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The following story was written by Linda Showalter Schaeffer. It was published in the magazine "True Love"

The Life I Live

When my mother was a very young girl she had an accident in which one of her feet was badly injured. Without proper medical attention, she was destined to live her life with a badly crippled foot.

However, my mother married and raised a family of twelve. Without all the modern conveniences available today, hers was a life of hardship and constant work. My mother never complained of her seemingly endless chores or the fact that she performed these chores with a painfully crippled foot.

Several months after I graduated from high school, I was involved in an automobile accident. I had multiple injuries, the worst being a smashed jaw and badly lacerated chin. Doctors had to rebuild my jaw, and my mouth was wired shut for three months. During this time I could only drink liquids. I lost quite a bit of weight and was hungry most of the time. I was also very self-conscious about my appearance. I must admit that I indulged in a lot of self pity, wondering why this had to happen to me.

Then one day my mother gently drew me aside and assured me that these difficulties I was having would pass. The wires in my mouth would be removed, and surgery could be done on my scarred chin. Then my mother told me something that I'll never forget. She shared with me the secret longings she'd had as a girl, which she could never fulfill because of her crippled foot. She could never know the joy of running. She could never learn to skate or dance like her friends, and she could never wear pretty dress shoes. I had never realized these longings my mother had had, and I felt truly ashamed.

My mother has since passed away. I'm married to a wonderful man and am the mother of two children. Because of my gentle and wise mother, I try to accept each difficulty in my life with the thought that it will pass, and to consider those who are less fortunate than I am.

Mabel Jenny Showalter


Mabel Showalter: Page One
Mabel Showalter: Page Two
Lori's Place: The beginning of my site
Samuel Greenbriar Showalter: Showalter Photographs