Let nothing be done through strife or vain glory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem the other better than themselves.Philippians 2 : 3
My mum said at different times, different things about my face. These are the ones I remember.
“Your face is heart-shaped. Your hair is thick, you are so lucky. (When I begged to have it cut she turned it into a hair piece. It looked great on the back of her head in the mid sixties). You have a swan neck. (Well I was very slim). You have beautiful blue eyes and you are very pretty when you cry! ” Then she said; “you are at school and you are rubbing your eyes a lot, let us have your eyes tested.”
This is where things changed a bit for me. Firstly, my left eye was defined as lazy and needed to be made to work by covering the good eye. Well, that meant going to school with a patch for the next three years. To be different is never easy but I think I moved forward by explaining and then forgetting about it. I don’t think mirrors have ever been important to me so I wasn’t constantly looking at myself. I was me, patch and all.
Secondly, a squint was found in the same eye. My Mum wanted it corrected and so it was. The rubber mask with chloroform puffed through made my whole self feel trapped and soon I was in a deep sleep. Vomiting was the next reality and a few weeks of healing which was fine until the surgeon was unable to remove one of the stitches. He suggested it was done in a bigger hospital in a city a day and a half’s journey away. My Dad was nursing and unable to take us, so my little sister, my mum and I travelled with a childless couple, older than my parents. Fortunately, they were travelling there anyway. (An aside, this couple loved to give advice on child rearing which really annoyed my parents. I was very good at eavesdropping which gave me a knowledge of an awful lot of things I shouldn’t have known. I think most kids are like that. Adults just forget that that is how they used to be). My sister and I behaved impeccably. This couple were very kind, as mum was happy for us to catch the train back but wanted to protect me from any bumps before the stitch was removed.
The hospital I went into was enormous, my mum was allowed to care for me and I was relieved to have my anaesthetic given by injection. I was still sick afterwards but the stitch was out.
These early years of going to school were so full of “happenings ” ( as can be seen in my other posts) but there was a constant in our family life. An early morning and evening worship. Here my father thanked and asked God for help and we learned to pray too. God’s help and guidance was always included in our every, day to day activities. We never felt alone with parents who depended on God.
PS Chloroform and halothane are strong anaesthetic agents introduced into clinical anaesthesia in 1956 ( the year I was born) at a time when anaesthesia had been fully developed. Chloroform was first used in 1847 by James Young Simpson when anaesthesia was in its infancy.