That Time I Learned a Hard Lesson about Coffee Tables

Justin 10 months Head Bandage

In February of 1978 the snow was knee-deep and my dad was at work with our sole source of transportation. We had just moved into a house that my parents and I still refer to as “Mitchell’s” because, you guessed it, the Mitchell’s owned it. There’s a house across the road and a couple of houses that come into sight after harvest, but that’s about it—the nearest town of any size is about 30 minutes away.

Inside the small cozy house, my mom and I were playing one of my favorite games: Mommy lies on her side on the floor while 10 month old Justin runs toward her legs and mommy moves them at the last-minute bringing Justin great joy.

After a few successful runs, my mom didn’t move her legs in time and I tripped over them. Luckily, the sharp corner of the coffee table was there to break my fall.

My mom said she could see my skull moments before blood started gushing from my forehead.

Our telephone had not yet been installed since we’d just moved there, so, my mom wrapped me in a blanket and took off through the snow across the street toward the neighbor’s house. This was going to be one interesting introduction, “Hi, I’m your new neighbor, and as you can see, I’m standing in the snow, not wearing any shoes, and my kid is bleeding all over me and himself. Could we use you’re phone?”

Well, it didn’t quite go down like that. It went down more like this…

The neighbor (we’ll call him, Jim) was outside on his tractor. He hopped down and was visibly shaken by seeing my mom and I both sobbing and covered in blood. Once inside, Jim’s wife had to help my mom dial the phone to call my dad. Jim took us to the local hospital as my dad raced to meet us there. The only thing I know about the hospital visit is that I received eight stitches.

My parents later learned that Jim and his wife had a daughter who was close to my age when she fell down the stairs and died soon afterward. This explains why Jim seemed extra shaken up by the ordeal with my mom and I.

After my run in with the coffee table, Jim and his family came to check on me several times and became friends with my parents.

Justin 10 months Head Bandage (03) Carrie

My cousin Carrie also stopped by to check on me. She’s always been cool like that.

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