Nineteen eighty-five was the year of the breaks, both good breaks and bad. It was the year I purchased my first house. It was the year Hurricane Gloria hit Long Island. It was the year I met the woman who was to become my wife. It was the year, in a family that had never broken a bone, had their bodies start to fall apart.
I noted that I did not tell my mother about breaking my collarbone because I didn’t want to worry her, since there was little she could do about it.
After about three weeks I could remove the sling and could use my arm again. It was pretty sore and took awhile for me to get it to be useful. That of course didn’t stop me from doing softball again. I didn’t bat or play regularly; I managed the team. When we were short of players, I would play the outfield. It was fascinating to watch me play. Any ball hit to me was fielded in my glove (on my left hand), I would quickly drop the mitt, and relay the throw with my left hand to the closest player on my team, who would make the play. As to batting, since I couldn’t bat, I would run for players that were slow runners or injured somehow. That at times did create some controversy on the teams we played against.
I was trying to find the best time to tell my mother that I had broken my collarbone, when circumstances intervened and forced me to visit her. I thought the best time to tell her was in person. I was waiting for my arm to heal more, when my mother, while visiting my New York sister’s house fell and broke her hip. This was in August. I visited my mother while she was in the hospital getting her hip fixed. Because of the drugs that they had her on, she was pretty out of it. I didn’t think it was a good idea to tell her then. After a while she was moved to a rehabilitation center in New Jersey. My sister thought having her near her house would make it easier to visit more often. While visiting her there, I told her all about my collarbone. I didn’t know what to expect.
The response she gave me was totally unexpected. Basically she sloughed it off and said, “Collarbone, that’s nothing, everyone breaks collarbones.” All that time worrying and it didn’t bother her in the least.
Things went well for a short period. I didn’t visit very much while she was there, but my sister was a regular visitor. That was until a day in September when my sister while trying to bleach clean the outside of her house, fell off of a ladder, hit her head on the concrete stairs and fractured her skull.