls would draw a line down the back of their calves to simulate seamed stockings; just for dress up occasions. Otherwise, socks were the norm. She also tells of a cousin killed in the Pearl Harbor attack. No one took liberty lightly then.

Mom was tall and thin then. Over time she has lost a little height from wear and tear. Now she has a new hip and shoulder repair. Most recently, a knee replacement. She is home from the rehabilitation nursing center and has home physical therapy three times a week. She still has quite a bit of pain but the swelling is much better and she is walking better, though still with her walker. Her blood pressure is a bit of a problem right now but I've increased one of her medications for a little while until it is under control. The diabetes is doing well and since coming home she has lost at least ten pounds of fluid (that leg was really, really swollen). So all in all I think she is doing well; for the surgery she had and all the other medical problems she has. She's started putting on her wig again during the day; a sign that she is on the mend. Thanks again for all the prayers and good thoughts.

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