“You can’t catch me!” my little sister screamed as we ran around our parents’ bed. The bedroom was located at the back of the house. What is now the living room was the bedroom that all four of us shared- my parents, my sister, and myself.
Our house was made from adobe and wood. It was built without the skills of a contractor or architect, instead it was built from sweat and love by our grandpa. It explains why the doorways are little short, and each room leads to another- no foyers, no hallways and not very many doors. It housed my grandparents and their five children.
My father was the third child. Due to his wild lifestyle- hence his nickname, “Wild Man,” partied and partied until one day he brought home a girl from Colorado and started a family. With only a high school diploma and not a lot of experience in the work force, except fixing cars, he simply did not move out of the house.
Eventually as the years passed my dad and my grandpa (AKA Pita) added to the little house to make room for our family.
Before it became an official duplex, my sister and I would run around inside that house, room to room, playing chase, hide-n-seek, and other games that required fast running and jumping.
It wasn’t unusual for my parents to leave us unattended since Pita and Grandma were at home.
It was late that night, the night my sister and I were playing chase around our parents’ bed. At least it was late for a 5 and 4 year old.
My parents went on a McDonald’s run. They had the munchies- I hear that is common after a religious ceremony of “joint” proportions.
“You can’t catch me!” I chase her, running as fast as I could. Around the bed- around and around. She turns the corner, and I am about to catch her… CRACK! The bed was next to some closets decorated with those retro gold veined mirrors on the door. She fell and hit her face right into it!
I see her laying on the floor. I stopped dead on my tracks. She just laid there. “Ha! Ha! Fina! Very funny!” I shoved her a bit and still she wouldn’t budge. My heart suddenly felt very heavy! I couldn’t breathe. I froze! Slowly, very slowly, I walked away, not knowing what to do. Then she moved! Her face covered in blood. I swear to you, I physically felt my eye balls jumping outside of my head!
She ran to find Grandma, leaving a bloody trail. I followed. Grandma was already sleeping in her bed. She shrugged her awake, and when she saw the blood- all I heard her yell was something in Spanish that had to do with the mother of Jesus and other Spanish words I wasn’t suppose to know about.
She grabbed a towel and put pressure on the wound. All I could do was watch from a distance. Isn’t it funny how we can remember some things so vividly? I remember it like I was watching an old movie from far far away. I guess that is how I felt- small. So small that the world looked so far away and there was nothing I could do, and I had no idea what I could do, so I watched.
The next thing I remember is my parents walking through the front door with McDonald’s bags in hand. They took one look at her and I saw the shock on their faces. They
dropped threw the bags and the fries flew all over the floor.
They grabbed her and sped to Holy Cross Hospital.
And there I stood… processing all that I witnessed. My grandma and Pita began cleaning up the blood and the broken mirror pieces. I began to eat those french fries on the floor. I couldn’t let them go to waste now, could I?
That was a scary scene for a little girl to watch, and it was a frightening experience for another little girl.
The next morning I heard tales of how Fina had to be strapped down so that the Dr. could put stitches on her wound. I thought she looked a little like Herman Munster from the “The Munsters” T.V. show with those stitches on the corner of her forehead.
All that is left now is a scar.
We all have scars. Scars to brag about, scars we wished never happened and try to cover up. Scars are a result of healing from a wound. A mark that reminds us of the incident that created the wound.
Even though it makes sense that this little incident could have been avoided had we been properly supervised, it doesn’t erase the scar. We could have a debate session on who was to blame for that scary night. Was it my fault because I was chasing her? Was it my grandparents fault for going to sleep? Was it my parents fault- for soooo many reasons? Hmmmm. Or maybe it was all her fault- doesn’t she need to watch where she is going?
In the end it doesn’t matter who is to blame or why it happened. What matters is that we stitch up the wound before we bleed to death! Contrary to the saying, “Time Heals all Wounds,” healing only happens when we put in the work. We need to take care of the wound first, and even though it leaves a scar- that scar is just a reflection on a life full of crazy adventures or hard lessons to learn! Just don’t take the “reflection” part literal as did my sister- she was always such an overachiever!