Just before my sixteenth birthday my family bought (and so owned) our first home in Albuquerque. Before that we were renters in someone else’ house.
During the move, which the family accomplished by ourselves, I over exerted something, and while we were celebrating at a July Fourth picnic in the nearby Sandia Mountains I got severe stomach pains.
The family rushed me into town and Mother phoned her private physician, also a friend, who met us at the hospital emergency room at Presbyterian Hospital.
After an exam, I was taken straight into surgery and the Doctor, (William Woolston), performed emergency exploratory surgery. It was scary for all of us.
Just before I was wheeled into the operating room Mother put her hand on my arm, and said to me, “I know God will bring you back safely to me.”
That is the only truly spiritual thing she ever said to me.
When I woke up in my hospital room, the doctor was there and he asked me if the pain was better. It wasn’t, but I did not want to go through that again so I nodded to him, ‘yes’.
I remember that while I was in the recovery room there was a boy slightly older than me in the next bed attended by his parents. They were trying to soothe him, and he was emotional and not thinking clearly. He said to his parents, “well, at least I am not There.” They asked him where he meant, and he replied, “you know ‘there’ – in hell.”
After a few days the pain was much better, and I was told by the doctor that he had repaired an umbilical hernia.
When the surgery was over my ‘belly button’ was gone.
Later, Cynthia told me that the first time she saw me nude she was convinced that I was ‘an angel.’
At that time I was flattered, but thought she was foolish. NOT SO!
It was me that was foolish – for many, many years after that.
As far back as I know, my psyche, mind, will and strength have revered female spirit.
Our whole world flinches when that quality in a man is misunderstood for any reason.
There is a universal paranoia about male intentions toward females.
. . . And, it seems to be for good and sufficient reason.
That has been, is, and will be – my 'cross to bear'.
. . So be it . . .