Maggie, my sister, voted that I not tell this story. Probably because it was her fault and she doesn't want to feel guilty. The rest of you asked for it, so here it is.
My siblings are the core of my family of origin. In class when they ask what your family does for this holiday, or what your family would do in this situation, I don't really think about my parents too much. I think about my siblings: Jordan, Bremen, and Maggie.
Jordan is 10 years older than me. Her birthday is today, and she and I are very similar. We both got married at 19 (granted, I was almost 12, and she had just turned 19). We both love country music, chick flicks, TV, yummy food, and sweets of all varieties. Bremen is about 8 years older than me. He is very artistic, great with words, and he designed my wedding announcements. Growing up, he never once did anything mean to me. Never. I do not have one memory of him yelling at me, pushing me away from him, or saying anything mean. He has always been there to encourage me. Maggie is 5 years older than me. She is kind of a diva, and likes things to go her way (and so do I). Growing up, she would accessorize the Barbies and design their houses, then I would play with them. I always wanted to be around her as a kid.
Anyway, after the divorce, My mom started working full-time, and continued to do so until about 2.5 years ago. During the summer, I would play with my siblings all day. We'd climb around outside, watch TV, deliver newspapers, and go to the local water park. I remember one summer day when I was very young, definitely before kindergarten. Maggie tells me I was 3. I know exactly what I was wearing. It was a one piece tropical style outfit, kind of like a summer jumper. It had spaghetti straps and shorts attached to the bottom. The middle had an elastic band. The outfit isn't important, except to show that it was summer. It was hot. and I was lounging around the house playing with Maggie. We had a sandbox in the backyard, also a grape vine that would produce tart grapes in the fall. Our backyard backed up to a large hill and at least a couple of acres of hilly-treey-green grass land, we played out there a lot.
In our backyard we also had a trailer. I think it was the trailer they used for scout camp outs, to carry all of the equipment. It would hitch on the the back of a truck, so it only had one set of wheels. It was the type that would wobble up and down at the front and back when it wasn't secured on a block of wood or a vehicle. It also had a type of shelf or step running along either side, near the bottom.
Well, on this particular day I don't remember much preceding "the incident." Mostly I just remember standing on the shelf thing towards the front of the trailer. Maggie was towards the back, and at 5 years older than me, she weighed more, so the back of the trailer was touching the ground, while the front was in the air (if that makes sense). As I got to the front and couldn't go any farther, I jumped off, but remained very close to the trailer, watching Maggie. As she crossed to the front of the trailer, the entire front end slammed down and him the ground (like a teeter-totter). I was still standing there, and the trailer slammed on my left foot. I instantly jumped in the air and was holding onto my foot with my hands while doing a little one-legged hop on my right foot. I said, "OUCH Maggie, that hurwt!!" Just then, I saw blood dribbling between the fingers that were holding my foot. I saw blood spatters on the ground, and I kinda freaked out. I opened my hands and saw a lot of blood, and my ring-toe (make sense?) dangling by a tiny piece of skin. I remember hearing Jordan and Bremen running down the wooden steps of our deck.
Now I know that Jordan (probably 13) tried calling my mom at work, but she couldn't get a hold of her, so she called my step mom Ann. Ann told Jordan to call 9-1-1 and get me to a hospital. Flash forward: I think there was some major confusion about where I went. It took my mom a few hours to figure out which hospital I was admitted to. So the next thing I remember is a paramedic holding me like a baby. Like, I had my arms around his neck, and my legs were dangling on his sides. I remember being so tired. I think I even fell asleep in his arms. Maggie came with me in the ambulance to the hospital. And I'm not sure what Jordan or Bremen did. Maybe they waited for my mom to come home and get them.
I slept in the ambulance, and to this day I don't know if it was because I was so tired or if they gave me something. Honest to goodness my next memory was at the hospital. I think I was in the middle of getting stitched when I woke up, but I know that probably isn't right, so I imagine I really woke up right after surgery. They were able to save my toe! Hooray!
Maggie says she waited in the waiting room for hours. No one at the hospital knew who she was or why she was there and she was too shy to say anything. I feel bad for little Maggie.
The only other vivid memory I have of this experience is being wheeled in the elevator and smelling the most tantalizing scent of McDonald's. I wanted it so bad. Figures.
I also have a memory of being with my mom in a hospital parking lot-- leaving. I kind of think we did, or almost got into an accident with a woman there. This may or may not be from this experience. It's funny how memories organize themselves in the mind.
A few weeks later we were doing the whole drive-halfway-to-Kirksville-with-mom,-meet-dad-and-go-to-his-house-for-the-weekend thing (it probably wasn't as complicated as it sounds there), and I looked down to see a scab-less toe. You see, my toe formed a big black scab all the way around it, healing, you know. And it was gone. As we reached the halfway point, a small gas station, my brother let out a noise, and pointed to the perfectly shaped black scab sitting on the car carpet. Haha... this scab was not your average scab. It was like, a perfect mold of my toe. It was thick, black, and totally gross.
I kept it for years. I kept it in a a gray, fuzzy ring box, perched upon a wad of cotton. I'm sure it's tucked away in a box of my personal things at my Dad's house.
I used to pull it out and show it to friends... probably even through high school. I don't really know why anyone would come back after that, but they did.
Years later, we could still follow the blood drops all the way from the scene of the accident and up the deck stairs. Eerie, I know.
I used to imagine my toe looked like this guy:
You know.. big body, small head. Big toe, small nail. It just kind of looks a little weird, but not noticeable if it's all polished up and in cute shoes.
Today my toes are just fine (two were damaged in the incident). Every time I get a pedicure though, the lady cleans one toe nail at a time, when she gets to the toe (every time, without doubt), she will stop, examine it closely... then keep going like I don't know it's messed up. And I just pretend not to notice.