Whitesburg KY

Memories about the day I was born


These are my memories of what my mother, Mary Lee Campbell, told me about the day I was born, on Oct. 23, 1929.

I was the first born of her and my dad, Victor Cornett, who lived in Cumberland. Mom told me that the day came for her to deliver her baby, and that her mother had come over from Ulvah to be with her.

Mom had told her that she didn’t want to go to the hospital, and told her not to let Dad take her. The doctor was Dr. Wheeler.

So things got underway and an old country doctor came to the house to be with them. She had gotten real sick during labor and the doctor told her that he would have to break the water and then she would be able to deliver better.

Then, in those days, the doctors were not very sanitary most all the time, and he didn’t wash his hands or instruments to do that kind of thing, but he did it anyway. Mom delivered me and everything was doing okay.

Everyone there was happy with the little girl baby, and the ladies had cooked a big meal and they got Mom taken care of and went to the table to eat.

Dad heard Mom making a noise and went to see about her, and she was very sick and was trying to get out of bed. He said she was incoherent and didn’t understand what she was saying or doing.

She was running a high fever and he wanted to go get an ambulance to take her to the hospital, but Grandma Juda didn’t want him to do that because Mom had told her she didn’t want to go to a hospital.

Dad had to overrule her and did get an ambulance to take her to the hospital. She was going into convulsions every few minutes.

They started with her and got to Benham, and they told Dad she had died and they might as well take her back home. Dad wouldn’t agree — he said for them to take her on, that he wanted to find out what had caused this to happen.

They got her to the hospital and the doctor there took her to his quarters, and after a little while came back and said that she was alive, but critical with a bad infection caused from the first doctor being unclean.

He asked Dad were the baby was. Dad had been so scared that he had forgot to get me. He said to go get the baby and bring it to the hospital so they could take care of it also. He did.

They brought Grandma and me to be there. Mom stayed there 19 days before she got to go home. She said she came to herself one day and looked around her and knew she wasn’t at home.

In those days they didn’t have beautiful light fixtures and painted walls and pretty, white sheets and pillowcases at their home. She told me that she thought she had died and gone to heaven. Then she saw her mother sitting in a chair by her bed and wanted to know when she had come to heaven.

Grandma said, “ I’ve been here since you came.” Then she found out where she was and why she was there. Grandma told her all about what had happened and she was glad that Dad did take her to the hospital.

The beautiful walls and lights and beds were like heaven to her at the time in her life. She had never seen things like that where she was born or where she was living at that time, just a one-room log cabin at Ulvah and a little shack house in Cumberland beside the Cumberland River behind the old Guaranty Deposit Bank at that time.

They were living with Dad’s Aunt Katie and John D. Smith, and Dad worked for them in a shoe shop as a shoe cobbler for about 10 years. Then U.S. Steel Coal Company came to Lynch and he got a job with them just after my brother Jack was born. Then we moved to the house in the coal camp.

Mrs. Christine Fields, it was good to meet you the evening we were dropping our articles off at The Eagle office. I never dreamed of getting to meet you. I read your piece every week and love it.

I don’t know too many people on Cowan, but I used to know a woman years ago named Evelyn Caudill Maxey. She was one of my schoolmates in high school at Kingdom Come High in the ‘40s. I was a senior and she was a junior. I stayed a few nights with her when she boarded at the cabin up behind the school with Forrester and Ilavae Ison at that time.

Then I knew her when she lived on Cowan beside a lady who had a beauty shop. Then she moved away to Mississippi and I don’t know what happened to them after they moved away. She was sick with her heart the last time I talked with her at Whitesburg, years ago.

Her old homeplace is just going to nothing lately. No one lives in it. If you know what happened, please let me know.

I read where you had a birthday in October. I did, too. Mine was Oct. 23 and I was 85 years old. They gave me a big party at the Kingdom Come Community Center and we had a good time and a good crowd and so much good food.

I’m sure glad because all five of my sons were there for me, and that’s a good Godsend for a mom. They came from Springfield, Ill.

My oldest grandson and his little daughter Marandy Rayne are here now for the week. I love that also.

I went to the Four Square Church and they had Thanksgiving for everyone. It was good and they had a wonderful church singing and preaching. The Praise Team was there to sing and they are great singers. One of them, Johnny McNight, is my favorite singer, but he got word that his wife had gotten sicker and had to leave us. I pray that she is better.

My son David and wife Denise, my granddaughter Lauren and her little son Grant, and Maranda Rayne all went. It was a great day.

Everyone who is sick and needs a touch of heaven please pray they will be healed and feel good again.

This is all for now. I love all, and God bless our troops and our country and all who love God in their lives.

Happy Thanksgiving and I pray for peace to come to everyone.

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