The summer of 1966 was a great time to be alive, until that summer. My mom packed up all four of us girls – me, Margaret, Elizabeth and Laura – and headed South with Grandma (Dorris Edwards) at the wheel. We were on a 550 mile trip from Abilene, Texas to Mercedes (a small Rio Grande Valley town between Harlingen and McAllen).
Daddy would drive down after his work week to meet us. Unfortunately the plans changed.
We didn’t make it.
Somewhere on the highway near Alice at a blinking-yellow-light intersection, a gentleman in a pickup (?), ran his blinking red light and plowed into our car.
No, I don’t remember anything of the crash. Nor does my sister Margaret. She and I were the only two who survived the crash and subsequent fire.
I found out later that a gentleman from Mercedes pulled me and Margaret from the burning wreckage, but no one else made it. The two of us were transported to the nearest hospital – Corpus Christi. Then after two weeks Aunt Dolores (Edwards) appeared, had Margaret and I placed in a station wagon – on stretchers., and drove us to John Sealy Hospital in Galveston.
Dolores took charge and stayed in charge of our recovery time in Galveston where she, Uncle Robert (Daddy’s brother), and their kids, Mike, Barbara and Charles lived. Robert was doing his residency at the University of Texas Medical branch in both Galveston and Houston.
Through the next weeks and months Dolores made sure we had everything we needed. Then, when discharged, she enrolled me in a local private school, and every other Friday took me to Houston so I could be fitted with an artificial eye. When Margaret was discharged, Dolores put together a birthday party for her with all the trimmings. She also organized our Halloween costumes. (Uncle Robert carried Margaret , who was in a leg cast – as we all went Trick-or-Treating.)
I don’t know everything Dolores for us during that time in our lives. I can only guess. But I definitely appreciate her dedication during that life-changing time.
Daddy came to see us every other weekend until we were able to go home to Abilene. At Christmas Daddy bought a special gift for Dolores on behalf of us all … a mink stole from one of the best department stores in Abilene at the time – Minter’s.
We were back in Galveston for Christmas. Grandpa Edwards (Tom) came up from Mercedes. After the gift-giving and big holiday feast, Daddy, Robert and Grandpa traveled to Mercedes to personally thank the fellow who rescued us.
Dolores stayed in Galveston, managing the house full of kids while nursing a head cold. Awesome woman.
Early this morning, Dolores passed away after a three-year struggle with ALS. She is loved and respected by so many, having touched lives through her work as Nurse practitioner and medical missionary along side Robert.
Thank you, dear Dolores. I love you.