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Location: Clearwater, South Carolina, United States

Monday, April 17, 2006

KS - the letters

8- After having read some old letters, I realized I had left a couple of events out of the time continuum of my military memories. That was because these letters had slipped my mind – they were in another location of the house. Let me explain how they came into my possession – or I should say came back into my possession.

After Mom’s funeral – she passed on Mother’s Day in 1997 – the six of us siblings met at the old home place in Mississippi to clean out the house and to share anything that held valuable memories for us. We three brothers started out in Dad’s old shop and the three sisters started inside the house. We divided up the tools according to even a hint at wanting a particular one and afterwards went in to help the ladies.

We were all going through some old photos when I happened upon a prize that almost floored me. Tucked away in a drawer was a stack of letters sent to my parents by me when I was away from home. Of 50 plus pieces of mail, all but a few were sent to them when I was in the Army, and most from France. This treasure of personal history was brought home and stored away without going through them in any great detail.

After starting these writings, I happened to think of the letters, I located and sorted them by dates and began reading about what I was like over forty years ago. Memories came flooding back, some pleasant, but many not, because they told about a very impetuous, quick tempered and selfish young man to whom I took an instant dislike.

In addition to all this, I perceived him as also not being very wise. Seeing by way of the letter enhanced memories, I remembered once again the many mistakes that were made – and sometimes the same ones, over and over – and I wondered how I lived long enough to come home again. God’s Grace is amazing!

The first event of any significance left out of sequence is my tonsillectomy. According to a letter dated 29 April 1961, this experience happened about mid-April. After many bouts of swollen, infected tonsils, the military doctors deemed they should be removed. The day finally arrived and I checked into the American Hospital in Paris.

The Army way at that time was not to put one to sleep to remove these offending body parts, but to deaden and remove them while the patient was seated in a chair. I think I was given some sort of “I don’t care” pill, but I do remember gagging a lot, and spitting blood while the doctor was chopping away on these organs. This while I held the stainless steel tray he placed them in after their removal.

It was a somewhat tough experience to say the least and the letter said I was in the hospital 11 days, losing from 179 lbs to 169 lbs – but this was gained back in short order, after the throat healed. Soon I was getting around very well physically but spiritually I was still going nowhere.

TBC - ec


Blogger Granny said...

Amazing the difference between "then and now" isn't it. I feel the same way.


4/17/2006 11:08:00 AM  
Blogger Lis said...

OUCH! That had to hurt!

Its amazing how wonderful life got when I stopped being so willful and just trusted that God really has my best interests at heart! Even the tough days of life are managable because I can just say "OK GOD....its up to you to get me through because I can't do it on my own!"

4/17/2006 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger mreddie said...

granny - God always makes a lot of difference in a life.

lis - No matter how long we have been with God we still can't make it on our own. ec

4/17/2006 08:01:00 PM  
Blogger Bonita said...

Reading this post is like watching an old 1950's film; it is fun to see the changes. Your Mother died on Mother's Day, and my daughter was born on Mother's day - that is always memorable.

4/17/2006 08:41:00 PM  
Blogger Jayleigh said...

Wow Eddie. What a treasure to find those letters. Sometimes when I go back through my journals, I think, "WHO ON EARTH wrote that?!?" Sometimes it's a good thing that it was me, and sometimes it makes me sad that it was me.

God's grace is amazing, though, and it covers everything I do.

4/17/2006 09:27:00 PM  
Blogger mreddie said...

bonita - Now that was a real joyous and meaningful Mother's Day. How did she know which day to be born on? :)

jayleigh - You are right, a treasure, but somewhat painful because I knew the things that went on between the lines of the letter. And yes, His grace covered it all. ec

4/17/2006 09:37:00 PM  
Blogger Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

I cannot imagine a tonsillectomy using local anesthetic or even a happy pill. Of course, the surgery I had in the army on my leg (after the infamous tank accident) was done using local anesthetic. However, I was told that was because there was no anesthesiologist in the hospital in Wurzburg. Much of the staff was in Lebanon handling the crisis there.

4/18/2006 12:45:00 AM  
Blogger mreddie said...

SSN - This seemed to be the norm, either for the army or for that hospital. It wasn't pleasant but got the job done. ec

4/18/2006 09:01:00 AM  

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