This has happened

So this is where I came in with this long day's journey into night already in progress. The doctors in Iowa City, (so called "Mecca" of medical wisdom in the day for that part of the world), had already passed judgement and basically pronounced Audrey as a lost cause best left up to God.

Ok, they didn't say it quite like that. To be fair, the doctor that spoke to the folks was more gentle than that. He was in fact, very quiet and soft when he told them that to be honest, he didn't know what in the world was the matter with Audrey but he did know one thing:

"Whatever this is, it is killing her. She is dying," he said.
"Take her home and let her die."

And so they took her home. And Audrey got a little better, then a little worse, then some better, then a lot better. An doctor of osteopathic medicine had begun to do treatments on her to which she responded very well. This was followed by an extended stay at a facility, now since gone, in Denver, CO where she responded even more. In fact, the mood was getting brighter all the time as Audrey could once again move about freely, focus on the world around her and show an interest in eating.

(This renewed appetite came following the laying on of hands by Oral Roberts. From what I have read, many recipients of prayer from Oral came away with a profound new love of food. They still couldn't walk, see or hear but boy, they sure could eat! Someone should do a study on this)

Audrey could walk again with the aid of a walker. The one shown in the picture is the same one that she came home from Denver in. As she grew, the walker did too, aided and abetted by more pipe and bits being welded to the frame.

Yes, Audrey is very skinny in the picture, isn't she? She could eat like a horse but most of the food had a tendency to come right back up. Her diet had to be very soft and easy to digest in an effort to at least get some nourishment to stay inside of her.

By the time I came along, this is how Audrey was; stick thin and in frail health. Yet the smile was almost always there. On good days, she was full of energy and high spirits, laughter and fun.

Audrey had fun? Oh certainly she did. She was smart too, let me tell you.
For example, she figured out how to turn on the gas stove by pushing the edge of walker against the dial at just the right angle. This in turn would cause a pretty blue light to come on! A pretty, dancing blue flame that she could watch up close.

This went on for awhile. She'd turn on her own private ballet in blue then get bored with it and amble off. Mom would come in, find the burner lit and assume that the resident toddler had performed this offense. Resident toddler would get scolded and told to stay away from the stove which the resident toddler had no interest in to begin with. Finally one day, Mom caught sister in the act and about had a heart attack.

This produced a new game; batter the baby gate. Mom strung up a baby gate in front of the kitchen entrance to keep Audrey away from the stove. Audrey took this challenge in stride and soon figured out that her walker could be used as a battering ram. Oh joy!

I can still see her in my mind's eye; Audrey slowly sliding around the dinning room floor, looking at the baby gate, observing its position. Scooting back, she'd get the gate in her sites so to speak, stand up to full height and run at top speed. The walker would slip and slide and then BAM! crash up against the gate which in turn buckled and had it not been for the kitchen chairs fortifying the works from behind, surely would have given way to the invading forces of Audrey the army of one. Oo-rah!

There came at last a day of victory. The gate could only take so much abuse and one fine afternoon, the sound of splintering wood and screeching wheels filled the house. Audrey came sliding at top speed into the promised land of the kitchen, eyes shinning with triumph, pushing the vanquished gate before her like a train of the old west with a bovine riding its cow-catcher.

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