Short story by Paul Comingore
The Webster's II New Riverside Dictionary printed in 1984 explains a miracle as a noun with these explanations 1. An event that seems impossible to explain by natural laws and so is regarded as supernatural in origin or as an act of God. 2. One that excited admiration or awe: wonder. The story I am about to tell seams to fit both definitions. It is a true story that happened 53 years ago in a small church in a small town in the middle of Indiana.
We had a storm last night. The wind was strong and blowing against the house and trees. The snow was coming down hard and when you looked outside you could barely see across the street. Then we lost power and the house was dark and started to get cold. We lit the candles and just sat around and talked. Power came back on and everything was OK and we went to bed. Well, I woke up at 3am with a powerful unending thought that I needed to write the "miracle" down or it would be lost forever except in the minds of the people I have told over the years and they have probably forgot about it by now.
It was 1956 and I was 10 years old with 2 brothers and a sister. Our sister was the apple of Dad's eye. We three boy's knew better than to mess with her for long. She was a tomboy and loved to play cowboy and Indians. We could all swim and spent most summers outside in the sun. Dad owned the local hardware store in the middle of town of 1,000 population. Mom worked in the store and we sold everything from clothes and shoes, nuts and bolts and tools and candy. Dad organized a local merchants group. Every Saturday night in the summer, the Merchants organization showed movies on a screen behind our store. I always helped set the cement blocks up and put the boards on the blocks for people to sit and then made cool aid to sell on the corner. It was always a late night and a lot of fun. It seemed like the whole community would come to town that night. All the stores stayed open until 9:00. When Sunday came, we stayed home. With three boys and a girl it was just too hard to get us all clean at the same time, dressed, and fed breakfast then into the car to go to church. Even though both Mom and Dad grew up going to church and both had a very strong Christian belief.
My sister was 5 years old and got real sick during the week on one of those hot summer days that year. She had a high fever and was sleeping on the couch in the TV room next to Mom & Dads bedroom. The home had two bedrooms upstairs where the four of us slept. Had no heat ducts and no A/C just blankets for the winter and window fans for the summer. The only insurance Dad had purchased was a named peril policy. It covered 10 different named diseases only, like polio and meningitis. He bought it just that summer. There was a big polio scare at the time. In fact, we all had to get shots to protect us against polio. That Friday night I came down stairs to go to the bathroom and Mom said to hurry up and go back to bed. I knew my Sister had taken a turn for the worse. She did not know anyone not Dad or Mom or me. Next morning they were gone. They had taken her to the hospital. Mom told us later that the hospital gave her a spinal tap that night with out numbing her and you could hear her scream all over the hospital.
The diagnosis was Spinal Meningitis and she had to go to Riley Hospital in Indianapolis, IN right away.
There were 10 cases of spinal Meningitis at Riley at that time. Eight of those 10 died. I have not checked that fact with Riley's records. Somebody told me that information back then and I remembered it all these years. I suppose I should check that figure before putting it into writing. However, it does not really make much difference. Spinal Meningitis was and still is very bad. If you look it up on the World Wide Web, a web sight called "Voices of Meningitis" tells many facts about the deadly disease. The disease is a bacterial infection and causes swelling of the brain with high fever. It can cause death or disability within just one day. Many of the people who survive meningococcal meningitis can be left with serious medical problems that may include amputation of limbs, fingers, or toes, severe scarring, brain damage, hearing loss, kidney damage, and psychological problems.
Our Grandmother from Lafayette was at our home when we all woke up that morning. After feeding us breakfast, she made us clean every inch of that house. We scrubbed the walls and floors and washed every dish and every pot and pan and eating utensils all of our clothes. We three boys worked harder that day cleaning than ever before. We were told our sister, "Daddy's little girl" was seriously sick and we had to wash away any bugs that would make us sick too. Therefore, we did not complain we just did it.
We had no word that day about our sister. The next morning Grandma got us up, dressed in some good clothes, fed us breakfast and we went to church. We were there by 9 am sitting in the back pew. I saw people I recognized all through the congregation. My older brother and I delivered the newspaper to a lot of them. They came into the store and we had gone on picnics with them. I seem to know most of them. About half way through the service, the preacher asked everyone to pray for my sister. I was really surprised that all these people would bow their heads and ask God to help my sister recover. This was the first time I remember ever being in a church let alone everyone praying for us and mentioning my sister's name.
We all went home after service and went about playing and just being normal kids. That afternoon Mom came home from the hospital. She told us our sister was going to be OK. Her fever had broken and was coming down to normal. I asked her about what time her fever broke. She said she was not real sure but sometime between 9 and 10 that morning.
I have been a believer of God and prayer ever since. If your reading this and don't believe then I will pray for you because you need help.
When my sister turned 18, riley Hospital asked her to come back for some test. They checked her brain waves and all sorts of different things. They had no explanation why her fever broke, why she had no signs of any damage to her body or brain. Since then she has been a teacher, principal, and a school superintendent. How many kids has her life touched? How many kids has she helped? Guess God had a plan for her life and it wasn't just dying at the age of 5. Her life has touched mine since age 10.
Our family did not miss a Sunday at church since then. We all became very active in the youth program, we all were baptized and did plays in the church and were active in our local school. Mom and Dad helped us all to further our education beyond high school. We all got married and have had wonderful children of our own and lived a very blessed and wonderful life.
I thank God, Dad and Mom and hope that writing this true story down on paper will find its way to many people and help to remind me every day of the miracle of life, and we all have a purpose on this earth. I know many people pray every day to heal a loved one and they die anyway. I don't have an answer for that. Many people don't believe that prayer can help. But if you ask the Doctor's that have trained all their lives to heal people they tell you to pray. All I know is the Doctor's have no idea why my sister lived and she has no problems because of the illness, but I do.It was God's will.
My name is Gloria Comingore, I live in Indiana with my husband Paul Comingore. My poems and short stories reflect our lives experiences which lead us to God. I have a published book through Publish America. I hope you enjoy my stories.
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