I have walked on my path for decades thinking that I would never see another close call of death like I had gone through in life.
I was only 30 days old and I was abused by the two people that were there to keep me safe. But in seconds my life was altered forever. I went through a severe head trauma that the warden herself started and her other half finished.
I was in pain and had head trauma that showed. It took three days before I received medical attention and a conclusion from the doctor; I had less than six hours to live. Somehow, a higher power decided it was not my time.
I live with what my parents did to me, and I never could get back the things that I had lost in a matter of seconds.
I wished this on nobody else, but an event like this has happened. Not an identical occurrence, but one that made me relive and recall the events in my life, by the evidence that I still live with.
I was following a news story where several Girl Scouts died because of a driver trying to get high. He was huffing a chemical that altered his ability to drive. He drove into a ditch, causing several deaths at the scene. He then drove off and went home; he committed a hit and run.
Then, the next story came up. This happened a few days before, around the same city.
A 10-year-old girl killed a baby boy, who was around 6 months old. She was holding the infant and dropped the child, hitting his head on a piece of wood furniture. The child wailed out in pain.
Instead of seeking help for the child, she stomped on his head, and soon his life was over, caused by the deliberate recklessness of another.
This is what happened to me, the recklessness of two others. It was the married couple that lived in the house with me. I was in the hospital for months and lived with their sin for decades after decades.
This event awoke parts of my memory that were sealed as tight as Mr. Scrooge’s coin purse. My suffering over the years had stolen many dreams away from me. I could never get them back, even for all of the gold hidden in the Valley of the Kings.
Now I see another that never had a second chance. Six months will be etched on his headstone forever. The child who did this will never find a way to correct this travesty. What was done to stop the child’s cries shall reverberate in her mind through eternity. I live with altered dreams; this baby had every one stolen by another.
This event echoes in my mind, as an echo travels through a space, as large as the Grand Canyon, causing me to recall what happened to me as well as to another.
My mind then shifts as fast as a comet going to infinity and beyond. I find my thoughts going back over 20 years, pacing along a stone hedge of headstones. I suddenly come to an abrupt stop, then I see what I knew existed.
As I scan the silent landscape, as still as the surface of the moon, I then glance down and there it was. I saw a cemetery stone that had my name on it. This now sends chills down my back, as if I were bonded to an iceberg that was as large as the Titanic.
Why did I get a chance to live and this young baby did not? I will never know. Many things are the same, but I was allowed to live and this baby boy was allowed to die.
Both of us would have had a better life, if only someone stepped up to the plate and defended our right to live, but in both cases, nobody was the only person that answered.
I did the best I could do to survive, without having a full deck of options in life. But this baby was dealt an out. What are his innocent parents to do? I don’t have an answer, as my parents were guilty of the crime and hid the complete facts from me for more than 60 years.
“Oh my God, what have I done ...” screams at me from the written page. This was on a hand-written note that came from my mother, over a half-century before. I know what they did to me, my body tells me so, as I am living with the evidence.
The baby boy’s body also included evidence, that told the doctors his own story, such as how his life was ended so soon.
Hoff, of Altoona, is an author who is writing his second book and runs the “Our Old Town Eau Claire” YouTube channel and Facebook page.