Posted on: Tuesday, February 7th, 2017
Norma Milam Garrett (E&H , Class of 1971) has recently finished a book about her life. Anyone who knows Norma knows well that this is a book that needed to be written, because Norma’s life has been full and fruitful and meaningful and influential.
But "easy" is not on that list of descriptive words.
Here is an excerpt from the book’s beginning that will give you some indication of how her life began: but you need to hear the whole story to understand the fullness of her journey.
...On Christmas Eve 1944 I “chimed” into this world as carols were echoing through the hallways of the Roanoke Memorial Hospital in Virginia… .There had been no reason to expect anything out of the ordinary concerning my arrival. …Moments after the delivery, while mom was still under sedation, the doctor approached my dad in the waiting room. He explained to him that his five pound fourteen ounce newborn baby girl had come into the world with multiple birth defects. I was born with no arms, and my right leg was shorter and underdeveloped. My right foot, with only four toes, was bent to the side so far that my pinky nearly touched my leg. Neither of my hips had fully developed ball joints, and my back was not properly aligned. Even the knee joint of my left leg was not fully developed. In addition, I had a partial cleft palate. The doctor…offering little encouragement or hope for my future, …suggested that my parents consider placing me in an institution.
Alumni who attended Emory & Henry in the late 1960s will tell you that Norma’s parents did not take the doctor’s advice. Members of the Concert Choir will tell you stories about Norma going on choir tour. And sisters of Delta Omicron Pi will tell you that Norma’s name and legend remain vivid even today on campus.
But don’t take our word for her amazing story. The title of Norma’s book is God’s Hands, Not Mine and it is available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble, etc.