Sunday Scribbling: Hospital
This week, the Sunday Scribblings prompt is Hospital.
Nana told us to go collect Mary from her friend's house. I was 7. It was my First Communion year. My sister wasn't long past her 6th birthday. We did what we were told... held hands crossing the road. But unfortunately, we didn't look carefully enough, or walk swiftly enough once we had looked - left, right, left again - to check for oncoming traffic, so when the car came round the bend, the driver kept coming, and then we were on the road. Lying on the road.
I have no memory of any of it. Later, I felt very deprived, that I'd missed out on the excitement, on the frantic emergence of Nana with a bottle of holy water; of the call that went out for Mrs. O'Brien's priest son to come quick, the children had been knocked down. I have no memory of the ambulance, and my sister has. The next thing I remember was a few days later, when a little boy on the other side of the ward kept crying that his bottom was sore. I remember a cage over my legs to keep the blankets from putting pressure on me. I could crawl right inside the cage. My sister slipped from her bed and came in there with me. We had no broken bones! We had bruises and some small cuts, but not a single broken bone. Yet, our hospital stay stretched to two weeks. Those were the days when no-one had heard of cutbacks, and humanity dictated that both sisters be allowed to stay together until the frailest was ready to return home.
There were gifts of books. Paper dolls. Neighbours came to see us. And my mother or father cycled to the town to visit every evening. It's vague. My memories. I remember a white smell, and stew that wasn't brown. I remember serious faces considering the question of "home" and wishing, wishing, wishing... and then, home came. The day of going home from hospital.
The house was full of well-wishers. There were treats and sweets on the kitchen table, but we were put to bed, for fear the excitement would be too much for us. I remember the voices in the house, and the feeling that something special was happening about us, but not for us.
And next day, the American circus which was set up on the fairgreen played its last show. My older sister went, to see the clowns and highwire act. We convalescents were protected again from excitement, only allowed to go visit the animals for a brief few minutes.
The summer was long, and there were constant reminders that we were "not long home". Hospital became a word that reminded us to slow down, to stop, to look, to watch, to not run, to not set foot outside the door without a prayer to St. Anthony, and a dousing of holy water. My memories of the actual events are few. My memories of everything it meant in my life are legion.
go visit some more people with Hospital Memories HERE