What Do You Do if You Just Can’t Walk Right In?

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I am the last one standing.. Me, Robin, Bernice (Bunny) and Arthur Knight- Cowansville Quebec 1958

 

I was going to write a funny story today but it is just not happening.  After writing about Merrywood on Rideau I felt sad for those who could not walk like everyone else.

My mother lost the use of her legs one snowy New Year’s Eve at a friends home when she was 30. My father thought she had consumed one drink too many, but after years of her fighting to get her legs back, he finally realized it had never really had been the liquour.

As a child I watched them say it was polio over and over. Then she had polio treatments, spinal surgeries and neurological tests slapped on her like a guinea pig. The specialists came one after another from all over the world to try their experiments on her at the former Montreal Rehabilitation Centre on Darlington Ave. and nothing ever worked.

For four years until she died at age 34 she wore black heavy polio leg braces and never gave up. My father even drove her to Oklahoma hoping faith healer Oral Roberts would cure her, only to be turned away as they could not afford all the pay tolls Roberts had on his property for those who visited him. I watched her sit on the hospital stairs each weekend and cry as she attempted to do something she would never do again-walk. But she never gave up and continued to play Glenn Miller tunes on the piano every afternoon in the hospital foyer for the patients– no matter how sad she felt about her future.

One day fluid began to violate her on a daily basis for a few months. Two days before she died in September of 1963 she burned her finger as she ironed my Confirmation dress. Instead of it blistering, a yellowish fluid began oozing from the burn.

She looked at my neighbour, and said calmly,

“Meg, my body is full of the poison now, I am going to die.”

All those years of fighting, all those year of frustration, she  died–just like that, at the age of 34. Years later when my sister Robin died of Lymphoma at the age of 40, the doctors confirmed my mother had actually died of Lymphoma on the spine. Lymphoma is a hard disease to detect, and information in those days was sparse.

The medical staff did not need to tell me what happened to my mother. I already had known as I had figured it out years ago. Yes, the disease with the capital ‘L’ has taken each one of my family, and I am the very last to speak.  At this every second in time I choose to speak the words of a family lost, so they might at least be remembered.

Today is the day you need to hug your family no matter how hard they irritate you. Don’t let the paralysis of anger allow you not to step into another day.  Family is family- the love is always there-embrace them.

 

Her Favourite Song exactly how she played it on the piano...

Video: Oral Rpberts –This particular boy was investigated by James Randi and found out it was just an act. He actually could walk.

 

 

 

Words by Linda Seccaspina 2013

About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

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