I have very few specific memories of my grandfather, G. M. C. Massey. He was very old when I was very young and he lived hundreds of miles away in San Angelo, so we only visited infrequently. I don’t even remember hearing his voice (though I certainly must have), but one vivid image stands out in my memory: seeing his stump.
Granddad had diabetes, and eventually lost half a leg to it.. As a kid, I burst into the sole bathroom at their house once to find Granddad sitting in the tile tub, taking a bath. The stump of his amputated right leg raised out of the water practically pointing at me — an indelible image I can still see today.
Now I struggle with diabetes. That image haunts me as I try to avoid a similar complication to my chronic condition. That makes it even more heartening to read how he dealt with his reduced mobility towards the end of his life — planting a garden!.
It behooves me at this time to tell you of my accomplishments for this year of 1959 and at the age of 79; And too I have had the loss of my sight, and have had the Cataract taken off of my left eye, and have had my right leg amputated about 6 inches above the knee.
On Wednesday, the Fourth of this month (June) Just two weeks ago yesterday, I was measured for the fitting and the limb was finished as far as the inside fitting is concerned and I was dismissed till the next Tuesday, When I went back, and they had it completed so that all was done that could be done till I tried the Limb on and began to use it in practice. I stayed there two more days and practiced wearing it and trying to acquaint myself with the handling of it. And it is just wonderful, What a little practice with the Limb can accomplish. Of course my age and the fact that my vision is bad, Makes it slower for me than if I was 30 or 40 years younger than I am.
I got it (wooden prosthetic leg) June the tenth 1958. All the time that I am out of the bed I have worn it; but on the account of the Infection in the other foot that has it impaired to such an extent that I am not able to take the advantage that I could if I had good use of it. And it will hamper me for the rest of the time from getting all the benefits that I might If it were not for that Diabetic foot it is not sufficient for the responsibility that is put upon it.
Now if at any time, my limb becomes so burdensome that I need adjustments be made; I can go back to them and they will make such adjustments as is necessary or I can just send it to them and they will make the changes as is needed; But I feel that If I could accompany it I could make them understand better what is wrong so that the adjustment could be made with a greater degree of certainty. I am wearing the limb nearly all the time that I am awake. And using it to move about when, I have to move.
We visited our children in March, and the first half of April, and after about two weeks I just decided that I was going to go out behind our back yard in the back lot and clean off a place to plant some beans. And when that was accomplished, I was in a real working notion, and I went on to cleaning off more of the ground And the ground measured 50 feet by 56 with a little patch about 20 by 24 feet added and it was very well grown up with this winter grass, Some calls it wild rye, and that was from a few inches to about 6 inches above the knees. So I cleaned it all off and planted Corn, Peas, Okra, squash, water melons, Tomatoes, and most all other garden products, and we have had everything that we wanted from the garden and have put up for winter many things that we would have to otherwise had to buy, And it has been such a pleasure to be able to do all of this even if I did have to do it from a wheel chair.