Week 11: Illness and Injury. Describe your childhood illnesses or injuries. Who took care of you? Did you recuperate in your own bed, on the couch in front of the television, or somewhere else?

This challenge runs from Saturday, March 12, 2011 through Friday, March 18, 2011.

The injury that sticks out the most in my memory is the time I broke my leg.

I was at the end of my 8th grade year.  It was lunchtime and after I ate, I headed out to the field to play some baseball.  I lived in Washington, so it’s no surprise that the grass was wet.  We weren’t on a normal baseball diamond, just grass.

I hit the ball and as I was running past first base, I attempted to slow down, but couldn’t.  I slipped on the wet grass, flew up into the air, and landed with my left leg underneath my body.

I got up and hobbled to the side of the field.  I wasn’t sure what was wrong with me, but I knew that something wasn’t right.  I wasn’t necessarily in a ton of pain, but I started to feel woozy and I definitely couldn’t walk.

Two friends carried me up to the front office of the school.  My P.E. teacher, Mr. Mauri checked my leg.  It was the 80’s and I was wearing some tight jeans.  My jeans actually had zippers on the ankles, so that they were easier to get on.  They were my favorite pair.  And he cut them with a pair of scissors. (I of course realize now that this was necessary.  At the time I was devastated to lose my acid-washed jeans).

Upon seeing my leg, it was very apparent that it was broken.  Thankfully, it wasn’t poking through the skin or anything gross like that, but there was a definite bump on my leg and it was beginning to swell.

They tried calling my parents, but there was no answer at home.  I think that my mom was at home, but didn’t hear the phone.  They called my best friend’s mom instead and she showed up at the school and rode with me in the ambulance to the hospital.  Yes, I got to ride in an ambulance.

By this time, it was starting to hurt.  Every bump of that ride was painful, but I made it. 🙂

When I got my X-rays back, it showed that I had broken my tibia completely and had cracked my fibula over halfway through. Yikes!

Bad news for a 13 year old at the beginning of summer (I think it was May when it happened).

I spent my ENTIRE summer with a cast on.  The first couple month and a half (or so) it was up to my thigh.  Bathing was hard.  Seeing my friends swim at the lake was even harder.  It was hot and uncomfortable and I was on crutches, hobbling around for weeks.

Then, the doctor cut it down below my knee.  I couldn’t believe how hard it was for me to bend my knee.  I was still on crutches, but I feel so free with only half a cast.

After that cast came off, another was put on – this time a walking cast.  I no longer needed crutches and I got around pretty well.

When that came off (right before school started again) I was put back on crutches.  I had to gradually put weight on my leg, a little at a time, until I could work myself up to walking normally.

Let me tell you that being on crutches for your first few weeks of high school was not fun.  I often hid the crutches in my locker and walked without them.  And when I returned to the doctor, I was scolded for it and had to stay on them even longer.  Darn.

I eventually did wean myself off the crutches though and ended up joining the basketball team that winter.  Now that was a good way to build those muscles back up!

The only other thing I have ever broken is my finger – playing volleyball.  I honestly think that the finger hurt more when it happened – but it healed MUCH quicker!!

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your memories on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files.

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First, I hope you all had a very Happy St. Patrick’s Day – Irish or not. 🙂 I managed to take the kids downtown to the parade. It was crowded,but fun!   Here is one of my little leprechauns.


One of the most interesting things about the parade was that there seems to be a tradition that women put on very dark lipstick and then run out and kiss the soldiers, policemen, firemen, etc. that are marching by.  I wonder how long this has been going on.  And do they do this everywhere or is it a Savannah thing?


On to this week’s reads:

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I will be spending today in a sea of green.  I don’t care for crowds, but we’re only living in Savannah for one year and I can’t miss the humongous St. Patrick’s Day parade that they put on here. The fountains and river will be dyed green.  It should be quite a sight to see!

I am very proud of my Irish ancestry.  I thought I would highlight my 3rd great-grandparents, the O’Connors.

Patrick O’Connor was born in County Cork, Ireland in about 1830-1832.  According to family history, his wife Mary Denahy was the first to immigrate to the United States.  She was pregnant at the time and was sent to Dubuque, Iowa to work at a monastery.  I still have no information on their marriage, so I don’t know if she was married before she left or not.  I thought that it would be odd for her to have been sent to a monastery if she were married. Another mystery to solve.  Anyway, according to family history, she sent money and he was supposed to follow.  He spent the money and she had to send more.  He did eventually make it to Iowa, where they farmed the monastery for a number of years before moving to Hubbard, Nebraska.  I am related through their daughter, Ellen Louise O’Connor.

Patrick looks a little like a leprechaun to me. 🙂 Maybe it’s the Abraham Lincoln beard with no mustache.  I’m not sure.

And Mary.  I wouldn’t want to mess with her!

The poor woman doesn’t look very comfortable in her dress, does she?

I wish I had a picture of them when they were younger, but I am eternally thankful for this one.






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I’ve always loved this picture of my great-grandfather, Theodore Sanchez.

This is one of the only ones I have of him when he was young.

The banjo cracks me up.

Did he really play it?  Or was it simply a prop?  Would someone want their picture taken with a banjo if they didn’t play it?

I’m sure that there are people out there nowadays that would love to get their picture taken with an electric guitar, even though they don’t play it.  It would be cool.  Is he just trying to play cool with the banjo? 🙂

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While I was vacationing in Florida this past week, I came across this sign, marking the site of an African Cemetery on Higgs Beach, Key West.  It is so sad. 🙁

Here is a transcription of the sign:


Near this site lie the remains of 294 African men, women, and children who died in Key West in 1860.  In the summer of that year, the U.S. Navy rescued 1, 432  Africans from three American-owned ships engaged in the illegal slave trade. Ships bound for Cuba were intercepted by the U.S. Navy, who brought the freed Africans to Key West where they were provided with clothing, shelter, and medical treatment. They had spent weeks in unsanitary and inhumane conditions aboard the slave ships. The U.S. steamships Mohawk, Wyandott, and Crusader rescued these individuals from the Wildfire, where 507 were rescued; the William, where 513 were rescued;  and the Bogota where 417 survived. In all, 294 Africans succumbed at Key West to various diseased caused by conditions of their confinement. They were buried in unmarked graves on the present day Higgs Beach where West Martello Tower now stands. By August, more than 1,000 survivors left for Liberia, West Africa, where the U.S. Government supported them for a time. Hundreds died on the ships before reaching Liberia. Thus, the survivors were returned to their native land, Africa, but not to their original homes on that continent.


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