Twist of fate

For all the clear memories I have of moments and conversations in years past, I cannot quite recall how this happened two days ago…

Early Sunday morning. Tote bag with Bible and Sunday School lesson, studied and ready to teach. Annotated cantata book for Easter drama practice, ready for first rehearsal and casting. So much to do. So much to think about. Mind full of minutiae to remember. Let me put all this in the car, lest I forget something… wait, the sweet pickles for lunch. I forgot to take them to church with the sandwich stuff for rehearsal. Let me put the jar in my bag. There. Ready…

Opening door. Garage steps, red brick. Car is right there, I will put everything in the backseat floor…

—Falling. Fast.

Everything in my hands scatters across the cement floor; I watch the music book and all my papers sliding away with remarkable speed.

I cry out. I don’t know if it’s during that split-second fall, or on impact.

A snap.

Sharp pain in my right foot… I am only wearing socks, no shoes.

My son, Cadillac Man, is there in an instant. He heard me fall.

I am clutching my foot. It’s bad.

—Mom, is that blood dripping down your bag?

No. Pickle juiceget my Bible out of there.

And get your father.

His father tries to help me up but I can’t stand and he can’t be pulling on me; he is still healing from bypass surgery.

Don’t touch me, I tell them. I don’t know how to move. I have to figure it out.

I crawl back in the house. I take off my sock.

My foot looks intact.

I will try to stand…

Knife-like stab.


My husband and son do not know what to do. It is Sunday morning; one is a pastor, the other, a music director. They each have church services waiting,

Go, I say. I have to figure this out. Maybe it will be better by the time you get back. If not, you can take me to an urgent care. Just go.

They go.

I wait until they’re gone to crawl down the hall and, sitting in the floor, change from pajamas to street clothes, for I know I’ll be going somewhere about this foot.

Suddenly everything is exponentially harder than it was.

That’s when I cry.


X-rays reveal that I broke the fifth metatarsal on my right foot. The tech tells me I snapped it and I say yeah, I heard it. Now I am in a boot for six, eight, ten weeks; who knows? These things are slow to heal, says the orthopedist.

And no driving with the boot, she adds.

So now my husband and son must take me to and from work, every day for weeks on end.

I cannot do this, I say to myself.

But I walk, lopsided, imperfect, maddeningly slow in my Frankenstein boot, out of the office. My husband takes me home.

I watch the countryside whizzing past the passenger window. I know what this is shaping up to be. A hard lesson in dependence, at the least. It’s not like I haven’t lived this before. Seventeen years ago, just after my father died, I broke my foot—the same foot, different bone—while preparing to direct a church play. This second time occurs just after my husband’s brother died. Déjà vu. A curious twist of fate. None curious-er. I am seventeen years older; this is going to be harder.

—Well. It’s just going to have to be one deliberate step at a time.

Oh, how much I take for granted.

Today, back to work.

Just a good bit slower than before.

24 thoughts on “Twist of fate

  1. Oh, Fran. I am so so sorry about your foot. It seems things can change on a dime. In your gratitude that it is only a foot, I hope you can find some good humor and a silver lining. But ouch!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am grateful it’s only a foot, that there’s no pain while walking now with the boot, that I can take the boot off to sleep, that my husband is still here and able to drive me. Oh and puppy therapy helps; Dennis the baby dachshund crawls in my lap as I sit with propped leg. My comforter. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. The writing captures the halting and stuttered experience of injury. I’m smiling because I just injured my back this morning, and this is my canary call – the twinge that signals “you are doing too much, not resting enough.”

    May your slowed pace give you the beautiful visions that your writing holds, Fran.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. First I wish you a speedy recovery even though I am sure it will be challenging in many ways.
    Second, this is so well written that I felt like I was there with you experiencing the fall and the aftermath. My foot even started to hurt as I read this (in sympathy).
    Take care of yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m going to be with you — in a boot — again soon. (I have foot surgery scheduled in a couple of weeks.) Looks like we’ll both have our feet up during the March Challenge.

    BTW: This line, “Mind full of minutiae to remember,” spoke to me. Reminds me that I need to check my Any.Do!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have debated with myself about participating in the March Challenge, and have decided I would miss it too much. It will surely be a means of forgetting the boots for a while, right?? Prayers for your healing, Stacey, and thank you for your kinship.


    • Thank you; this is more exhausting than painful, at a time when I (and a lot of us!) already have more to do than can effectively be done. The word that comes to mind is “acceptance.” Something in us rails against it. But in it lies a kind of healing and freedom. I so appreciate your thoughts.


  5. Oh Fran! I am so sorry to hear about this. I am also glad that you have such support around you and that you have chosen such a good attitude. But – oh! – it must be hard. Also, your writing about this was really compelling – you pulled me right into the moment. May you heal more quickly than you expect; may your dependency bring you unexpected joy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are ever-gracious, Amanda. Thank you. I am managing! My left side aches more than my broken foot, from walking so weirdly. I dreaded trying to work as my school is two stories, the elevator is OUT OF ORDER, and I have to be all over it each day, serving in multiple roles & capacities… so upon my return I’ve simply covered less ground. And the kids’ reactions to my boot were priceless. I may have to write a follow up post on my “twist of foot.”

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Life has a way of reminding us of our humanity; I’m sorry this reminder was a painful one, glad the pain was momentary. Wishing you speedy healing…and wondering if this experience will end up as part of Sick Ada’s story?

    Liked by 1 person

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