Tag Archive | brother’s death

Small Words Big Impact

Swallowing hurt. I felt sorry for myself. Tears formed in my eyes as I opened wide for Dr. Kroeplein to look down my throat.

He warned Mom, “Mrs. Altmann, your daughter has a strep infection again. As I told you the last time, strep is nasty. It can damage a person’s heart, if you don’t treat it with penicillin. My advice to you is to have Kathy’s tonsils removed after school lets out this spring. If you don’t, the infection will return repeatedly.”

In a state of shock, I followed Mom out of the doctor’s office. Being unable to properly swallow pills and having to take more penicillin was like signing up for torture. I was convinced that penicillin was the worst-tasting substance in this entire world! Just thinking about it made me gag, which sent off new waves of pain. As if that wasn’t bad enough, I was going to need surgery. Surely this was the end of my life!

Already tearful that evening, a huge flood began to flow when Mom told Daddy the doctor had recommended surgery. I dramatically sobbed, “Why did this have to happen to me?”

Ten years older than me, my brother Billy quietly answered, “Why shouldn’t it happen to you? It happens to a lot of people.”

Startled, I turned to stare at him. His statement hadn’t been said in anger or scorn. My brother’s face showed nothing but sympathetic concern. Feeling stunned, I knew he was right. Like everyone else in this world, I would experience pain, fear and disappointment. Continue reading