Bobby sat on her bed, painting her toe nails. As she listened to Bobby Darin on her record player she slowly applied the color to her toes. Her eyes fell on a scar on the top of her left big toe. Funny how a small scar could bring up a memory of so long ago that sometimes she didn’t know if it was her memory or just stories she had heard from her family.
It was a hot summer day in early August fourteen years ago.
Grandma stood on the front porch, “Roberta, Roberta, where are you?”
Bobby was riding her tricycle down the street. One of those old fashioned tricycles, metal frame, big front wheel with rubber tires and metal spokes. The peddles were part of the front wheel. The child sat on the seat with the back wheels much smaller with a little step between them.
Bobby was about three years old, her little legs barely reached the peddles, riding up and down the street.
They lived on a little dead end street. There were only seven houses lining the street. On her side of the street, next to her house, was her Dad’s brother and his family, next to them was her Dad’s Sister and her family. Across the street her Dad’s maiden Aunt lived alone in a small house. The other three houses were occupied by families that were related to each other but not to Bobby’s family. But every adult was an Aunt or Uncle, blood related or not. Everyone had lived on that same street for as long as she could remember. All the kids were about the same age so there was never a lack of someone to play a game with.
The street was paved down the middle but on the sides was just dirt and gravel. When it rained it would get muddy and in the winter as the snow melted it got muddy. When it was hot and dry there was dust everywhere. At the end of the street was an alfalfa field owned by the College. They would sometimes play among the plants when they got big but if anyone from the College caught them, they would get yelled at. They were not supposed to play in the alfalfa it damaged the plants. Their little town was still pretty rural and there were fields all around where sheep, horses and cattle were kept.
Grandma kept calling her name. Bobby ignored her.
There was a birthday party going on in the back yard of the house across the street. Bobby made her way to the front of the house were the party was. She wanted to be included in the fun and games, but this was a big kid party. She wasn’t invited so back and forth in front of the house she road her trike, trying to see what they were doing. She was hot and dusty and her feet kept slipping on the peddles.
Suddenly her foot slipped and her bare toe got caught between the spokes of the wheel, a sharp pain and then blood. She jumped off her trike and ran into the house in full voice. Grandma was standing in the kitchen in front of the sink.
“Oh, Roberta! what have you done?” A quick rinse under the water and a bandage. Crisis adverted. Then Grandma soothed Bobby’s tears washed her face and tucked her in bed for a nap.
When she woke up the house was quiet. She shuffled out into the Kitchen rubbing her eyes.
Her Dad was sitting and talking to Grandma. He was a handsome man with a perpetual smile and a friendly word for everyone. Tall and athletic with sandy blond hair, his face tanned from many days in the sun. She climbed up on his lap.
“Look Daddy I cut my toe.” “I wanted to go to the party.”
He gave her a hug and kissed her toe better.
“Bobby, you know that Mom is going to have another baby? I took her to the hospital today and she delivered a fine healthy little brother for you.”
This is were things got fuzzy. What did she really remember and what were just family stories. It was years later that she learned that Her Mother had almost died after the birth of her little brother. She was back in her room when she felt a rush of fluid. Her Mother told her that all the placenta had not been completely delivered. She was bleeding out.
The family rallied around and donated blood. Her Father and Uncle Reid gave her a blessing and she finally made a full recovery.
Bobby remembered her older sister told her that Grandma was so worried about Mother that Bobby’s little drama almost put her over the edge. She never got the opportunity to ask her Grandma about that time.
Funny how a little scare on a toe could bring up so many memories. Just one little incident, only a small part of something that could have changed how her whole world would have looked from that time forward.
“Roberta, will you please come and help set the table for dinner?”, her Mother called. Bobby jumped off the bed and hurried to the kitchen.