Lucky Break

Both of my daughters broke their arms within two weeks of each other in 1988. 

Casting a Memory: Sarah and Fanny 1988 
In the summer of 1988, when Sarah was 7 and Fanny was 3, they both had accidents that caused them to get casts. Fortunately, neither girl had another serious accident or injury since that time. But the lesson from that experience has always stayed with me and is a constant reminder. This beautiful black and white photograph of the event, hangs in our kitchen as an ever present reminder of our good fortune.

The story of the accident isn’t all that remarkable.

Fanny was playing on a swing in the backyard and slipped from the jungle gym down to a hard ground. My brother Mitchell was nearby and came running in to our kitchen to tell us that Fanny had fallen and hurt herself. We called our pediatrician, Dr. Gordon, who instructed us to go to an orthopedist who he knew would see us right away. We rushed to that office and after being examined and x-rayed, she got a cast on her right arm and elbow. 

Fanny, being so young, was quite resilient and luckily not in much pain. Being filled with the zest for life of a three year old, she didn’t seem to slow down at all. In fact, I remember coming back home after this event and her asking if she can go out and play in the backyard with ScottTodd. Scott and Todd were the two little boys who lived next store and Fanny called them by one name. As for this experience, there is nothing like getting knocked down and picking yourself up and jumping back in the game. This was a good reminder of the importance of persistence. 

Sarah’s story is where the tale fractures.

From Fanny's Book 1988
Almost two weeks later, Sarah goes running out of our kitchen to go play on the swings when she slipped on a wet back step and lands on her right elbow. I heard her cry out and I called Ra El who was in the other room. We both ran to comfort her. We quickly called the same orthopedist office, packed her up in the car and drove to the office where we were just two weeks ago. We had Fanny in a cast and Sarah wailing and clutching her arm.

That is when we started to receive some strange stares from the nurses. We had two kids, both with broken arms within two weeks of each other? Fortunately no one called child services to investigate but we always feared that this really did look strange. 

Sarah eventually got a cast although she first needed minor surgery to fix the break and set it properly. That was probably the longest hour of my life when my child was in surgery. But as fate would have it, everything turned out okay.

From Sarah's Book 1988
Even today, 23 years later, I still worry about my girls. It’s a natural inclination for a parent but they no longer play in our backyard. Sarah is on Oahu near Honolulu and Fanny is in Hollywood outside of L.A. 

So when I awoke Thursday morning at 3:30 am, it was an odd feeling. I normally do not have any trouble sleeping and rarely wake up at night. But I got up and turned on the radio. I heard with great sadness of the incredible 8.9 earth quake that had just rocked Japan and the Tsunami that slammed into the north eastern part of the country. Then I heard that Tsunami waves were roaring at 600 miles an hour toward the Hawaiian Island and the West Coast of the U.S. Great. A disaster heading at full speed toward my girls. 

I could not sleep so I went downstairs and heated up some milk and honey- a treat I used to make for both girls when they were little and couldn't sleep. I turned on CNN and saw the remarkable shaky images of Japan and the black tar-like ocean filled with debris rushing the Japanese farmland and country side.

I quickly went on Facebook hoping for a message from Sarah just to let me know she was okay.  I saw the little red marked by messages and had a feeling it was from her. She wrote...

Hanging out in Hawaii

From Sarah's Facebook Page
Fanny, finding the funny in everything, also wrote me a note later in the day:

Getting her licks in 

From Fanny's Facebook page
I guess you never stop worrying about the well-being of your kids no matter how old you are. This thought was really brought home to me later in the day when I got a call from my 83 year old mother in New Jersey who told me she didn't want my sister Diane, brother Mitch or I to worry since she was out all day helping a dear friend whose husband was hospitalized. She knew we would worry if we didn't know where she was and why she wasn't home. She also told me that she was worried about me because she knew I would be worried about Sarah and Fanny. 

And so it goes. 


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