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By God's Authority: “…..If Snow Flakes Can Climb…..”

By God's Authority: “…..If Snow Flakes Can Climb…..”

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By God's Authority: “…..If Snow Flakes Can Climb…..”

Lunghezza:
305 pagine
4 ore
Pubblicato:
Mar 22, 2012
ISBN:
9781449741785
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

In addition to being born highly spirited, inquisitive, and stubborn, Kathryn was also her parents worst nightmare. She was ill from the day she was born. Her parents were unable to find any physician or surgeon who could find the root cause of her pain. The medical profession had not evolved much at the time of her birth, as X-rays were still being read by holding them up to a ceiling light. Political correctness had not yet become a part of how the medical profession treated their patients or the parents of an ill child. The science of medical equipment and the physical symptoms of an ill individual progressed slowly. For within the human body, there were organs that could not be seen.

That would change, under God in the United States of America. One of the beneficiaries of that change would be a girl named Kathryn.

Pubblicato:
Mar 22, 2012
ISBN:
9781449741785
Formato:
Libro

Informazioni sull'autore

Kathryn has lived the American dream.  After studying medicine, she practiced her profession for forty years.  Having traveled extensively, she has learned about history of countries and peoples that have enriched her life, allowing her to experience all God had planned for her and everyone who accepts Christ as their Savior.

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By God's Authority - Kathryn

NIV

1

From birth, there was something different about her. She wasn’t just a little girl born on a farm where her father had to spank her to get her to sit still on his lap. Kathryn was all about movement and inquisitiveness, of touching and looking, of going and coming when she liked. Every day was an action day with Kathryn.

For the first couple years of her life she also had her paternal grandparents living in the same house, a house full of mirth and laughter, a house that despite being on a dusty farm was immaculately clean. The kitchen was always wafting the aroma of cookies or cakes being baked, the sound of meat on the chopping block, the scent of a meal being prepared. Until her father bought the house in town, a place called Farley, where her grandparents moved when she was about two, her grandparents had been her principal caretakers. Her parents were both busy working the farm. The child was constantly in motion, into everything, on everything, peeking, touching, never still. If it moved, so much the better! She was absolutely incapable of passing anything, any object, any animal, without touching it, holding it, teasing it, or playing with it or in some cases, aborting a life. She was her parent’s worst nightmare, when they went to visit neighbors and friends. If nothing barked, squealed, cried or broke during the visit, they believed that God had somehow intervened and let them have a couple hours of uneventful bliss. She was unlike any other child they had ever known.

When she could walk confidently, she would sneak off, stealthily, for the back door of the house, open it, and escape. She’d toddle across the open space between the house and the chicken coop. Opening the recycled screen coop door, she said ‘Hello’ to every chicken sitting in its own cubicle, waiting to lay an egg. In a matter of minutes, chickens were flying everywhere, against the windows, into other cubicles, running in circles around the feeder bin and banging into the screen door, which would mercifully give way to allow some of them escape.

The racket caused by the chickens could easily be heard by her mother, who hollered, ‘Grandpa!’ which woke him up from a slumber in the rocking chair and sent him to fetch his granddaughter before she was totally covered in straw and chicken do-do. Prayerfully, it was before the chickens prematurely dropped their eggs or got diarrhea. Those chickens were downright entertaining and at the same time their antics kept her mind off herself.

Grandpa had the task of taking her over to the well to wash her hands and face, the best he could. Then, being Scotch-Irish, grandpa would try to teach her a lesson by making Kathryn walk back to the house the long way.

Kathryn didn’t mind the walk. She was mindful of the switch her grandpa invariably carried with him, which he kept in the small pocket in his overalls. She certainly preferred the walk as opposed to what that little switch might do to her! All this activity before she had breakfast! It was July! Next month Kathryn would be two years old. Half a lifetime for her parents!

Kathryn’s mother and father milked eight cows every morning and evening. The two of them carried the milk up to the house in five gallon milk pails where it was run through a separator, one spigot yielding pure cream, the other skim milk. The skim milk was carried back to the barn where the pigs were penned in a fenced muddy pit. The feed and the skim milk caused a pig feeding frenzy. Kathryn loved to watch.

Every spring it was particularly interesting because the sows would give birth to funny little creatures who oinked and grunted from the day they were born. They looked so soft and fuzzy lying in the straw beside their mother. As the piglets got older, the mother sow was put back in the pigpen. Nearly three now, she would go at it again. She’d climb up the side of the box stall and lower herself into the pen. She chased those piglets until she caught one. The squealing would begin. Instead of being soft and cuddly, the piglets had sharp, prickly hairs. At first, she was surprised. But that didn’t stop her! The more the prickly little piece of meat wiggled, the tighter she hung on. If grandpa or grandma hadn’t got to her right away, she’d go after another one.

