Sunday, August 5, 2012

There's a moral to this story....

...actually there are two.

Okay, so today is story from my past time. I think I need some sort of way back machine music when I go in to the "days gone by" stories, don't you? Not sure what it would be, but something to signify that this is an old lady talking about her childhood story. Anyway...

See this picture?

It's the ring finger on my left hand compared to the ring finger on my right. Today you get the story about why they look so different. And the moral of that story as presented by my mother. And then the moral of that story as thought of by me. And then the true meaning of the story, or at least what I've taken to be the true meaning of the story anyway.

So when I was either 4 or 5 I wanted to go with my mother when she was going shopping and my mother wanted to go by herself. I can't remember exactly how old I was, I know my oldest brother was not yet married so I couldn't have been any older than 5 1/2 but I could have been as young as 4 But anyway, I was very young. So my mother was going out to run some errands and I wanted to go with her, she didn't want to take me she wanted to go by herself. Parents can understand this, you can get done three times as many things in half the time on your own as you can when taking the kids along. But I was having none of it. So when she decided to leave me at home I decided that I would not kiss her good bye.

I honestly believe I was thinking if I didn't kiss her she wouldn't leave. Well you know what? She left anyway! She got in her car and was getting ready to pull out without giving me a kiss good bye! So in the logical, rational mind of a late toddler young child I freaked out! She had to kiss me good bye! So I went to the front door, opened it and was getting ready to go out to get my kiss good bye. So I got the door opened, and was holding it open with my left hand when the cross breeze from the back door also being opened hit the front door with full effect. Being a little thing and only having a loose grip on the door I didn't stand a chance. Maybe in today's day and age of hollow core doors, but in the early 70s with a big solid wood door? No way. Slam! The door shut...

...on my left ring finger. I remember the next parts in clips because, as I said, I was really young, but the clips I still have are super clear. First off, I have no idea how much it hurt. I know it much have been a lot because I can remember doing that shocked silent build up to the scream. I don't know when my sister appeared, if she had been next to me the whole time I was heading out to kiss my mother or if the slam brought her running, but I know as soon as the door slammed she was there and freaking out as well. Which she would have been 11 or 12 at the time so you can see she might not have been prepared for what came next either.

Which was opening the door. If you look at the picture I posted and you trace a line from the top of the nail bed on the right finger over to the left you can kind of make out a V shaped scar in the nail bed. That scar runs all the way around my finger except for about a 1/8 of an inch on the back. That 1/8 inch of skin was all that was holding the top of my finger to the bottom when we opened the door. And then the blood started. I was pouring blood all over the throw rug in front of the door. I remember thinking about how much trouble I was going to be in for making that mess.

I'm not sure if my mother knew there was something wrong from the difference in "I'm coming out to kiss you, wait!" to the door slamming, if she could hear me screaming or if my sister got her attention but she was back in the house pretty quickly and yelling upstairs to my oldest brother to bring her a white washcloth. Now when I got older I decided that I must have been remembering this wrong and she must have been calling for a wet washcloth but when I asked my mother about it she said, that no I was right, it was a white one. She wanted to make sure that no dyes would get in to the wound so wanted a white washcloth.

I can remember John standing at the top of the stairs, obviously just rolling out of bed, looking confused at the shouting and my mother shouting again to get a white washcloth and hurry up. He registered the blood and panic and was back down with a couple cloths pretty quickly. The next thing I remember is the ride to the hospital. I remember sitting on my brother's lap in the front seat of the car and just wanting to take a nap. He wouldn't let me go to sleep, kept telling me jokes and pushing my head back up when I would lay it down "for just a second." I still don't remember it hurting though it must have. I am guessing my brain just blocked that away from me. But I remember getting angry with John for keeping me awake when all I wanted to do was sleep. Of course, I know now, that he was keeping me from passing out.

I don't remember the hospital visit much. I remember the elaborate wrapping I had done to the finger, the hand and partway up my arm as it healed. I remember getting the stitches out. That part did hurt. They had grown in to the finger and getting them pulled out was a much more complicated thing than they had thought when they first let the intern try and ended up with another doctor finishing up the job.

When they were sewing up my finger they let my mother know that due to the severity of the wound and the fact that it wasn't a clean slice but a slice/smash combo the odds were that my fingertip wouldn't reattach. What they were really worried about was infection and possibly losing the entire finger. They gave it a try at reattaching because I got to the hospital so quickly, I was young and really why the heck not, but there was a better chance I would lose the tip than that it would reattach.

Well as you can see (and as they found out when they removed the stitches) not only did it reattach, but it grew extra. I have short nail beds that end well before the tips of my fingers on all of my other fingers. On this finger I have this gorgeous long oval nail bed that almost reaches the end of my finger. Which means that to grow my nails out past my finger tips on any other finger takes a lot of growing so long glorious real nails were always out of my reach. If all of my nail beds looked like my left ring finger this wouldn't be the case. It's also probably a 1/4 inch longer than the finger on my right side. If all of my fingers were like this I would have the long graceful fingers of a piano player instead of the short squatty hands of a potato farmer. I spent a lot of time wishing all of my fingers looked like my left ring finger.

Now I have a permanent reminder of that day. I have images tied in my head to that entire event. Pieces of my life from when I was very young that will always stick with me. And sometimes when I am trying to make a big decision in life I look at my left finger. If I press on the finger tip you can see the scar clearly. You can see that the color of the nail bed below the scar is one color and above it's another. I have a scar on my right ring finger as well (different story, different lesson though they work together like Two-Face's coin in helping me make decisions. They also both work together to make me literally queasy when watching a movie or TV show where someone gets a cut on their hand or loses a finger). Anyway...what is the moral of this story you ask? Well you might not really be asking that, but if I ended the blog right now at some later point you might remember the whole point of the blog was to get to the moral of the story...

The moral of the story (if you ask my mother) is that you shouldn't throw fits. That bad behavior on my part caused the whole chain of events and that if I hadn't thrown a fit I wouldn't have slammed my finger in the door.

My moral? Don't try to do something without me. See, my mother never made it shopping that day did she? If she had just taken me we could have all avoided this ugly mess. It could be why I have such a love of Maleficent. She wasn't bad, not really, she just wanted to be invited to the party. If they had only invited her in the first place the whole ugly curse thing could have been avoided...Scared yet?

Yeah, my moral is more of a joke, but it makes me laugh.

The real moral of the story for me is two parts. First off, you need to understand that everything you do has consequences, but the thing is we never know what they are going to be until they happen. I didn't want to kiss my mother good bye thinking she wouldn't go without a kiss. She still did. So then I realized that I really did want to kiss her good bye. When push came to shove kissing her good bye was more important than being a baby about not going. Opening a door is usually not a big deal, but not realizing there was a wind tunnel effect in the house made it one. Always have a firm grip on things. My soft touch on the door made it able to slam shut with my finger still in the door. And even if it looks really bad, like there is not going to be a recovery from a mistake, sometimes you end up with a better looking finger out of it. The whole mistakes make us stronger principle.

So make sure you really know what you want when you are making a stand. And secondly understand that even when have made what looks like a mistake to everyone else you can recover and possibly just possibly end up better than you were before. Even when everyone else is giving you little chance for recovery you can still end up okay.

That and when I say I want to go with you someplace, you should probably take me....

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