Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Flashbacks to sixth grade...

So I had to laugh when I found the following story on AOL News about a paraplegic man. Now you might think that was cruel until I finish telling you the story. Twenty-one years ago he was paralyzed from the waist down after a motorcycle accident. Recently he was bitten by a brown recluse spider. Yeah, I know, still not funny. Normally the venom from those spiders is fatal, but in his case it actually seems to have "woken up" the nerves in his legs. He's actually walking again

Now the reason I found this amusing was it immediately brought to mind the time my mother dragged me to the hospital in the middle of the night after I had been bitten by a spider in our attic. Looking back on it, I guess I can see why she was worried as the spot did swell and turn red, but all I can see now is the 11 year-old version of me in my enormous blue glasses, serious bedhead and oversized Minnie Mouse sweatshirt from a recent trip to Disney World being bundled off in the car to CCGH in the middle of a summer night. 

Although, I suppose I should be grateful for having a family who cared so much about me. The Australian version of ABC News carried a story on its website about a Congolese man who is going to be reunited with his family for the first time in 12 years after war ripped him from them. 

Police have finally ID'd a woman found wandering a New Jersey mall in 1994. Their initial search efforts yielded nothing so she was committed to psychiatric care, but an officer refused to give up and his latest efforts spurred an outpouring of information about the woman and her history (ABC News 13).

The last two stories of the day are about families grateful for happy endings, though they came in different ways. A family in Michigan was terrified their son was going blind for unknown reasons until they met an unlikely specialist - a neuro-ophthalmologist whose training helped him find a tumor and return the boy's sight (Grand Rapids News).

Finally, two sons of a man who died during World War II after his submarine went down off the coast of Alaska made a pact to find their father after the US Navy said it couldn't. Several years and an undisclosed sum of money personally financed by the two men finally revealed the location of the downed sub. The conclusion of the search helped the two men make peace with the tragedy, which was compounded by the fact their father couldn't even say goodbye to them due to the secrecy of the mission (MSNBC).

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