Kathryn felt bad when her father couldn’t be home to help her mother with the other chores, such as carry all the drinking and bath water to the house from the wells by the barn. It was during the summer and into fall, when the whole workload fell to her mother. Instinctively, judging by the moans her mother emitted, Kathryn knew that it was brutally hard work. Though she was young, she knew without even saying it out loud, that being a farmers’ wife was something she never wanted to be. Quite the contrary! She was different and everyone in Kathryn’s family knew it, except her. Kathryn had more ways than Sundays to get into trouble. Like the time she decided to teach the kittens to swim. Her father just happened to be working the south 80 that day and had a good view of the cattle water tank. She had found the kittens before her father did. Big mistake on his part! The tractor coming into the yard didn’t seem to register with her. She knew her mother was working in the garden, but Kathryn knew that that huge bump in her belly made her slow down a bit, so she kept right on with what she was doing.

Suddenly aware that someone was coming she took the kitten out of the water, amazingly alive, as her father rounded the corner of the barn. He took his daughter to the house, grabbed a wooden mixing spoon and paddled her behind, all the time telling her that if she ever did that again she wouldn’t be able to sit down for a week! That didn’t make a lot of sense since she was never still anyway, much less non-ambulatory for any length of time unless she was sleeping. Her mother had doubts about that, too.

Upon hearing the crying, her mother entered the house. Her father handed two pieces of a mixing spoon to her mother, never saying a word. The mixing spoon was toast! He walked back to the machine shed, got back on the tractor, and after adjusting his blue and white striped cap on his head, drove out to the field. Never a dull moment on the farm!

Was it because Kathryn was born in August on one of the hottest, busiest days of that year? Or because Kathryn’s head was attached to her mother’s womb in such a way that it made for a very difficult birth? Maybe it was because being on a farm both parents wanted, and needed, a boy, a son. In spite of a moment’s indifference, weighing a little over eight pounds with hair black as a bristle brush, and a little scar on her scalp just below the crown, she arrived. Her mother always thought babies were born with blue eyes but her daughter had eyes the color of spades! Kathryn was different!

After an eight day stay in the hospital, both mother and daughter went home. Her mother wanted to call her Jacqueline Ann. She was named Kathryn Jane by her father. Her father, being Scotch-Irish and German, assured his wife that it was a strong and vibrant name, a name people would remember, a name that came with the sound of dignity and integrity.

From the day of her birth she knew exactly who she was and what she wanted to do with her life. She had an air of independence that bewildered her parents. As soon as she could talk, she told them that she wanted to travel. She wanted to be educated like her aunt. Where did that come from? By the time she was four, everyone pretty much agreed with her. Except her father. Whatever he was thinking concerning his daughter and all her plans, he kept to himself.

2

Most babies, from the time of their birth, cry when they are hungry or when they need their diaper changed, which means, they cry pretty much all the time. The moment she was born, Kathryn screamed. Her mother tried to nurse her but failed. To hear her parents tell it, they tried everything; laying her on her side, then on her back, rocking her or walking the night. Switching from mother to grandmother, father to grandfather, keeping her in dry diapers, trying to get her to drink her formula. Nothing worked.

Discussing it with Kathryn’s doctor, they tried different formulas. Each time, after a few days on a new regimen, she would throw up, curdled formula, curdled food and curdled acid. It made a terrible mess and the smell, putrid.

Between parents and grandparents, they took shifts both day and night so that each of them might get some rest. It was, after all, harvest time and everyone desperately needed that rest. Her mother was terrified that she would lose her daughter to some ailment that the doctors could not identify.

Kathryn never slept. Entirely exhausted from crying or screaming, she would ‘nap.’ Then it seemed like it was only for a couple hours and it would begin all over again. They had tried everything. There was nothing else to do. Kathryn’s mother rose that morning fully expecting to go back to the doctor’s office, when she decided to do the very thing the doctor had told her not to do. While grandma changed her granddaughter’s diaper, her mother heated some cow’s milk and mixed it with water, half and half, putting it in a bottle, like she did every morning. Only this wasn’t a prescribed formula! She took her screaming daughter, wrapped her snug in a blanket, until her little failing arms were all covered, and proceeded to feed her.

