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Archiver > ARIZARD > 2008-07 > 1215011527

Subject: Re: [ARIZARD] off subject (Junebug)
Date: Wed, 2 Jul 2008 08:12:07 -0700 (PDT)
In-Reply-To: <001b01c8dc48$57facf30$2f01a8c0@homewmagncro5p>

Hi, Lady! Thanks for writing me. Cataract surgery is very low risk nowadays. I've kept up with your messages and am glad you've done so well, in spite of those drops.

My mother gave birth to me when she was 40 and my father was 43 (I was the last one, for sure!) I slept with Mama and Daddy until I was six, and believe it was for birth control. <smile> Back to cataracts. My father's became a problem soon after I was born. For years, he could only see forms, not features, so probably didn't know how cute I was! He had cataract surgery when I was about eight -- on the first eye. The other had to "ripen" and was done short time later.

His doctor was Charles G. STUARD from Mississippi. He was a hero to our family and he attended my father's funeral in 1977. Many other family members (aunts, uncles, etc.) went to him over the years.

His surgery was done at Saint John's hospital at 21st & Utica in Tulsa. My mother saw that I visited him (hospitalized few days) as she wanted me to have experience of what hospital was like. So like her, she was always teaching. It was an experience, as I had never seen Catholic nuns, who were all over the hospital. And oh, the statues displayed in the hallways. They were so life-like. AND, they're still there, because I've seen them many times. My three children were born there in the 60s and I saw them then. And have seen them on visits to people hospitalized. There is one that no matter which way you approach it, the eyes are fixed on you.

They replaced lens in Daddy's eyes with thick glasses, and peripheral vision was lost. This resulted in a tractor accident a few years later. He was plowing, came to end of row, and when he made his turn, wheel at edge of creek bank and tractor fell down bank into the creek. This was at back of our property and was lower. You could go past our barn a ways and see all over the back. Besides that, you could hear the tractor noise, running back and forth although a good half mile away.

It was in March and not too much water in creek. He managed to pull himself over to the bank, and began to call for help. The three dogs with him were excited and every time he yelled, they barked. He got them to come near him, and quieted them. The lady from across the road, Veda KNOCHE, was visiting my mother. She was leaving and my mother followed her outside. She heard a noise and said, "Something must be in my chickens." So she went toward chicken houses, with Veda following her. When she saw chickens were okay, but still heard "something" she realized she didn't hear the tractor. She went to investigate, with Veda still following. Then, she didn't see or hear the tractor, but heard him more clearly calling for help. She told Veda to call for help, so she called an ambulance. My mother found him. His pelvis was broken and lung punctured. The ambulance took him to Broken Arrow hospital on Main Street, where he remained for some time.

The dogs missed him so much. When he finally was brought home by ambulance and in a hospital bed in the house, they would be so excited when they heard his voice through the window. We never had dogs in the house, but we brought them in to see him when he came home.

Our school bus was about half mile away from our house when we met the ambulance taking him to hospital. Veda met me when I got off bus to tell me, as my mother had gone with him in ambulance to hospital. I was thirteen, and this was about only time in my life when I didn't talk -- because I was numbed and could hardly speak for several weeks. I would leave school and walk almost a mile from junior high to see him, until time for bus to be at elementary school on Main Street, where I caught it to go home.

So this is only part of the story of how cataracts impacted our family's life. One of my father's brothers came to help me and my mother. One of my cousin's husbands came to help. We didn't plant crops that year, a severe loss for us. We had livestock to care for, cows to milk. It was a difficult time.

Through the years, I would see Dr. STUARD for examinations. He told me that being exposed to sun hastened development of cataracts -- and to always wear sunglasses when outside -- which I've always done. When my daughter was about seven, they sent a note from school saying she was having difficulty seeing the blackboard. I took her to Dr. STUARD and remained in waiting room while he examined her, so maybe had only a glance of me. Even though I was married and he wouldn't have known name, he obviously recognized me. His first words, "This doesn't run in your family." She was nearsighted. He could say that because he had seen so many of my family members.

We were produce farmers, had acres planted of everything -- tomatoes, berries, popcorn, sweet potatoes, all varieties of peas, beans, cucumbers, watermelons, cantaloupes, sweet peppers, hot peppers. Just everything. My dad had a produce stand at Admiral & Memorial in Tulsa -- and we hauled produce every day to Trenton Market in Tulsa, where most of it was sold on consignment. We had dewberries and blackberries, long rows of them. My father could grow most anything, but we had good sandy loam soil. When I came to Texas, and tried to shovel around the front of my apartment, I began to sing, "Take me back to Tulsa." You can hardly dig here because of outcropping. All of us worked very hard. I have said we made our money sometimes a quarter at a time.

Hopefully, I can write about how we lived. No one -- anywhere -- lives like that now. Our life was so different, no car insurance, no health insurance -- lot less responsibility in some ways. My parents didn't buy on credit. I asked my mother about the Depression, what affect did it have on our family. She said they hardly noticed it. They acquired more land during the Depression. However, Daddy always remarked that the Depression ended the year I was born -- 1937!

Have a great day, June. My beloved sister was a June. Billie June who died on Valentine's Day in 1993, two days before our mother. She was twelve when I was born and was my surrogate mother. We were always close. We saw people in the same way, she would say after some our long visits.


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