Life takes funny turns, then slip-sides into your own personal reality. (NOW what’s he talking about??) I got into a discussion this past week, talking about my duo of surguries, and scars, that came from the left side of my head; actually from the same scar, the doctor just re-opened the scar from the first operation, and as it healed, actually healed much better. Then came the question of the scar above my upper lip, and drifts off to my left; of course to the left, why would I even think of going to the right?? It was funny, because most conversations are about what’s been happening in the past three years, the “brain tumor” years. Now, I’m being asked about something that happened 47 years ago. Now, can anyone mathamatically guess my age, if they don’t already know; this scar happened when I was five, 1963!
Peoria, Illinois is the town where I grew up; stayed there until I got out of college, Western Illinois University. Then California, baby! Ohh, wait, the story! Hit by a car, that’s my story, plain and simple. Peoria, at that time, wasn’t that big, maybe 50,000-60,000. That’s a somewhat large number; but every neighborhood, in every town, in those days, kind of stayed unique. No one went elsewhere, they stayed in their “area”. People took busses, had only one car (if that), and 2,3,4 or more stayed in one bedroom. I stayed in a room (maybe 10 x 10)with my brother, in a single bunk beds, one bed hanging over another and me being the youngest, had to take the top, until I moved here, AFTER COLLEGE! How many of you can name people in todays world that gets to claim that? The thing was, a lot of my friends had the same situation, so it was no big deal to me. As I got into high school, and definitely in college, the drinking beer days made it a little tough to climb up, and then down, to use the bathroom at night!
Ohh, the story part. JACK’S MARKET. That’s the place where this happened. We all had bikes. In one block, maybe 10-15 of us hung out together. In on block! That’s the way it was back there. We would take off in the morning, go to a public pool, or ride down to the river, (the Illinois River), and stay out all day, and I’m sure never having a nickel in any of our pockets. We would stop at somebody house where there was an apple tree, or eat berries, whatever was around to keep us out all day. When we got home, we got home. I’m sure that we didn’t call home, never had an instruction to do that. That’s the way it was, for all of us. The only thing that got mom/dad mad, was when we got into some sort of fights. Had to apologize; and then we were friends again. How great would that be, if the younger generations could only live that simple. No camps, or whatever else kids need now to occupy their time off from school, if they even go to a structured school. We had a great time, and parents never had to be “around”, in fact, we just wanted to live and be all throughout the neighborhood, because it offered “so much”! It was also safe, so that’s why we could do errands at five, or so. I got it, I got it, the story!
Five years old, I had to go up to Jack’s Market right around the corner, to get some cigarettes, Camels, for my Dad. (By the way, everyone did that, so lay off my Pop!) Two cars parked right in front of Jack’s. After getting the cigs, I couldn’t really see traffic, partly because of the parked cars I suppose, and I went out from the area between the 2 cars. Well, you guessed it; a car was driving up the street, ( Wisconsin Street), and my face got caught on the front passenger door handle. I was dragged about 50 feet, until the driver knew what was happening. It’s funny, I remember everything, but the hit itself. I was laying there, and Jack, who owned the market, came running out, and put my head on his lap. Wouldn’t let me go home; I was crying, by the way, asking Jack if I could go home, otherwise I might get in trouble; I had a new sweatshirt on, and it had blood on it! That’s what I was fearing, not the silly car thing. I guess that I was bleeding, a lot, because the police car got there first, and by that time, my Dad and my Mom was already there, and we went to the hospital. We did that because of the blood loss. They were very concerned, said I needed to get to the hospital as fast as possible. I was sitting in the front seat with my Mom, and Dad was in the back, I also remember handing the package of cigarettes to my Dad. Got to him, I remember. We still have that package of cigs in our family Bible. My Dad quit smoking. We made it to the hospital, was in for about a month. Had a couple of surgeries, one to rebuild this handsome face! You won’t believe this part, but my Mom worked at that time, and I really couldn’t believe how she came to see me every day, and stay day and night. Got a lot of cards, and gifts, stayed at St. Francis Hospital, where I now have several cousins working as either nurses, God bless them, or directors of some type of department. So all in all, as I’ve said time and time again, I’m a very, very lucky person. Something about this head, though….
How many questions could be asked, on how I am where I am, with all the things that have happened to me. I guess everyone has that same scenario, in one respect or another. As I’ve stated before, it’s amazing how everything ties in, somewhere down the line. I just enjoy what’s here NOW. It could all change. It has changed, well, my life anyway; and I really like it. As I’ve said, the brain tumors were the best thing, in a very strange way, in my life. What started this story, by the way, was the question of which was more pain, brain tumor extract, or hit-by-car hospital stay. I remember no pain with the car, although I’m sure there was plenty of it. Pain has nothing to do with what you think really helps you. If I worried about that, whuuu boy, I don’t think I could THINK! You just keep going. When business isn’t going at it’s best, you just keep going, because it will change; had to change to get where it’s at now, it will again, just keep going. ALWAYS KEEP GOING.
I’m sure that there will be a few more of these little stories, as they happen to come up in conversations. I just wish someone could tell me what is it about the left side of my head that seems to call for the excitement of trauma! Oh, THAT’S why I played football….