Playing Ball and Scars

As I’ve said, Dad worked a lot. The number of nights he would not get home until way late in the night are uncountable. He told me, not long before he passed, that it was his one regret in his life. He wished with all his heart he’d had more time with his kids.

One night when I was probably eight years old, so Bobbi was five or six, she and I were playing out in the backyard. It was dark but this is the seventies and it was summer so that’s the way life was. Dad came out having gotten home late and was heading to his workshop to build something. Bobbi and I had one of those giant rubber balls we were playing with. He took it and started kicking it up in the air for us to catch.

We played for what felt like hours. At one point I fell down and knew I’d hurt myself bad. I tried to hide it but Bobbi picked up on it. I made the excuse I had to go to the bathroom so I could go and see how bad it was as it was too dark to see.

Bobbi followed me in the house. When I got into the light my knee was covered with blood. I’d laid open the knee cap with a deep, nasty cut that was filled with dirt and gravel. Bobbi went to work cleaning it up fast. She poured every liquid we had in the medicine cabinet on it. We had to hurry because we knew soon Dad would be tired and our time to play with him would be over.

We got done and ran back outside. We continued playing with Dad, never telling him what had happened. Bobbi and I still look back on this memory of Dad and laugh about it over the years. Oh, and I still have a scar from this to this day.

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