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Upon Their Hands They Will Carry you
Page 9

Are You My Mommy?

The rain splashed in huge droplets off the hood of our car and the windshield wipers hurried back and forth across the window as if they were rushing to catch the next sheet of water before we were blinded to the road with the glass made opaque by that rain.

Rod and I were rushing to keep the appointment set up for us by Auntie Pud at the Cerebral Palsy Center in Norman. A tall arched covered overhang directly in front of the double door entry protected us from the rain as we stepped out of the car and that was nice. I silently congratulated the architect for thinking of such a thing. Even so, our shoes were dripping water on the very shiny floor of the waiting room.

"Sorry to ruin this very nice floor," I spoke to the receptionist who was behind a desk.

"Not to worry." The girl was friendly and didn't seem to be concerned about the floor.

With this warm personality she was no doubt chosen for her job and without effort put me at ease. I began to unwrap Rhonda from her warm blankets. Our baby was always cheerful and smiled to me as she suddenly could see out from under her covers.

Rodney strode through the door after he had parked the car with his usual air of control and I was thankful for these masculine always take charge ways. He went up to the receptionist's desk and gave her our names along with the appointment time.

"Come on back. Your therapist, Sol, is waiting for you." And I, like a goose being fattened for the kill, meekly followed along behind the woman. We were walking down a hallway with a floor highly polished and clean as the waiting room we just left. Everything was cheerful and bright. To the right the wide hallway turned into another shorter hall and the girl turned again to her right to enter the therapist's office. Windows half way down between the therapistís office and a gymnasium looking room were there, evidently so he could watch the children at work in that larger room.

"Hello, I'm Sol, and I will be Rhonda's therapist."

The man was strong and had the appearance of one who could lift any of the children. I noticed he had a long scar running all the way up his arm.

"Come on in." Sol asked us into his office. Behind him on the wall was a good sized plaque which had a large red button painted on it and under that the words read, Panic Button.

"Would you like to tour the building?" Sol asked.

"Sure. Yes, that would be fine." Curiosity needed to be satisfied.

At first we walked through a great room where there were cushioned tables. We stopped briefly to speak with the therapist who was working with one of the children. The child was flat on his back having one leg stretched at a time. As the strong man held the leg stiff, it would be pulled and stretched, up and down. The child cried out each time the leg was lifted.

"Aren't you hurting him?" I had to say something.

"Yes it hurts, but it is necessary. These muscles can get so stiff surgery is necessary to relax them."

As if to verify his word, he pointed to a child who was standing at parallel bars. A football type helmet on the little boyís head gave the child an odd appearance. He was at force to use crutches to hold himself up on legs made straight and stiff from the steel braces he was wearing. The therapist pointed to the back of the child's knees to where the surgery had been performed.

Sol was leading us now back down the same hallway toward what looked to be a spacious dormitory. There were rows and rows of baby beds. Bars all around each bed didnít seem necessary to me. It was obvious the children were unable to move much. As we walked by the beds little hands and fingers reached out to touch us. Soulful eyes were pleading for our attention as we walked by.

"Are you my Mommy?" One child asked.

"Don't let him con you." Sol picked the child up. "He's quite good at getting your attention." At this, the child smiled a sly little grin while he rolled his eyes toward the ceiling and away from us.

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