Well, good afternoon to all. It is not usual for me to blog this late in the day, but today I was performing early and so I always like to take the time to go over my stories before I leave. Today I was telling Easter stories and the story I am about to share was not one of the stories I told, but going through Spring time and Easter time memories...this memory popped up.
So, it was 52 years ago...wow...it just seemed like yesterday. It was a nice day. Easter was always something I looked forward to for many reasons. I loved the Lenten traditions and I will cover those in up and coming blogs, but today I want to go back to when I personally received my own cross...so to speak.
It was a nice sunny warm Easter day, I was all dressed up in my newest Easter dress, hat, gloves and purse. I had on my shiny black patent leather shoes on and my special Easter basket in tote. My mother and I attended mass and then it was back home to Grandma's. Easter was a fun day, because living with my Grandmother...all the Aunts and Uncles and cousins came over to visit. After lunch and everyone had viewed me in my finest, I was allowed to change into a simple outfit. The boy cousins wanted to play baseball in the alley, so I changed into a pair of rolled up denims and sneakers. They went out into the alley with all the bats and gloves and told me to bring the balls. Well, I went into the basement, got a couple of baseballs and started out the door. Well, our basement door had 3 panes of glass in the top 2/3 's of it and I slammed it shut...just like I had done a hundred times before....only this time, my hand went right through one of the panes and before you knew it, the vein had exposed itself right out of my wrist. There was plenty of screaming and crying going on. My mom and Grandma quickly whisked me into the house and sat me down on the kitchen chair. No one quite knew what to do... They were trying to clean up all the blood..I remember Grandma spraying Bactine into my wrist...which hurt like @#$%. Now Bactine was in those days a spray of some sort of aid in cuts and bruises...why they thought that would work with blood squirting everywhere and my veins throbbing in and out I will never understand! When nothing helped and they didn't know what else to do, so they wrapped up my wrist with some towels and quickly pushed me into my mothers car and off we went.
Now in those days...no dr. would be found...not sure why I wasn't taken to the hospital, but I was driven to the Callahan clinic on Fullerton Ave. right near Cicero in Chicago. I remember going in and the dr. saying that he would freeze my wrist area and would have to put in stitches. Well, back in those days...the freezing didn't work all that great...or it just didn't work that great on me. I remember the cousins saying they could hear me scream in the waiting room.
Well, I got all stitched up and was sent home. Now, this was probably the worse thing that could happen on Easter....but there was a plus side to this as well. You see once all the commotion was over...Everyone left for home and they had all had the Lamb cake for dessert that Gram always made, but in the craziness and commotion, Gram forgot to put out her ice cream jello mold. Gram felt so bad about my accident and suffering, I got to eat the whole bowl all by myself!
Now years went on and I had really lost a great deal of feeling in my thumb, pointer and middle finger. I complained about it quite often...but no one really paid all that much attention to it.
Once I got into 5th grade, I wanted to play and instrument in school...I really wanted to play the piano, but we had no room for a piano in the house and I would imagine no money for one either...so I had to settle with playing the clarinet.
Now that was all fine and dandy, but there was one major problem. Without looking at the holes,I really couldn't feel them with the top two fingers....so once again, I began to complain. Finally, my mother took me to the doctors to check it out. Well, they couldn't really seem to find anything specifically wrong...so the big brains sent me to a shrink...yes a shrink! And that idiot came up with the explanation that I was making up that my fingers didn't work so well because I wanted to play the piano and not the clarinet. I tell you...I don't know who trains some of these people. Sure I wanted to play the piano....but was totally understanding and knew that it wasn't a feasible idea. That was just easier for them to say to my mother then try to figure out the real problem.
It took about 40 years, when I finally said to my mother..."You know mom...I have a piano now and still don't have any feelings in those fingers."! Well, I guess I am resigned now to the fact that they will never feel like the rest of my fingers...and that is fine. The one thing though that reminds me of that Easter day is the large cross shaped scar across my wrist that actually sticks up and out. It never healed like any other scars that I have gained through the years.
Today as I look down on it...It reminds me of the suffering and the sacrifices that were made on the original cross and how Jesus had to bear it all...I am by no means comparing the two, but I know in life...sometimes you just have to make the best of the situations and circumstances given to you. I continue to have very little feeling in those fingers, but have managed to sew...although I use a 4inch needle, and I manage to sculpt with clay and I manage to paint with that hand and those fingers. The cross on my wrist reminds me that it could have been so much worse and that I am fortunate to have what I have and to have done the accomplishments that I have done. I may not be the greatest clarinet player, but I sure can do anything else I have set my mind to. So when you receive a cross to bear...even if it is not visible, don't let it get in the way...make the best of it and carry on!