I remember only pieces of that particular day, some of them being blurred images and faint voices. Apparently, Dad was off from work because he was busy doing household chores. I can remember him folding the laundry and ironing his white work shirts. Mom was working at the processing plant. Frank Jr. and I were busy playing and doing what kids normally do while trying to stay out of Dad's way.
I had a tummy ache. I remember telling Dad that my tummy hurts real bad. He told me to go lie down for a little while and see if it would feel better. I followed his instructions and laid down in my bed. I couldn't be still though. I remember wallowing in the bed, my legs rubbing the bed sheets and my hands rubbing my tummy. I got out of bed moments later and went to the bathroom. I remember straining and feeling as if I had to urinate, but I couldn't. The stomach pain only got worse. I again whined to Dad about my tummy hurting. That is all I remember until I awakened in the hospital.
I recall being on a long skinny bed and a lady in white standing next to me. I was scared to death! I picked up my head looking for Mom and Dad and felt a little more secure when I saw them standing at the foot of the bed. Mom looked scared but she told me that I was going to be okay and that I needed to do what the lady in the white dress told me to do. The lady in white had a mask in her hand. She told me she was going to put the mask on my face and I would start feeling sleepy. I again looked at Mom as I felt the mask being put over my nose and mouth. I drifted quickly off to sleep.
I awakened in a large white room with a big bright light shining down on me. I looked around and saw several people standing near me. I don't remember who all the faces were but I recall blurred images of my Mom and Dad, Daddy Charles and Uncle Shelby. I put my hand on my tummy and felt something there, something that felt odd to me. Mom told me it was a big bandage and I shouldn't pull on it. She might have tried to explain what had happened to me but I don't remember. I remember the lady in white coming back into my room and placing something in my mouth and telling me to hold it under my tongue real tight. I didn't understand why I was there nor what was going on. I only knew that I was in a strange place and not at home. I told Mom my tummy was sore and felt funny then the lady in white brought me some medicine for it.
Later that evening I remember my Granny coming to see me. She was going to spend the night with me in the hospital. I was glad to hear that. I would have Granny all to myself. I remember how she and I laid in my bed and I colored some pictures in the new coloring books that someone had given me. I remember her reading a story to me. She also asked the lady in white to bring me some jello or ice cream.
This is all I remember of the whole incident. I found out later, when I was old enough to understand, that I had suffered from a ruptured appendix and had to have immediate surgery. When the surgeon removed my appendix, he also had to remove a small portion of my colon because the infection had spread. Dad said that I was running a high fever and apparently had passed out so he rushed me to the emergency room. I can only imagine the fear he faced at those moments. It could have been a fatal situation. Thank heavens for the quick actions of the physicians and the surgeon...and to God for watching over me.