Crying is For Babies
In the 1930s medicine was still very much a hit and miss affair. The surgeons were still experimenting and learning about the human body. This at a period when there was little in the way of pain relief.
This is one woman’s story about a childhood ruined by such surgeons, whose bad judgement confined an eight year old subsequently to bed for three years, and left her with a disability to last a lifetime. Nowadays she would have been given bed rest and pain relief, and in no time would have been up and running again.
Her strong will, and the love of a close family, saw her through the bad times, enabling her to go on and become the talented, remarkable person she was. I know because this woman was my sister.
Crying is for Babies excerpt
The wind howled down the High Street. The snow cleared up soon after the New Year, but there were still little bits of it lying here and there in dirty heaps. It was too cold to bring the baby, now named Pat, out so she was at home with Mum and Elly. Jimmy had come with us to the park today. Now that Stevie was working, Jimmy sometimes came to the swings with us. He and Davy were playing a game of jumping over the cracks in the pavement and counting the slabs.
Once we passed through the park gates, I raced off to be first on the swings, and was already swinging high by the time Dolly and Jeany caught up with me. Davy went on the roundabout while Jimmy pushed it, so it went faster.
“Look at me,” I shouted at the top of my voice as the swing rose so high I could see them all down below. Up here, I could imagine I was at the circus on the trapeze like in one of our picture books. The chains on the swing were wet after the drizzle that fell earlier and I’d almost reached the ground as it went downwards when my fingers slipped. I fell forward and landed on the ground with a thump. I’d fallen before, but this time when I tried to get up I couldn’t because my leg really hurt. I screamed and Dolly and Jeany ran over.
“Now what you done?” Dolly leaned over me. “Come on, get up, silly.” She held out her hand, but when I tried to pull myself up a pain shot up my leg.
“It really hurts, Dolly,” I blubbered. “I can’t move it. What am I gonna do?” Tears ran down my cheeks and into my mouth.
The boys came over to see what all the fuss was about and Dolly pushed Jimmy, shouting, “Go and tell Mum Vi can’t get up. I think she might have broken something like that boy did at school when he slipped on the ice.”
I began to shiver. It was icy cold on the ground, and the pain was getting worse instead of better. Dolly knelt beside me and put her arms about me. It seemed like ages and ages before Jimmy came running back, followed by Mum. “Now what’s the little blighter been up to?” she asked as she knelt down and wiped at my wet cheeks with the corner of her apron.
“I fell Mum, and it hurts something awful,” I moaned. “And I’m cold.”
“All right, let’s get you home. Dolly, help me lift her up and if she still can’t walk I’ll have to carry her.”