He was born on Good Friday at 8:05 in the morning. The delivery room number was 805 and my brother weighed 8 pounds 5 ounces. The nurses were all buzzing about this amazing coincidence.
But there was more. His legs were not straight, the bones curved inward so that the bottoms of his feet nearly touched each other. The doctors informed my mother that her baby might have cerebral palsy and there was a chance he would never walk.
I am not sure what sort of advanced medical tests those physicians performed back in March 1964 to arrive at this neurological diagnosis. But it understandably created a layer of concern in the background of my mother’s psyche as she watched her son learn to crawl, talk, feed himself, walk, read and ride a bike. She kept waiting. Waiting for something irregular to occur; something that never happened. Because they were doctors, right? There had to have been a reason for them to share this very serious information.
Before sending her home with her new infant, the hospital applied casts to his legs to encourage the soft baby bones to straighten on their own. They did. But they failed to take away the anxiety and fear that she harbored as she watched him grow.