As the 8th of February past, I started to remember what happened on that day forty years ago. It had been cold enough for the ice to freeze at the local Ice Skating “Rink”. It was really an old ice pond where they had harvested ice for preserving food in ice boxes through the summer. But in my day we had refrigerators and didn’t need the ice anymore. Anyway, we usually only had a couple of weeks to skate and I wanted to take full advantage of the time I had.
I went to skate right after school and my dad came to pick me up for dinner. I didn’t want to quit so I ignored him and he finally went home. I had a scout patrol meeting that evening so my dad came back to get me. I saw he was there and was getting ready to leave when I got into a play in the hockey game where we were all fighting over the puck. The next thing I know, I am falling down and hear a loud crack. I didn’t know if it was the ice or my leg. The other players helped me off the ice on one leg and they took me into the warm-up shack. I was soon helped to my dad’s car and taken home.
Later that night I was taken to Nyack Hospital and x-rayed. I had broken both my right tibia and right fibula. I spent the night at the hospital, and the next ten weeks in various casts. The first was most of the way up my thigh. Eventually they were walking casts with a removable boot. It was months before I could walk without a limp.
Looking back on that experience, how much pain and suffering could I have avoided if I had just gone home with my father when he came the first time? I knew I should have gone with him, but who would have seen the consequences?
The sad thing is this isn’t the only instance where I can look back and see the consequences of not doing what I should or not being where I should be. What would have happened on 13 November 2003 if I had left for Church on time? Instead, I was just leaving when I should have been there. Again another accident, this time with a totaled car and multiple broken bones.