I’ve always been accident prone. My first misfortune was a car wreck when I was still an infant. My preschool years were filled with a variety of falls, scratches, bruises, tumbles, and bumps. A window broke and fell on me during a storm when I was five. I got my first set of crutches when I was just seven. We were fishing at the river and I stepped on a broken bottle. I remember Mom wrapped my bleeding foot in one of my brother’s diapers. I was about nine when I burned my leg on a wood stove. I fell off a bunk bed sometime when I was sick and feverish. When I was eleven I rescued my baby brother from the top of the barn and in the process stepped on a piece of barbed wire that went through my little toe. I broke my arm in the seventh grade, during a volleyball game. A couple of summers later I got hit in the face with a wooden crate while we were loading grapes on a trailer. I got thrown by a horse. I burned my bangs and eyebrows trying to light a gas oven. I was bitten by a dog. I was “pushed off a horse” when it decided to enter a chicken house without me. I was hit in the head with a baseball, twice.
You’re probably thinking the accidents stopped as I got older and more careful. Wrong. I stabbed a hole in my hand with a knife shortly after I got married. I was injured in a hunting accident- a stray bullet hit a rock, and the rock bounced and slammed into my knee! I nearly lost a finger on a piece of shattered glass. I fell on a broken ladder at the public pool and injured my leg. I started a fire in my kitchen. I was rear-ended by a woman arguing with her friend (my first ambulance ride). I tripped on the leg of a chair and broke my toe. I was rear-ended by a woman arguing with her husband. I stubbed my toe on the coffee table and broke it. I was rear-ended by a man who was watching picketers. I fell down a flight of stairs and cracked my elbow. I stepped off a ladder and twisted my ankle. I fell out of a van and tore the ligaments in my ankle. I cut half-way through my thumb with a machete. I was nearly electrocuted by a faulty wire in our motor home. I fell off my porch and broke my leg in three places. I was tackled by a four-year-old at a track meet and separated a rib. I tripped over a milk crate and broke two toes. I fell backwards over a box and hurt my side. I tripped on the sidewalk, fell, and injured my knee. Whew, I’m one lucky woman to be sitting here typing this! If I’ve forgotten anything, and I’m sure I have, my children will remind me.
I’ve decided that our family carries the “C” gene. C stands for “clumsy” and it must come from my father’s side of the family because I know he fell out of a tree when he was young and he broke his collar bone. Oh, wait, my mother fell off her porch and broke her ankle. They must have both been carriers! And at least one of my brothers carries the gene. While I was stumbling around he was following directly in my footsteps! I recall that he fell into a trash fire, nearly drowned at least twice, broke his arm two weeks after I did, and currently has more scars than I do!
Now I find that I’ve passed on the gene. My oldest daughter called last night to tell me she fell and injured her ankle- the one that’s already been torn and sprained and strained many times before. Then the other daughter called to tell me my granddaughter fell during a basketball game and injured her ankle. I’m telling both of you right now- buy your own crutches. You’ll thank me later.