Time Standing Still

Time Standing Still

In Way Over Our Head.

After our nurse friend Charlotte had examined Jessica and seen her strange behavior she advised us to start keeping a journal and ‘logging’ her little episodes.

We began to do that right away, and it did not take long before we were convivnced of the pattern and the reality of what we were observing. It was something serious and it was not going away.

With a distinct sense of dread, we kept our little notes and hid our fears in our hearts, as we prepared for our next appointment with our doctor. We had to solve this mystery. We had to wake up from what was looking more and more like our worst nightmare. We didn’t want to speak it, but, something seemed to be dreadfully wrong with our little Jessica.

Time Stops on December 29, 1978.

There is an old classic science fiction movie about a man from outer space who lands on earth with a mission to force the world to put down their atomic weapons and live in peace. Of course he was rejected and persecuted. So to make his point, he did something that struck terror into the hearts of the ‘earthlings’ and really got their attention. It was called ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still.’ He made his point in an unforgettable way.

December 29, 1978 was the day ‘our world stood still’ and we will never forget it.

We had an appointment with our family doctor on that day. It was on the last Friday in December, just before the big New Year’s Day weekend. Because of our concerns about Jessica’s strange spells, which we had carefully documented, I had taken the afternoon off from work to go with Renée to Jessica’s four month check-up.

What Happened at the Doctor’s Office.

We marched in there fueled by our concerns and armed with the little journal of our baby’s strange behavior. A lengthy discussion followed, and no matter what we said, the doctor persisted, over and over reassuring us that all was well and it was probably nothing more than a stage she was going through that would disappear as she matured.

He could see no reason for concern, and looking back now at his notes on Jessica’s check up that morning, he makes no note of our discussions. Only that she was a ‘well baby’. There is no mention of our concerns. At the end of the meeting we went down the hall and Jessica received her second DPT shot and then we went home, feeling somewhat relieved by the doctor’s confident assurance that “…all is well.”

Unexpected Terror.

The terror of the unknown was there, quietly waiting for us.

Renée was quietly nursing Jessica, sitting on a stool at the breakfast bar in our kitchen. It was always a very special time of closeness for her and her new little girl.

We were both relieved after the visit to the doctor’s office and we looked forward to the long fun holiday weekend with our family. Life was good and we were at peace, feeling safe and warm together, as we looked out at the snowy, late December afternoon.

Suddenly without warning… heart stopping terror!

Renée screamed in fright in a way that I had never heard before, and as I whirled around I could see Jessica in her arms jerking and twisting violently and then suddenly going limp… her eyes half open and rolled back in her head, her skin was as white as death, and above Jessica’s limp and hanging form I could see Renée’s trance-like wide-eyed stare, as if to say… ‘This can’t be happening!’

Time stood still… our world had stopped turning. It was so quiet. I remember I could hear the clock… tick…tick… ticking… in the background.


Next Week: ‘The Battle Begins.’

I will continue to share the answers to the question “What happened to Jessica?” every Monday in the weeks ahead. When I have received sufficient feedback and questions, I will add a Thursday episode, as needed, to this blog, focused on answering your questions and comments. Thanks for your interest. Jim, Renee & Jessica

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