Wednesday, November 21, 2007

More Blessings Right Around the Corner

By Senator Jay Paul Gumm, D-Durant

Hello again, everyone! Thanksgiving is a time my thoughts turn to my late mother, Harlene Taylor Gumm. It was the most special of all the holidays for her because she had one of her prayers answered over Thanksgiving Weekend 1963.

Just like Deena and me, my parents were told they could never have children. All that changed on Thanksgiving Weekend 1963, and this story is one that gave Deena and me hope during our struggle to become parents.

Bear in mind that this happened when medical science was not as advanced as it is today. My parents had been married for three years, and mom taught home economics at Calera High School.

Doctors told my mother she could not bear children. Despite every effort known to medical science at the time, Mom was given the same prognosis Deena and I once heard: "You cannot have children."

In early 1963, my mother started feeling unwell. Countless trips to doctors followed and several series of tests were inflicted upon her. Specialists in Dallas and Oklahoma City were stumped.
Mom thought she might be expecting, but every test available at the time came back "negative."

Mom was put on a strict diet and she lost weight. Those of you who knew my mother know she was as tough as they came; it didn’t matter whether she felt bad or not, she would be at work. So, she kept working and kept feeling worse.

After Thanksgiving Day dinner at my grandparents’ house, Mom and Dad went home and Mom began to feel extremely bad. As she always did, she toughed it out overnight but went to the old Durant Hospital the next morning.

To the nurses and doctors, she was in serious distress; some feared she might be dying. Mom’s local doctor thought she might be trying to pass a kidney stone and ordered an x-ray of her abdomen.

That x-ray was the first picture ever taken of me. To his dying day, that doctor called me "Rocky" after the stone he thought I was.

Once everyone knew what was going on, I was born shortly thereafter. No one, except the Lord above, had any idea I was coming. Expected or not, a child was the answer to a prayer. Four decades later, that same prayer was answered for Deena and me. The story of my birth gave us hope, and we share that hope with every couple trying to become parents.

When I was old enough to understand the story of how I got here, it made me think of this: We all have much to be thankful for, and there may be more blessings right around the corner. May you and your families find new blessings right around the corner.

Thanks again for reading the "Senate Minute," happy Thanksgiving, and may God bless you all.

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