What Happens When Love Breaks Through?

Old Anna

Infancy: A Happier Ending

During this same time frame, Dr. Fritz Talbot recalled cases with much happier endings.  He related, "I remember that twenty-eight years ago [that is, in 1913] in Dusseldorf, Germany, I made a visit to a hospital, and there was a very fat old lady wandering around the ward with a baby on her hip, a very measly baby.  I asked the doctor there what she was doing with the baby, and he said that whenever he had a baby for whom he and his associates had done everything they knew how to do medically and were unsuccessful, he gave the baby to Old Anna, and told her to take it in charge, and that Old Anna was always successful."  Feeling emotionally secure in the arms of another is what every human being needs to thrive.  This is not only true for infants but, as we shall see, for humans beings at every stage of life.  Return to Previous Page

Photo of Young Man in Tuxedo

Toddlers:  Saved by Mentally Challenged Teenage Girls

In 1968, Harold Skeels received the Joseph P. Kennedy International Award.  This award is recognized by many as the “Nobel Prize” for significant contributions in the field of mental retardation.  Just before Skeels accepted his award, he was introduced by a well-spoken young man, dressed in a tuxedo, who had recently earned his Master’s degree.  During his introductory words, the young man revealed to the audience that not only was he one of the children in the experimental group, but in particular, he was the one who “sat in the corner rocking” (see opening paragraph in this section on the previous page).  Return to Previous Page

Photo of Judith Wallerstein

Children of Divorce:  Love Can Find a Way

Wallerstein's father died of cancer when she was 8.  For whatever reasons, her mother did not tell her the details of what happened.  Judith didn’t know he had been ill. Little was shared. For a long time she denied his death.  He just disappeared (similar to a divorce).   Judith later remarked, "You can trace all this work to my own suffering as a child and how my mother tried to handle the situation."  Yet she herself went on to have a strong marriage.  At the time of her 2012 death, she had been happily married for 64 years.  Moreover, none of her three children ever divorced.  Return to Previous Page

Photo of Roger Tory Peterson

Adolescent:  Rescued by a Teacher

When relationships in a family are destructive, other family members or those outside the family can make a big difference  Such was the case of Roger Tory Peterson.  Raised in a house with an abusive and alcoholic father, Roger was a troubled youth.  To escape, he took to the hills around his home and developed a keen interest in birds.  Peterson’s 7th grade teacher took an interest in Peterson and formed a Junior Audubon (bird) Club.  In his mid-20's Peterson published, "A Field Guide to the Birds" which through its many editions became the most successful series of nature guides ever published in the U.S.  "And just to think, noted the publisher, "it was an influential teacher who turned a young boy away from mischief and toward a new future."  Return to Previous Page

Photo of Aliki

From Illness to Life

Click Here to View Story (video clip)
LYRICS:  "How can you see into my eyes like open doors?  Leading you down into my core where I've become so numb.  Without a soul my spirit's sleeping somewhere cold until you find it there and lead it back home.  Wake me up inside.  Wake me up inside.  Call my name and save me from the dark.  Bid my blood to run before I come undone.  Save me from the nothing I've become.  Bring me to life.  Frozen inside without your touch without your love, darling.  Only you are the life among the dead.  Wake me up inside.  Save me from the nothing I've become.  Bring me to life."  Return to Previous Page

Photo of Ben Purcell

Solitary Confinement:  The Handshake

In 1968, Ben Purcell, became a POW in Vietnam.  He lived in solitary confinement for most of his 5 years of captivity.  One day, a Vietnamese prison trustee thrust his hand, in the form of a handshake, thru the 4 inch gap under the cell door.  Purcell responded. "Suddenly I realized that this was the first time in over 3 years that I had touched another human being in friendship.  Overcome by this show of friendship I held his hand for a long moment and even put my other hand over his, savoring this bit of human contact.  I was deeply moved by this man’s compassion, and I shall never forget it so long as I live. In the remaining 2 years of my captivity I was sustained by it.  It was one moment of caring human contact that I desperately needed, that we all need to go on."  Return to Previous Page