Silent on vaccines are those mothers, long ago passed from this Earth, who buried children or were burdened by the pain and suffering of raising children disabled by infectious diseases now prevented.
As a young child, my mother toted me around as she assisted numerous elderly women who had no families. My mom shared their tragic stories; so many had lost children and husbands to infectious diseases.
One of my earliest memories is listening at the dinner table with my mom and older siblings discussing a polio outbreak at some lake. It seems it was common knowledge not to swim in fresh water in August.
I was only about 4 when the polio vaccine came out and remember being in line, several blocks long, with my seven older siblings waiting for the “sugar cube” vaccine. No one debated the vaccine, certainly not our mothers.
Never miss a local story.
One of my cousins got polio, and family lore tells of a great-uncle who died as a teen from diphtheria. In medical school I saw many young men rendered infertile from mumps and children blind, deaf or mentally retarded from measles or chicken pox.
Our dead mothers would not have debated this; they understood.