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Memories Are Made Of This......sorta

Helluva day yesterday….as you probably saw in the news, we got some snow here on Long Island. My wife was at her mother's, helping her out, and Jo-Jo (our son) looked bored & miserable, so after the sorting out the driveway, figured I’d take JoJo sledding and make some memories…. Boy, what an understatement…..

I took him to this pond/sump area not far from one of his friends' house, and it was an idyllic winter scene....we had the place to ourselves, late morning, gentle snow falling, all was quiet & peacefull, except for the occasional bird, and later some idiot screaming in pain.......Jo-Jo wanted to know if I was gonna try, too, since it was a while since I went sledding...caught up in the spirit of the moment, and thinking of all those great scenes from movies like "The Bishop's Wife" and "White Christmas", I figured I’d give it a whirl….

I had my old childhood sled, the kind with the steel runners….so, I go down the hill a few times, actually starting to relax and have some fun for a change…JoJo has one of those smooth plastic toboggan things, asks me if I want to try his, because "You'll go faster Dad"… So, I figure "what the Hell, I'm no stranger to speed, I've been driving for years, I've had the speedo up past 100 more times than I'd like to admit, so I say yeah, what the Hell…..

20 seconds later, I’m rocketing down the hill, and I see a bush heading for me fairly quickly…. Out of reflex, I stick my hands out to try to swerve or slow down…. My hand either got grabbed by something on the ground, or got run over by the sled, and I hit the bush….. JoJo yells to see if I’m OK, I say yes, no problem….. my hand hurts, so I pull off my gloves….my pinky is bent at like a 60 degree angle from the rest of my hand, with a little bit of the bone poking through what was my knuckle…..

Thankfully we’re only a block away from his good friend, I tell JoJo to run over and get the kid’s dad, I need to go to the ER and I can’t drive, I’m feeling whoozy & I’m gonna pass out...he lights out to get help, I pack my hand in snow & try to get up to the car, before I pass out…. Mario (his friend's dad) was thankfully home & gets me to the ER... Oddly, it didn’t seem to hurt as much as you’d think it should…. Probably part shock, or maybe packing my hand in snow, helped? Even at the hospital (and now) it’s more of an ice cold sensation running from my pinky to my elbow, than actual excruciating pain…. Gotta tell you, seeing your finger dangling there, with the nub of a bone sticking out, and not feeling it, is a real freak out moment....long story short, wasn’t broken, it was dislocated, they loaded me up with pain killers and numbed my hand down with lidocaine (that was the most painful part, because being an open wound, they couldn't put a topical on it to pre-numb before the needle, they had to stab the bum finger with the needle 5 or 6 times….. surgeon showed up &popped the thing back in place and gave me some stitches….

Now realizing that your pinkies are kinda the unsung heroes of manual dexterity…. I guess I’m lucky it was on JoJo’s sled, cause mine with the steel runners would’ve probably sliced it off……

So now, I'm pretty much operating with one hand, because any pressure on the other side just sets off the finger again, and it will be at least a few weeks before I gain use of everything again.....but, to answer the doctor's question: "Were you at least having fun?"....

YES, up until the 2 seconds before it happened, for the first time since my father died, I was having the time of my life! Like Jean Shepherd used to say, "When God is in his Heaven, and all is right with the world, THAT'S when you get the axe"....and, in the words of Dean Martin...Memories Are Made Of This.....and I'm sure my son's gonna remember this one!

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Yes, that IS a memory that’ll last a lifetime.


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