Saturday, March 12, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History: Week 11 -- Illness and Injury

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History is an annual challenge for family historians to write about their own lives.  Amy Coffin is the author. 

Week 11 poses these questionsDescribe your childhood illnesses or injuries. Who took care of you?  Did you recuperate in your own bed, on the couch in front of the television, or somewhere else?

Measles.  Little red, itchy blotches all over my body.  Today, in this country, hardly anyone gets measles anymore.  A vaccine given to children essentially prevents them from contracting the disease.  But in the 1950s such prevention wasn’t available. 
Not that I knew it then.  I only knew that I felt awful. 

It was the only time I can remember when I slept in my parents’ bedroom rather than my own.  Mom was fanatical about blocking out all light, arranging blankets over the windows and not allowing me to turn the bedside lamp on.  The only light I saw for the days I spent in their bedroom came the weak light in the hallway when Mom came to check on me.
As always, though, I delighted in one particular part of Mom’s arsenal for treating my illnesses.  I looked forward to it, anticipated its aroma and flavor, dreamed of it while I slept.  Mom made a soup, based in chicken broth with egg cooked in it, swirling with pasta, succulent with garlic and redolent with freshly-grated parmesan.  I can taste is right now. 
I’ll never know if anything in that soup actually had curative properties.  But I can say without any doubt whatsoever that it always made me feel better. 

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