Originally Blogging the Artist's Way. Thoughts, musings, experience of the 12-week course, January to March 2006. And after that?.... Life, creativity, writing. Where does it all meet? Here, perhaps.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

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

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At 27/10/07 9:59 pm, Blogger Sandra.if said...

ythat is a universal experience maybe...!

At 27/10/07 10:56 pm, Blogger Jen B said...

it sounds like your family was really caring! Those were the days before hospital cutbacks, it's nice you two got to stay together!

At 28/10/07 1:02 am, Blogger Julie said...

My daughter was hit by a car when she was 10. What a horrid day for me until I found out that she would be okay. She came out of it with just a broken leg. Her helmet was split right through - thank God she was wearing one. I wonder what SHE remembers from that day. I know her main concern after she got home was not being able to go to Girl Scout camp at the lake.


At 28/10/07 1:38 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh that was brilliant, glad to hear you made it in one piece, such accidents can be pretty bad at times, even life threatening. Well narrated, thanks for sharing.

At 28/10/07 4:22 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How frightening - I'm glad that you both were ultimately okay. I spent only a week in the hospital as a child, and the memory of the lonely, slightly scary, but mostly just boring experience of that week is still with me. The thinking back then, about hospitalization, healing and convalescence seems so different from today. I'm glad the two of you were ok and that you were able to be together.

Enjoy your mid-term break~

At 28/10/07 5:04 am, Blogger Tumblewords: said...

a white smell, and stew that wasn't brown. That phrase stopped me - it's so terrific. Glad you survived that scary incident. Nice post, well-written.

At 28/10/07 8:34 am, Blogger Betty Carlson said...

Thank heavens it all came out okay...I imagine the memories are very vivid.

Lots of common points in our profiles, BTW!

At 28/10/07 11:34 am, Blogger Jo said...

Thanks for your kind words, Imelda.
As usual this is a great piece.....

At 28/10/07 12:48 pm, Blogger gma said...

Your writing paints a picture. I can see you laying there playing paperdolls. Did the memory of that cause you to be a cautious person?

At 28/10/07 3:04 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember grandma had a little wall mounted Madonna with a tiny basin that held holy water. When we were little we had to bless ourselves with it before we left the house.
I'm glad you and your sister had each other for support. To be hurt and alone - wow that's a lot for a young child.
And two weeks in the hospital feels like months in kid time.
Thanks for stopping in to visit me.

At 28/10/07 5:13 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

glad you and your sister were together for support. It helps..

At 28/10/07 11:35 pm, Blogger Cherie said...

So beautifully written with all the traditions and values of a time when people took time! Loved your stroll down memory lane, Thank You!

At 29/10/07 3:47 am, Blogger Cyn Bagley said...

Very nice. I know from experience how a hospital stay can change a life.

At 30/10/07 2:54 am, Blogger Amber said...

Oh my gosh! What a rich memory. And how lucky you both were not have been hurt worse! Thank goodness.

Miss you.


At 30/10/07 5:12 pm, Blogger Jo said...


Just to let you know that Jessica Fox Wilson is setting up a new online journal at . Submissions will be accepted up until 31 December for the first issue which will be up in the middle of next year. Poetry, prose, art will all be featured. Blog buttons are available from the obvious gmail address.



At 4/11/07 8:28 pm, Blogger Julie said...

Dear Imelda,

I got your package and am enjoying it so much. Please email me so I can get your email address and your snail mail address.




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