The tiny wizened jockey would be so disappointed. He had said, “You’re not hurt.” as he lifted my six year-old self back into the saddle. “You rolled. You will never get hurt when you fall. You will always roll.”  And over all these years that’s just what I did.  I rolled. On the way down I always thought of his words and I rolled. And as I rolled I always said to myself, “You’re not hurt.”  I fell often. Bad habit.


This time, at the age of seventy-five, I didn’t roll. I hit hard.  I felt the side of my face smack against the concrete and bounce, and smack again. I thought he’d be so disappointed, that ancient little jockey.


I didn’t roll and I was hurt. But I did know exactly what to do and what not to do once injured. I didn’t let the shocked and caring people pick me up. I sent them to fetch me bags of frozen corn or peas to ice my face and elbow. I sent them to bring me Advil and a big glass of water.  Then, when I could tell nothing was broken, I had them place two chairs so I could pull myself up.


Thanks to their sweet ministrations and careful clock-watching, we iced twenty minutes alternating on and off for a couple of hours. I alternated Advil with Tylenol every three hours. We changed bandages till the blood stopped seeping through. And it worked splendidly. I was ready to give my presentation for Montessori Institute of Texas four hours after the fall with no blood showing through two small bandages. The following morning I presented at the training center without a bandage. The cut had closed itself nicely and the blackening eye wasn’t that noticeable through my glasses.


Sorry I failed the jockey. Glad we did my First Aid instructors proud!  Grateful to Don and Mary Caroline for their loving care. Sorry for giving them such a shock!