Kathryn drank deliciously, except for the few moments it took her mother to elicit a burp from her well fed daughter. Then, she slept. Her mother took a long look at Kathryn. Her hair was so dark, yet it was auburn. Her skin was fair. Her little ears would forever be small because they weren’t fully developed when she was born.

Her fingers were thin but very long and her mother let herself dare to think that someday her daughter might play the piano. Her daughter was already six weeks old but at the moment, while she was sleeping, mother and daughter bonded and it was good.

After a while, her mother got sleepy. Getting up, she laid her sleeping baby in the borrowed crib. How peaceful she looked, so peaceful that her mother momentarily forgot about the first screaming weeks of her little life and the fact that she had just given her newborn cow’s milk!

Kathryn slept. The longer she slept, the more her mother worried. She checked on her every half hour and never left the house all day. Grandma was sure that Kathryn had the croup! This was the day of Kathryn’s deliverance. And theirs!

Grandpa was sleeping in the rocking chair when Kathryn’s father came in from threshing, bringing with him six other hired men, starving for lunch. Her father, too, crept into their bedroom where Kathryn lay sound asleep as though her sleeping this long was as normal as the sun rising every morning.

The longer Kathryn slept, the more worried her mother became. How could she reveal to grandpa and grandma and to her husband, that she may have poisoned her daughter! It was getting late and the cows had to be milked. Her mother waved her father in from the field and he, along with grandpa, did the milking.

She had never slept this long! Ever! What to do! Now her mother paced the floor for an entirely different reason. Kathryn was sleeping. It was totally uncharacteristic for her. To say there was a little apprehension among them in the house that evening would have been an understatement. Each one took their turn, checking to see if she was still breathing. It wasn’t until long after the dinner dishes had been washed and put away that they heard a small squeal from the bedroom.

Not one of the four could believe their eyes! There she lay, cooing with both her dimples, in a diaper that should have been changed after the second discharge, as though nothing was amiss. Her father was all smiles. Her grandparents went to bed early from sheer exhaustion. Her mother scooped her up after changing her diaper. As she fixed another bottle of cow’s milk and water there lurked in the back of her mother’s mind a fear of the unknown. What had she done? Was it the correct thing to do? For now, she tried to dismiss it. After all, Kathryn had just slept nearly eleven hours! Tonight, all of them may get an uninterrupted and fully deserved long nights rest.

3

Being brought up on a working farm as opposed to living in a town or city had so many advantages. Clean air, lots of food, little kittens and plenty of room in which to play. Their table was set with a variety of food. While her mother baked and cooked, her ears stayed tuned to Kathryn’s whereabouts. It was during one of her mother’s baking days that everything became extremely quiet. Kathryn had disappeared.

The last time her mother had checked on her, she had been playing in the dirt row between the house and the sidewalk. Nothing ever grew there anyway so it became a place to indulge in making mud pies or playing ‘farm’ with miniature farm implements. Laddie, their beloved Collie, was always close by. Occasionally, Kathryn would draw a house in the dirt with all the appropriate rooms. She never included a bathroom since her family’s bathroom was an outhouse set back from the house just far enough so that her mother could see if her father was evacuating and having a smoke.

Even though her grandparents now lived in Farley, a town six miles west of the farm, there was hardly a day that passed when they didn’t drive out to help on the farm. Farming was in their blood. It was what they knew how to do. In the past, before their joints had become stiff and their muscles froze, her grandparents, together as one, had done it well.

When her mother went out to check on Kathryn’s whereabouts, she was nowhere to be found. Grandma was taking a nap. Grandpa was hauling grain. After walking around the house, checking the outhouse, the barn and the chicken coop, she returned to the house to see if Kathryn had possibly come in without being heard. Her mother began to panic! After calling her name several times and getting no answer, she grabbed a white towel from the kitchen. Waving at her husband in the field, thinking he might come in the yard, he never looked her way! She was just about to wake grandma when she caught a glimpse of Laddie lying in the tall grass in their front yard. It had been a dry spring, so the grass would be cut in late fall and used for hay.

Since Laddie and Kathryn were inseparable while she played outside, her mother wondered why Laddie didn’t respond. Again, she called his name. The fluff of reddish-blond hair did not move. Again, she called. Out of curiosity, she started to walk toward what she assumed now to be Laddie to see if he was hurt. As she looked a bit closer, there was her daughter, all curled up on his coat, warm in the sun, lying on Laddie’s tummy, sound asleep. Laddie’s eyes looked at her, as if to say, ‘Quiet.’ Laddie never moved so much as a hair on his coat. This was his little girl, too! Relieved, her mother backed away, quietly, and went to the house.

