I was lying on my back, looking up at the ceiling through a plastic sheet. My parents were standing in the doorway. I was crying because they wouldn’t come to me.
It was 1947, and the scene was Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. I was slightly older than 1 year old, and that sheet of plastic was an oxygen tent. There was no measles vaccine then. I was in the hospital because I had measles and developed pneumonia. I nearly died. This scene is my earliest memory. Vivid memory before age 2 is unusual, but when it occurs, it usually is because of a traumatic event.
I’ve read about the resurgence of measles [“Don’t blame measles,” editorial, April 8]. I accept the scientific findings about the safety and efficacy of vaccines, but set that aside. Here’s a different question for parents: What is the earliest memory you would like for your child to have? I hope it is not the same one that I have.
Mary L. Corn, Falls Church