It was an uninvited guest in our home. My dad used all his power of influence to get me into the army medical facility and borrowed all the money he could borrow to pay for a private doctor. Mother prayed day and night asking God to heal me of this dreadful illness. People in our little town were so afraid one in their family might get this virus for there was no cure for Polio at the time.

I remember going to the army hospital and all the nice men in white coats. I remember not being able to walk after just playing outside on a warm Sunday with my cousins. My aunts cried a lot and my uncles all gave me money and candy. I thought they did so because I was special and in a way I guess I was. I sat beside children in hospital beds, in wheel chairs, and in huge machines just so they could breathe. I felt just fine I just could not walk or ride my tricycle anymore.

Christmas was wonderful that year. Santa came to visit me all dressed up in his red suit. He really did have a sack on his back and it was filled with toys just for me. He picked me up like a little doll and gave me lots of bearded kisses. I forgot all about my legs that wouldn't work for a while. I'm sure the angels of God were busy helping me. I just couldn't see them. Granny even let me drink from her coffee cup, a real treat for she had always told me it was only for big people. I savored each sweet sip!

As I now look back on this horrible event in my young life I can see God's hand was clearly upon my life. My mother's prayers were answered after a few years of walking with braces. Dad promised he would buy me some pretty black patent leather shoes once the boots with braces came off for good and he did. Mom just called me her little cowgirl princess. All I needed was a real pony to make it reality. My life continued even with all the lumps and bumps. Polio soon faded and was placed on the last page of the newspaper.

I'm a senior citizen now and I am still walking. Some days I have a pretty hard time getting about for the muscles were damaged so. Now they call the problem Post Polio Syndrome. It seems they have a syndrome for everything but I am one of the fortunate ones still. I have been to doctors everywhere but no one quite knows how to treat my problem. They just give me pain medicine and tell me to exercise. So when you see white haired ladies walking down the sidewalks don't make fun. It might be me doing what the doctor ordered.

About Author / Additional Info:
Sybil Shearin is a Christian published author, writer and poet from North Carolina. See her work at