Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Expert (09/05/13)
TITLE: Healing Hands
By Debbie Swain
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Grandma Mittie had emergency gallbladder surgery in the early 1950’s. Hospitals and operating rooms were not quite as sterile as they are today. Her doctor suggested a spinal injection due to a large amount of infection and because the surgery was urgent. The surgery seemed to be successful and the doctor removed a baby food sized jar of gallstones. Over the next year, Grandma began losing her stability when standing or walking. It was never determined why she kept having the recurring falls however, speculation was, that the needle used for the spinal injection was contaminated.
Knowing that Grandma Mittie could not chance continuous falling episodes, my Dad purchased a wheelchair for her safety. One of the hardest things Grandma ever did was resolving herself to get in the wheelchair. She knew the less she tried to use her legs, the more she would lose use of them, even though she was already experiencing difficulty standing and walking.
Coming from a very large and loving family of thirteen children, means that you have many who love and care for you. Grandma’s home became a central gathering place for all of her siblings to visit on a regular basis. What a blessing it was to be surrounded by so many who were always willing to help.
Grandma’s great work ethic and strong determination made her search for a better way to cope with life in a wheelchair. After adjusting to maneuvering in her wheelchair, she left her South Georgia home and lived in Denver, Colorado for well over a year. It was at the Health and Rehab Center in Denver that Grandma learned how to take care of herself and her family. She also learned the art of Reflexology. At that time, little was known by the average person, that for every part in your body, there is a reflex point in your hands and feet. Grandma quickly learned the art of “healing hands”.
Upon returning home, her family and friends faithfully and regularly continued to make their visits. Little did Grandma realize how much God would use her useful reflexology skills and expert gift of encouragement to minister to those who supposedly came to “help” her.
Growing up observing Grandma Mittie in her wheelchair and knowing that she never let her disability become a hindrance, certainly gave me a respect for her strong will and determination. Gardening in the summertime was not even a "bump in the road" to her. Up and rolling way before daylight, and turning in usually after midnight, Grandma never missed cooking a full course meal for lunch and dinner. Usually there were two fresh desserts made from something gathered that day. Fresh biscuits were always a part of her country-table spread. I remember her asking my Mom to get a chicken from the barn yard so she could fry it for lunch. I went with my Mom to catch the chicken. After watching Mom, I tried the same procedure, however, my chicken got up and ran away. Obviously, I didn’t have the “barn yard touch”! Things of this nature were all common to Grandma and were things she had always done when she was able to do the outside chores.
I always found it quite entertaining to watch Grandma as many family and friends visited. She was always the perfect hostess and always wanted to make sure everyone had plenty to eat. The offer was always made to come into the kitchen and "make yourself at home". Now I know where my Dad got his hospitable training. What a wonderful heritage! I’m so blessed to have come from such a loving and giving family.
It was nothing for an aunt or uncle to stop by and mention they had a headache or some other ailment. Grandma would quickly roll her chair in the den and have them sit in a relaxing chair. “Hand me your feet,” she would say, as she started to manipulate the areas of concern, and my how quickly she could find them. How I thank God for a grandmother with such healing hands and a genuine gift of encouragement. She was truly an expert in all that she did.
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