This whole year has been a blur for me, I don’t know about you. I’ve learned about how well my “patience” education has helped me cope with isolation and worry. The one thing it’s given me is time to begin writing this blog.
This post is one that really doesn’t have any major crises going on. It just explains how PTSD affected me. I even experienced a PTSD episode when I published “The Worst Time of My Life-Part 2” on Monday. I shook for about 30 minutes after posting it.
My Missing Year
The next year (1983) is really a blur for me. I spent a lot of time driving Kara and some other kids to the Christian school on the east side of Salt Lake City. We met with the counselor at Primary Children’s mental health unit once a week.
Nothing was working. She was still angry at me and family gatherings were still unpleasant most of the time. I was barely functional. Thank God, my sister, Myra took Kara for weekends to give me some relief.
Tom, our attorney filed a lawsuit against the hospital for lack of protecting a minor child from the rape. The hospital moved her from the maternity ward to a general surgical ward. The reason they gave was that since she was placing the child for adoption, they didn’t want to subject her to the noises of babies crying.
I applied for financial assistance from the state and received food stamps and some Aid to Families with Dependent Children funds. It took a bit of help from my attorney to get approved, but I received it for about 4 months.
My parents helped where they could. So did Myra and her husband, Herman. I don’t know how I would have survived without all their support.
Our Wild Trip to Florida:
This story is the only major event that I can remember with any clarity from the whole year. The first of August, my mother received a call from the police in Miami, Florida. It seems my uncle Norman Hinrichsen had died and the only relative they could find was Mom.
The police wanted Mom to drop everything and come take care of the problem. I knew we needed an attorney there, so I called Tom and he found one who would help us. The new attorney immediately took charge and had my uncle’s remains taken to a mortuary.
The lawyer asked Mom to come to Florida to take care of all the details. We discussed the problem with Myra and Herman. All of us decided this could be a fun vacation. We rented a motor home that slept 6 and off we went, 4 adults, Kara and my nephew Steve. My Dad stayed home to take care of our cats.
We drove across country, first to visit my uncle Walter in Overton, Nebraska and get his information that our lawyer needed. Then we visited my cousin in Kansas because she was a beneficiary also.
We moved on to Stockbridge, Georgia to spend a day with Herman’s brother and his wife. We hadn’t seen them since Myra and Herman’s son Allen was married in 1978. We had a nice visit and then headed to Florida.
Disney World was our next stop. We parked our motor home and went off to have a great day at Disney World. We had a blast. (The picture below is not Disney World, of course, but gives an idea of the fun we had.)
Florida has been called the lightening capitol of America. While we were enjoying our day in Disney World, a thunderstorm came up, lasted just a few minutes and then dissipated. We went back to the park to our motorhome. It was odd, other campers had lights on, but when we turned on the lights, nothing happened.
We discovered a note on the door that said our unit had been struck by lightning and it disrupted the electricity of the whole park. Therefore, they unplugged our unit and we could not plug it back in. It was a good thing we were leaving for Miami in the morning.
The motorhome was having issues, but we made it to Miami. We rented a motel and went in search for a car to rent. Next we found a place that thought they could repair the motorhome. We could only hope so!
After that, we went to my uncle’s bank and had his safety deposit box opened. To do so, was a bit nutty. Mom had Visa traveler’s checks (the bank sold them, but wouldn’t accept them in payment), we had to get them cashed at a nearby drug store.
We called the attorney and scheduled an appointment. Mom had papers to sign and then we had to visit the mortuary and pick up my uncle’s ashes as he was cremated.
The next morning we went to my uncle’s home to go through his possessions. The place was a huge mess. We later found out that thieves had gone through the house looking for anything of value after his body was removed.
We decided to each take a room and see what we could find. I took the kitchen where the bills were laid out so we could see what needed to be paid. On the table, to one side was a very old, brown register type book.
When I opened the book I just gasped. The first page had the family history of William Wallace Olmsted (my great-grandfather). I had found Helen Stanbro Olmsted’s “midwife book!” I called my mother in and she verified that it was most definitely Helen’s record book.
We wondered how Norman had come by the book. He did take care of my grandmother, Carrie Lucy Hinrichsen until her death in 1956, but this was 27 years later and the book was in great shape for its age and just laying out in the open.
That book could have been thrown away as garbage at any time, but Norman must have known of its importance. Why it was on the table and out where I could find it so quickly is still being asked by myself and the other family members.
The following info is for anyone interested in Genealogy, I just put it in, but if not interested, just jump down to the rest of the post.
MIDWIFE RECORD & DIARY
HELEN STANBRO OLMSTED
Time Frame of the Book: 1866 to 1925
This record contains the family history of Helen Arvilla Stanbro and William Wallace Olmsted and Helen’s midwife records of the births of the children she delivered. The record covers the years she delivered babies in Missouri 1870-1871; Iowa 1866-1876; Oregon 1878-1883; and Nebraska 1886-1925.
This record book was found in 1983 in the home of Helen’s grandson (my uncle) Norman Hinrichsen. Carrie Olmsted Hinrichsen (my grandmother who died in 1954) had it and when she died Norman had it in his possession. (This picture is the grave of my maternal grandparents.)
The original book is in my possession. I have made copies available to family members that request them.
If anyone wants copies or information on the Stanbro/Olmsted family, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All I can think of is that Helen wanted it found by someone who would value it. I am always happy to share copies of the book – I usually send the annotated copy as I know people want more info that I keep researching.
While at the house, Herman and Steve chased away an intruder. We called the police and the same patrol officer who had found my uncle’s body responded. She explained why she was asked to check on him and at that time the house was immaculate. No one was ever caught.
The next day Herman took Steve and Kara to the beach while my sister and I cleaned up the motor home. We had it repaired when we first arrived in Miami. We planned to leave the next morning.
My mom came in while we were removing the garbage from the motor home and made the statement, “Well, I got rid of an arm and a leg.” Both us said “WHAT!” She explained that she had made the decision not to take Norman’s ashes with us back to Utah.
She had decided to help his ashes get out to sea. We were a little nervous about that statement, but she explained that she flushed part of him down the toilet. We lost it!!! Talk about nuts!
We told her it would be better to drop his ashes off in Overton, Nebraska where his parents were buried and we had originally planned for his burial. Somewhere between Miami and Overton, the ashes disappeared – thanks Mom!!
The trip home had its ups and downs. The motor home broke down on Highway 70 in Kansas in the middle of the night. All the lights inside and out went out and would not go back on. It took us until the next morning to get that fixed.
I managed to do some damage to the motorhome. I was driving when we hit some construction and I took out some of those cement barriers. It cost us about $1000.
I will tell you we were all exhausted when we got home. The upside of the trip was to see parts of America that we had not seen before.
The rest of the year is still a blur. The next year was better for me, but Kara was never going to get better while she lived with me. I wish I knew then, what I know now about living with a child diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder.
I’m sorry this is a long post. My story continues in the next post. Look for it on Friday 12-11-2020.
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Thank you for reading.
See Ya next time.