Happy Burn-iversary!

Today is the anniversary of my ill-fated climb up the kitchen stove, according to the best research source I currently have — my blue baby book. Without evidence-based confirmation from a verified medical record, which I may or may not ever find, I rely on my mother’s elegant script in the baby book, where she marks this date in an eerily understated entry, “My oh my. Another big scare with Anne……”. This is the first year in the more than 40 since that I’ve even known the date — the first time I’ve looked in that ole baby book to check it.

Parents Notes- Mom's description of accident

Putting on my detective hat and with the not-so-clever use of the Internet, I see that November 24th way-back-when was a Tuesday just two days before Thanksgiving. I wonder so many things — what were their Thanksgiving plans that week? Who was cooking? Did their plans change when I went into the hospital for a 2 1/2 month stay? Did they visit that day? Was I in surgery on Thanksgiving? Did they cry when it happened?

To date, I’ve interviewed a number of my parents’ friends and relatives and no one remembers that specific week, those specific activities. In the end and in the big picture, I know it doesn’t matter so much but it is still a nagging curiosity even though I feel more like a voyeur to my own story than its main character. Is that how I cope? I’ve always been expert at compartmentalizing and I wonder if this is why.

In all of this, the most important piece is that I’ve found resolution and peace. In the most fortunate of ways, I heard my parents own words many years later. That they wished they had spoken of this earlier. That they loved me. That it changed their lives far more than mine. I’m lucky this way. Many people for many reasons don’t open this door. Have you?


  1. Yes, Eva it’s really troubling because in her steadfast words I can only imagine how the woman was freaking out. I suspect she didn’t have anyone to vent to and this make-shift diary was some sort of outlet. It makes me sad to read it, especially in light of my various hijinx before the “big” accident. I wonder if she had a “do-over” what she would have done.


  2. Hey A,
    Is it just me or is the baby book entry oddly unnerving? Your mom must have been freaked out but yet there really is no hint of it. Plus you were resuscitated the year before?! Yikes! It’s also odd that the relatives don’t remember that week. Did your parents not reach out? Even with my crappy memory I think I would remember something.. I do love the earlier entries about what a happy, laughing baby you were, cute! The way we pop out is the way we are.. Love, E


  3. Wow. Anne. I never knew this. How awful, yet I am so happy to hear that you are able to find some closure and peace. When I was very small – I had twisted tibias and had to have casts up to my waist and couldn’t move. I spent probably a year back and forth in the hospital/doctors, yet, I don’t remember any of it. Nothing. My mother tells me bits and pieces but it isn’t spelled out in my baby book. My legs healed, no scars, except I guess I was terrified by men in white coats for a long time (my mother says.) It is odd how the brain works and keeps out the bad if you want it. You are brave indeed to open the door. I wish you a peaceful, and happy Thanksgiving…


  4. Hi Anne,
    I had some unresolved issues with something that happened when I was very young. I requested all of my medical records from St. V’s. Every thing was there and it did resolve my issues. Just for the record, while we were friends at St. Jo’s, I never thought of your leg. I remember seeing it and you telling me what happened, but that was it. You were a wonderful friend…period. That’s all I saw. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


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