Earlier today, I read about a friend of mine who took a fall. She’s a little banged up and a lot embarrassed. It reminded her about a time that I took a fall. I’ve actually posted this before. It’s one of my Christmas stories. Although I have lost most of my old writing, due to technology failing me this year, I was able to piece this together.
Christmas of 1994 the kids went to their dad’s house on December 23rd and he was to return them by 10 AM on Christmas Day. That year was a particularly bad one, financially, so there was very little money to spend on Christmas gifts. All three of the kids wanted a computer and I had found a man, through the Penny Saver, that would build one for me and not charge an arm and a leg and he would build it to the specifications needed by/for the kids. He took a payment to get the parts and then the rest when he delivered it on Christmas Eve. I had checked with him and everything was on schedule. I was glad because although this was a gift for all three of them, it was primarily for Tony, the oldest who needed it for school. I had managed to get a couple of computer games at discount that I would give him for Christmas.
Tina wanted a bird. I had found her a bird cage at a yard sale about a month before Christmas and I had it stashed in the garage. I just had to get the bird. I planned on getting it at the local swap meet on Christmas Eve while the kids were at their dad’s.
Everything was on target that Christmas Eve. I got up early and was at the swap meet when they opened at 7 in the morning. I knew exactly where the pet stand was and I got there in time to get a beautiful lavender colored parakeet! It was the most beautiful bird I had ever seen. I was so happy to have gotten it and it was only $4! On my way out to the car I stopped and picked up a couple of small things the kids could use and got them at bargain prices as the vendors wanted to unload them quickly so they could go home. I made my way home and set up the cage and put the parakeet into it.
Just as I finished with the birdie, the phone rang. It was bad news. The man that was building the computer for me was calling to say that the fan he had ordered for the computer did not work and he’d have to wait til the 26th to get another. The kids would not have their computer on Christmas. I was bummed but I figured I would make the best of it and was glad Ihad managed to get a deal on the bird and the few things I had picked up at the swap meet.
I went to the grocery store to get what I needed for Christmas dinner and to see if I could pick up some stocking stuffers for the kids. I was in the store for a long time and when I came out, it was raining. I pushed the cart full of groceries toward the car and as I got within 15 feet of the car, I slipped in a puddle. I fall flat on my back in the middle of the parking lot, in the rain, with all my groceries scattered around me. I couldn’t get up and cars went around me. It took about seven or eight cars going around me before a man came running over to me and helped me get up and got me to the car. Then he picked up my groceries and got them in my car. He actually offered to drive me home but I thanked him and said I could make it on my own. I was too embarrassed to have him fuss over me or drive me home. I had prior back and knee injuries so this was not good. It took about a half hour of sitting in the car crying before I felt I could drive home. By then the soreness was setting in and I knew I had to get home before the pain got so bad that I would not be able to drive myself home. I had no one to call to come get me so if I couldn’t drive home, I would be stuck in the grocery store parking lot.
Once home I put the perishables away and took a pain pill and went to bed. I slept for a very short time and wakened when I heard a loud crash! I ran to see what it was and got to the living room in time to see my daughter’s cat running past me with the bird in his mouth! He had somehow gotten out of the bedroom where he had been stashed til he could be introduced to the bird. The loud crash was the cat, Noisemaker, knocking down the cage. I chased the cat all over the house until he let go of the bird. It was clear that the bird’s neck had been broken. Filled with anger and frustration, I threw a shoe at the cat and sat and cried again, holding the dead bird in my hands.
I ended up going to bed and crying myself to sleep after taking care of the bird mess in the living room. I didn’t even eat lunch or dinner. I just slept.
When the kids got to the house the next morning, I answered the door with tears in my eyes and the only thing I could say to Tina was “Your stupid animal killed your Christmas present!”
The kids kind of rolled with the punches that day and enjoyed themselves and the gifts they had. The day was fine and on the 26th, their computer was delivered and we went back to the swap meet and had my daughter pick out another bird. They also had some Christmas money sent by relatives so they enjoyed the after Christmas bargains at the swap meet.
I still remember that and get all teary. The bird-killing cat is long gone. The kids are grown and gone off on their own. Bad years come and go. In the end, as long as we’re together, we’re okay.
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