Baker Grace

My sister broke her arm today. I don’t have the details yet as to just how she managed that. She used the words “bad stairs” in her FaceBook post and a friend noted that they were at church when it happened. She also has a couple of stitches in her lip for a deep cut. She reports the radius is broken at a 90-degree angle. We don’t know if she needs surgery or not yet. She sees the orthopedic guy next week.

When she first posted “going to MedExpress; think I broke my wrist,” my daughters immediately replied with comments regarding “Baker grace.” Baker women are known for their ability to stumble, trip, fall, ram body parts into furniture or doors, slice fingers with knives and incur other assorted injuries. We find bruises on our bodies that we can’t explain ourselves–sure looks like it should have hurt; can’t remember how it happened.

Growing up in the Baker househould, I have memories of my mother’s “grace.” And my father’s exasperation with it. I can hear his exact intonation in my head as he’d exclaim “Oh, honey!” when her ankle would twist getting out of the car or she’d bang her hand in a kitchen drawer. It wasn’t an “oh, Dear, did you hurt yourself?!” exclamation. It was more of a “I can’t believe you could be so clumsy!” statement. That attitude plays a part in our stoic acceptance of pain, I believe, and the automatic repression of how we incurred that awful bruise in the first place. “I’m fine, I’m fine!” is the instinctive response. No doubt that’s part of what made my sister go to an urgi-care center and not a hospital emergency room for a bad break; she downplayed it.

My own mishaps are too numerous to count and that would only be the ones that I could recall to begin with! My most notable mishap of recent memory is falling in the sump pump in my garage earlier this year. It had only been in my new house for about six weeks. The winter was horrid with record-breaking snowfalls. I decided to park my Chevy Impala in my garage to avoid snow accumulation on it. It had been a long, treacherous ride home from work and I was sick of it. I miscalculated; my garage is too small for that car to truly fit. I managed to get it into the garage with no room to spare. I could only open the car door enough to squeeze myself out of the car. Frustrated and upset with discovering the limitations of my new house, I shimmied along between the car and the wall and WHAM, one leg went down through the flimsy cover of the sump pump into the black, frigid water and came down hard on the other knee on the edge of the hole. Caught mostly by surprise, I didn’t even recognize the pain immediately. I only had the vaguest recollection that the sump pump was even there; I was so new to the house. Heck, I only had the vaguest idea what a sump pump was for!

Cursing, I dragged myself out of that wet, cold hole in the concrete floor and still had to manuever myself through the limited space. I had ruined a pair of scrub pants and nursing shoes in the fall and it didn’t take too long for my left knee to start throbbing. Once in the house proper and able to inspect the damage, my knee had a significant laceration and was bruised. Swelling was imminent. I cleansed the laceration and berated myself for my stupidity and chalked it up to my “Baker grace.” I could hear my father’s sigh from beyond the veil that separates us. It was just one incident of many, and in true tradition of the Baker women.

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