PROMPT: What is the Earliest Memory You Have?

The earliest memory I have was when I was four, during the famous Indiana blizzard of 1978. I was sick with Scarlatina. If you are not familiar with that, it’s a blotchy rash that makes a child extremely ill. I remember it vividly. I was four years old and it was January 25, 1978.

I love revisiting memories of me, PRE-ABUSE. Childhood, thankfully, for me, was innocent and wonderful!

I remember sleeping in my underwear, with only a sheet on me, because the rash was hot and itchy. I remember my Mom’s smooth, cool hands on my face, constantly checking my temperature. I remember her pulling back the sheet and looking at my rash. I remember clutching my Henry stuffed dog, while drifting in and out of consciousness. I would be awakened every four hours for St. Joseph’s aspirin, but my throat and mouth became so raw that I couldn’t chew it up and swallow it, so my Mom would dilute the two tablets in a spoonful of 7Up, so I could swallow it. I also remember Lipton Cup-A-Soup for meals and ice water to drink. However, I didn’t take in very much at all, as my little body was just too exhausted.

I remember waking up to my parents discussing if they should take me to the emergency room or not, as they could not keep my temperature down for very long at all. I was also getting very dehydrated, as I couldn’t keep much down either. They would wake me up to bathe me in cool water and try to feed me. I remember having both my Mom and Dad with me, as everything was shut down due to the storm system. I was their only child at the time and they were both in their early 20’s.

At one point, I remember standing at the backdoor. I was looking at all the snow that looked as though it could swallow me up and I would disappear completely. However, as high as a fever as I had, I thought it might feel good to dive in. At one point, I had 104 degree temp and my parents did end up rubbing snow on me. It felt good and my temperature went down for a good long while. It was, at that point, that I started to feel human again, but was still weak.

As delirious as I was, I remember these things vividly. I did recover, but it took me a good 10 to 12 days before I could go back to daycare and my Mom to work. My Mom previously admitted she was afraid I wasn’t going to survive that illness because I was so tiny and sickly. This memory came up recently, when my Boyfriend and I discussed what we were both doing during the Blizzard of ’78. We both discussed having Scarlatina, at different times, as he’s 6 years older than I.

This memory also makes me sad, because I lost my Mom in June 2022. I think my illness made it hard on my Mom’s job-at-the-time, but the fact that she was willing to lose her job to make sure I was better, makes me miss her and love her more. She was always selfless like that!

Here’s to memories, where our loved ones who have passed on will always live! <3