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Every Life is a Story
    A place to share my own family stories

Monday, January 28, 2008

How My Father Broke His Leg- The First Time.

My father is an avid athlete. He played on all the Varsity teams in highschool. He played in college. He played softball for the Lions Club when I was growing up. He plays golf now whenever he gets the chance.

He was playing intramural basketball in college, when a member of the other team got the ball. He went in for a fastbreak, and my father ran to stop him. He jumped into the air to block the shot at the basket, hooked his hand behind the backboard, and swung feet first, slamming into the gym wall. His leg broke, and he collapsed onto the floor. The break was bad enough that his foot was turned into the opposite direction. A friend of his from high school walked by the crowd of people surrounding my dad, and didnt' even recognize him. He said that he had turned white-hair included.

It was snowing that night as they took him to the university hospital. The hospital was ten minutes away from the gym, but the snow was bad enough that it took them a half an hour to get there. The swelling in his leg was so bad that the doctors couldn't do anything to set it or fix it until the next morning. My father spent that night with his leg in a cardboard box packed with ice to get the swelling down. They had to put in a steel plate and six screws to hold the bone in place.

He was in a cast for eleven months. This is not because the leg actually took that long to mend. It was more because he wouldn't behave with the cast on. All the things he wasn't supposed to do, he went ahead and did anyway. He went fishing in the water, and rotted out the bottom of the cast. He went to archery tournaments, and would wrap plastic bags around his foot- still getting the cast wet with rain and dew. He broke the steel plate in his leg trying to jack up the car after it got stuck on some mountain roads. He sprained his leg in the cast once because of all the activities he was doing. When the cast finally came off, there was grass growing on the bottom of his foot. At least, that's what they told me.

As a child, I would trace the scar on his leg, and hear about the steel plate still there in my father's leg. It was a family story we loved with every retelling.

It was not the only time he broke his leg.

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