It Seems More Difficult with Children, but with Adults Sickness Can Be Tough, too
The first illness I remember was when Pallie Sue was six weeks old, end of October, 1941. She had pneumonia. And then later at six months of age. They were both nip and tuck times. I don't remember so much about the first time. I wasn't at the hospital either time and don't know where Donnie and I were. The second time was during in March 1942.
We didn't always get snow in March, but it was not unusual. I think it was night. We lived on the farm a mile north of Red River, eight miles from town. Then from town, Eldorado, Oklahoma, it was thirteen more miles south to Quanah, Texas and the hospital. Mother and Daddy were driving in pretty heavy snow that night. One great thing about driving in Texas, they had good paved roads and posts markers along the edge of the road. Each post had a clear marble embedded about two thirds way up the post. It was those shinny marbles that were guiding Mother and Daddy through that bleak night. Mother was holding the very sick baby and asking if Daddy could drive a little faster. That's when the old car died.
There was not much traffic on the road. I remember them mentioning that they were praying. In a little bit, car lights could be seen coming from behind them. Daddy got out and waved the passers to stop. It was a couple with room in the back seat. They gave Mother and Daddy with Pallie Sue a ride on to the hospital. They were so very grateful.
At the hospital, the Doctor was doing his best. After a while, that night or another night, the Doctor said to Mother, "Ernesteen, I just don't know what else to do. But we do have a new medicine that has been having good results with the Soldiers in Europe." That was WWII. His problem was dosage. Sulfa drug came packaged as powder closed one dose wrapped in paper. He wondered, if they dare try it on a baby. His real concern was how much should he give to a six month old baby?
Even after he gave the medicine, she continued to get worse. Mother said as she watched, Pallie's breath continued to get slower and slower. She had been praying and was so fearful. Finally from her terrified heart, she cried to the Lord. "I just don't think I can give her up. But if that is Your will, I surrender my will to You." Almost immediately the tiny, very short breaths began to grow. Little by little she took deeper breaths until after a while her color had returned and she slept normally.
Another time it was Linda Kay who was sick. Mother or Daddy had called Dr. Crow's office and asked him to come. So as the night vigil continued, Mother was keeping watch over the baby, but dozing off now and then. It was a cold night. Daddy earlier had lifted the lid on the wood stove in the living room to put in a new log to carry us through the night. Now and then Mother heard a noise and went to look out in case the Dr. was coming. But he never came.
In the morning when Daddy went out to start the morning chores a huge three foot circular hole was burned through our wood porch. When Daddy was putting wood in the stove the night before, he could never get that log to go all the way into the stove because of a kind of knot on the side of the log. So he lifted it back out and laid it on the porch to split later into smaller pieces. Later he thought the end of the large log had stuck to a hot coal. It didn't fall off when he lifted and carried it out. The greater miracle by the grace of God was that the house didn't burn down. There was a strong wind from the northwest. The porch floor was open to the south and east. The slowly burning log eventually caught the porch floor on fire and when the burning hole was large enough the log fell to the ground within one foot of a glass gallon jug of naphtha, a highly combustible liquid. The log was burned completely when morning came. We gave great praise to God. Linda Kay got well and we have all rejoiced for the graciousness of the Lord