For perspective, I need only read faded, handwritten letters from Aunt Eula. The letters were to my late mother in the months before my aunt, 46, died from suspected tuberculosis on May 21, 1958, in a Galveston, Texas, sanatorium.
Here are excerpts:
(December, 1957): "My hands and eyes swell until I can't hardly use them. I took a severe pain below my chest. I cry with it and my throat is sore and fever runs to 105."
"They isolated me and wouldn't even let Alton (her husband) see me. The nurse told him, 'You can't come in here.' It made him mad and he said, 'I'm coming in!'"
"Faye, I've had a close call with death. I was ready to go but didn't want to leave my loved ones (husband and two sons)."
(April, 1958): "I've been here six months and weigh 93 pounds. … I'm not afraid, nothing is too hard for God. I want to be ready if I'm called home, and if it's his will I want to live."
(May, 1958): Enclosing a gift for my older sister who was also hospitalized, she wrote, "I know what it is to stay in hospitals for months. It's almost like prison."
"I am so sore that I can't hardly move in bed. … I am so lonely and discouraged. It seems like I can't get better. I know God is mercy, but sometimes it seems like I can't endure this suffering any longer."
Contact Wendel Sloan at: firstname.lastname@example.org