When I was seven or so, my mother broke one of her legs.
It was a dark, cold, and icy winter night. My dad was at work, and we were out of toilet paper. We didn’t have a car, so Mom decided to walk up to Payment’s Store on the corner of Ashmun and Newton. It was only a few blocks away. In those days, there were mom and pop stores all over town before the larger grocery stores came into popularity.
As she trudged along through the snow, Mom slipped and fell. She was pretty sure her leg had snapped, and she couldn’t walk. She lay on the ice for what seemed like forever. Finally a taxi came along, and my mother flagged it down. The taxi driver took her down to the hospital where they confirmed that she had indeed broken her leg. I don’t remember how long she was in the hospital for it. Back then people weren’t treated and packed off to be sent home again. I remember she was still in the cast when spring came. I have a photo somewhere of her standing in the back yard holding her crutch with the cast above her knee.
It must have been so difficult for her to get around on crutches with three kids in the house.