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A Journey of Living

Story ID:8592
Written by:Richard Laurent. Provencher (bio, contact, other stories)
Organization:Retired
Story type:Biography
Location:Truro Nova Scotia Canada
Year:2012
Person:Richard L. Provencher
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The older man hobbled over to the downtown bench and rested his cheeks. Setting aside his cane, he jiggled himself into a comfortable position. That meant re-arranging his legs so arthritic pain did not steal any memories from better times.

He still did remember, in spite of a broken ankle, arthritis and so forth. Even good times took place during the happenings of those three-time aching moments.

When he was a Scout leader in earlier days, it was a challenge to keep up to the exuberance of young boys, eager to prove their prowess. This one night shortly after school was out for the summer, energy levels were at maximum. And being inside the church hall that afternoon was simply too much of a challenge. Being outside and having noisy fun was the trick. They quickly decided to have a high-jumping contest on the sand pile back of the church.

Everyone used rakes and shovels to smooth out the sand then set up two sticks, ten feet apart, to hold up a thick piece of string to jump over. Everything went fine until the more daring lads decided to jump backwards then swing around to land on feet. A few managed to make it.

However, his bravado was quenched as he leaped into the air, doing a pirouette, flinging himself over the string, and breaking his ankle upon landing. Pain was terrible; the memory still allowing him to flinch and it was two more breaks later, same place, although different situations until finally ten years from the first to the last, before the ankle was fully useable once again.

Bullying is such an issue today, and it has roots way back in the 1940ís when this fine fellow was in grade one. A particular school had its share of obnoxious types, always pushing smaller kids around. I happened to be one of the victims and dad said to stand up to him. This fellow I explained must be ten feet tall. One day I balled up my fist, determined to plant it in his stomach.

He was leaning against the school wall at the time, and as I approached he must have seen the fire in my eyes. When I launched my right balled-up hand of dynamite, he stepped aside and my flying fist turned into a ball of pain, with scraped knuckles and blood dribbling across my fingers. These war scars still show on my knuckles. Oh yes, he finally left me alone.

Today I have another scar, one which hides under my shirt, and not eager to share its looks. Besides who wishes to stare at a belly button, with a long eruption of skin alongside? It masks the surgery which took place recently.

Donít wish to wait any longer to operate on your hernia the surgeon said with glee. After all my worrying, I discovered the prep visits took longer than the operation. Well it is hard to say too much about my favourite belly, since it is used mostly to store treats and good liviní. A mesh was placed between my button and intestine (ugg) and now I am able to declare another scar, the longest of them all. But hey, no peeking now.

Uh, maybe Iíll show you the next one.

© Richard L. Provencher