4

It was a painfully, bitter cold day when early one morning Kathryn was dragged from bed by her mother and dressed in layers of clothing for going outside. She really didn’t wake up until a sheet of cold ice hit her in the face. Her father had hooked the horses up to the box bobsled. Kathryn and her mother sat on the bench in front where he stood, bundled in blankets.

The aroma of the straw that covered the floor was ‘delicious’ to Kathryn’s nostrils. But something else was going on here and she was concerned for her mother. Faint moans would be emitted every few minutes and Kathryn knew this time it was not coming from her. The town they were going to was Farley, with a population you could almost count on one hand. However, it was where grandpa and grandma Madewell lived, in a small four room house. Nothing fancy, but it was always a place Kathryn loved to visit.

The main street in Farley consisted of a bank, machine shop, hotel, restaurant and a small grocery store. Main Street was a block long. It also had a small bar, which everyone knew was there but no one Kathryn knew ever talked about, much less entered. Nary a stranger could come to town but what the whole town knew inside of a half hour lunch. The streets were gravel, producing dust. At the very north end of Main Street there was a small school building built on the edge of town. The idea of going to school energized Kathryn. She could hardly wait.

Upon arriving at her grandparent’s house, she was taken inside while her father and mother left in grandpa’s car. Kathryn’s parents had a car also. However, it could not be counted on to run in cold weather. Her father used a crank that he turned to get it started. Even then, it was unreliable.

When her father returned to his parents home two days later, her mother was not with him. It was a surprise to Kathryn when her father said that she now had a baby brother. They were talking about the ‘labor’ and the ‘hospital stay’ and they all liked the baby’s name: William Charles. His name was derived from the first names of the paternal and maternal grandfathers of the boy. Again, the name was her father’s choice.

In the midst of all the visiting and excitement, both parents of her father were very happy that their son now had a son. Every farmer should have a son. That’s what they told Kathryn. In addition, the grandparents were only too happy to tell their son that they were totally worn out by having Kathryn visit! Could they put up with her until her mother was ready to come home? Did they have a choice?

To have someone in the house that cried less than Kathryn was a shock to both her parents and grandparents. If her mother was outside working in the garden, Kathryn would make sure that her sibling was okay. Sometimes she would just sit and watch him, with his beautiful auburn hair and dark, dark eyes, covered in sleep. She’d play with his fingers and Billy, as he was now called, would sleep through it. Her mother tried to explain to Kathryn that her big belly was gone because that’s where babies came from and that’s how she had had her brother. Kathryn really tried to comprehend that notion but at three years plus she wondered how Billy got out of her mother’s tummy. Unwittingly, she asked her mother if Billy came out through her belly button. Since all her mother did was smile, she figured that must have been what happened.

The discomfort that Kathryn would occasionally feel in her tummy was getting more annoying with each episode. It interfered with whatever she was doing. Her temper would flair easily. She would quit what she was doing and get into mischief. Anything to get the’ monkey’ off her back. Her mischief only brought her trouble…from her father. It didn’t matter if her father was working in the field or if he was feigning sleep in the bedroom, somehow he always knew what she was up to and when she got caught, she’d get a spanking.

By the time she was four years old her mother had taught her the basics of the piano, and even some little tunes. Kathryn’s hands were made for the piano, long, slender and strong. When she was hurting, she turned to the piano, playing what little she knew very loudly, sometimes pounding the keys. In the evenings, at the request of her father, she would play for him. If she didn’t feel good, she’d slam the cover down over the keys, go upstairs, slamming the door behind her. Never saying a word, she’d retreat to her bedroom where she would lay down, remaining until her discomfort would go away or at least, ease.

It was a tortuous time for Kathryn. She was either feeling on top of the world and into all things nice or she felt ill and naughty and got into everything on the bad side of wrong. All too often, she would drink some milk, lie down and hold her tummy, crying into her pillow, until her world was upright again.

Her parents were aware that something was ‘not right’ with Kathryn. Frequently, they had taken her to a doctor in Hagwood, which was located about twenty five miles northwest of Farley. However, the doctors were very unsympathetic. They told her parents, at least once each visit, that a girl like their daughter, with her energy and temperament, would have an occasional upset stomach. To say the least, her parents were frustrated. Yes. They knew Kathryn was ‘high strung’ and motivated. They also instinctively knew that that was not the cause of her symptoms. Every time they left the doctors’ office, her parents knew the doctors were evading their questions. It would be relatively soon when they would realize that they were the only ones who believed in the discomfort that Kathryn was experiencing.

As soon as Billy could walk and run without falling, they would play

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