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disability : I deal in hope

I deal in hope : Carolyn R Scheidies

Blog My Special Radio

I was an active child. I loved wandering the hills behind the parsonage in Wyoming. I loved riding horses. I loved reading, but also loved being outside working on one project or another. Six months after we moved to a rural church in northern Kansas, I contracted juvenile rheumatoid arthritis—though I wasn’t diagnosed for several months. JRA was something new to the doctors and they didn’t really know how to treat the disease in young people.

My parents took me to different rehab centers. Some helped me in different ways. Some not so much. One left me with nightmares for months after I got home again. When my folks took me down to Hot Springs Arkansas to an outpatient clinic for treatments, I was in pain and in a wheelchair. I could not walk, could not even wheel my chair.

My folks had little money, but my dad felt so bad for me. As we wondered in downtown stores before an appointment, I must have indicated my liking for a small transistor radio. It was small, blue, and cool. I didn’t expect anything to come of my checking it out. Small radios like that weren’t in our budget. Nevertheless, dad bought it for me. I could hardly believe it. I wanted to cry. I knew he sacrificed to get me that radio.

For the next few years that radio helped make time go faster and engage my attention when I wasn’t reading or otherwise engaged. I could be outside and listen to the Triple Crown races that held my attention in the spring. Most of all that radio stayed with me long after I had massive surgery to get me up and walking, long after I grew up and married. How could I let go of what reminded me of something so important, especially when I needed encouragement during those years of frustration and pain–my father’s love?  

© 2022 Carolyn R Scheidies

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