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  • Sarah Marcina

A Broken Memory

Prior to the onset of advanced dementia, I spent a lot of time at Granny's house. She was having TIAs (mini-strokes). Someone needed to be stay with her 24/7. When she was having a bad spell my mom would come so I could have respite. I remember staying up many nights with her. My hand sewing project was my life-saver.

This specific time I returned to her house after a couple days break. My mom was going to spend one night more night before leaving. Granny was feeling better and we were being was a nice change.

That evening I went to lock the kitchen door. As I reached for the knob I hit my thumb on the door frame. I thought "I just broke my thumb." Instead of crying I was laughing unbelievably hard considering the pain. I went back into the family room and told them it was broke. Granny said "Let me see that." She took my hand in hers, and with her left hand she started twisting my swollen, purple thumb. Her diagnosis was it isn't broken, but I just bruised it. That evening the pain worsened and it continued to swell.

The following day my doctor did a x-ray and confirmed what I already knew. What should have been a six week cast ended up a four month fiasco. My bone wasn't healing and the specialist couldn't figure out why. After surgery he explained I had cartilage in between the bones, hence not healing. He said in 30 years of practice he hasn't seen this with a thumb before. He was stumped. I ask him if a twisting of the broken thumb could have caused the cartilage to move between it. He looked at me thoughtfully puzzled finally saying yes. I could tell he was wondering why I would twist my thumb. After telling him the story we both laughed.

I never did tell her that was the reason why I ended up with surgery, but now I think back and laugh. Today was the fourth month she has been no longer been with us. Between the weather and amount of hand quilting I have been doing lately my thumb quite sore. Mixed with tears this has brought a happy memory to mind.

Perhaps today is the anniversary of a death of a close friend or family member of yours. Remember the good times. Laugh a little it helps through the pain.

Granny, I miss you like crazy but am so glad you no longer have to suffer.

I had this piece of scrap fabric and thought it would look neat embroidered. I knew it would be a never ending project. One day, maybe, I will do some more and perhaps I won't but for now, it is one more memory.

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