The rest of the story...

Sorry. I had meant to continue with Audrey's story but life has a way of happening, y'know?

While I wait for the video version of her story to load up, let me fill you all in on the story of Audrey Natalia.

Audrey was born on March 1, 1958. She was full term, weighed in at 8 pounds and some ounces. She was healthy and feisty with blue eyes and a head full of reddish gold hair.

Mom and Dad had wanted to name her "Natalia" which means, "Nativity" or "the beginning" because for all intents and hopes, she would be the first of many more children.

However, some well meaning and helpful souls pointed out that "Natalia" was an unusual name that could get mispronounced and all her life people would be asking her,

"Now how is it you spell your name?"

and one wouldn't want that to happen to their daughter, would one? What to do? Mom recalled seeing a name on the side of a bakery truck for a line of baked goods by "Lil' Audrey" so the sleek and unique "Natalia" got shoved to the middle position and the dear, sweet sounding name, "Audrey" went to the head of the line. In the end, this name fit better somehow for this chubby cheeked little charmer.

She would still be the first of many of course.

Life happens...

Ah, the video is loaded now. You can see for yourself how she was. Such a darling little baby, such a camera FLIRT!

"She knows what a camera is for", Mother wrote in her journal. Gee, ya think? Hello, Ivory Snow! Forget that Brookie Cookie Shields kid, here would have been your goldmine!

As is common with the first born, every waking moment is recorded to film. In this manner, one can see that there is not one thing wrong with the child. Mom was very good at making sure sister was fed properly and up to date on all of her vaccinations, especially the polio jab. Mother was herself a survivor of the dread disease and no way would her baby girl be put thru that trial if she could help it.

She marks it in the baby book, all the lists of doctor visits, what shot was administered on what date. The 3rd dose of the Salk Polio is given in May, 1959 at Iowa Methodist Hospital.

Years later, in a medical journal that was meant only for those privileged few of the white jackets, an article relates how, in the spring of 1959, a laboratory in the south released a batch of the Salk Polio into the market that had been contaminated. A list follows of where some of the batch wound up and some of it lands in Des Moines, IA, Iowa Methodist Hospital.

And some of it landed in Audrey's plump little arm...

The changes are so little at first. One eye begins to wander a bit and this is captured in a photo from June. July; Audrey is often seen with one hand in her hair, tugging at those golden strands ever so slightly...

August. The once bright smile is gone. She looks upset, on edge. She raises her arms above her head as if to shoo the camera away from her. By September, the eyes have dulled, what some term the "one hundred yard stare" has set in.

Audrey on a merry-go-round, September, 1959. After this, the pictures stop.

The pictures start up again at Thanksgiving, 1959. Mom is holding a child, looks like a little boy, a very odd little boy at that with too short hair and a missed beat in his eyes. He smiles and in that smile, there is something familiar...

It's Audrey.

She smiles again now. The folks force something that passes for upturned lips for the camera, for the congregation...for each other. Only Audrey smiles and means it. What ever this was that came upon her, it's over now. She is the way she is going to be for the next 33 years of her life and all the tears and prayers in the world, not even that of Oral Roberts, is going to change this.

This has happened. This is here to stay.

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