It was the spring of 1954 when my grandmother began acting strangely. Before that time, she had been lively, energetic, and humorous. I loved going to see her, because she always made a big fuss over me and always cooked good food! But now, she was ... different. She seemed so sad and spent a lot of time in bed. When I asked her what was wrong, she shook her head and cried. My parents refused to discuss her problems with me; I guess they assumed that as an eleven-year-old, there was nothing I could do. Things got worse and then, suddenly, my grandmother went away on a "vacation." I wondered how this could be, since my grandfather stayed home. She was gone several weeks, and when she returned, she seemed much better. She didn't stay in bed all day and she cooked my favorites when I came to see her. But somehow, she wasn't quite the same. She didn't make any jokes, and didn't seem to have the zest for living she showed before. Also, she seemed to have forgotten many things that happened during the past year. In response to my unrelenting questions, she admitted that she was at a "rest home," where doctors had treated her for her sadness. But when I asked her what they did to her, she said, "I can't describe it to youyou wouldn't understand. But I only pray that you never have to go through what I went through!"
--Robert A. Baron