My aunt, Jeanette Byer is one tough lady. She has lived in the country for most of her life, and she is no stranger to hard work. In fact, I’m sure that is what has kept her young all these years. Aunt Jeanette is one lady who simply doesn’t know the word quit. She broke her leg one time, and she insisted that she could still do what she needed to do. So, with a crutch under one arm, and a weed-eater in the other hand, she proceeded to cut the weeds long the fence on their property. Aunt Jeanette simply would not let a little thing like a broken leg slow her down. She says, that she was raised in the country, and out there, you just do whatever you have to do…hard work and all. It was how you made a go of things in the country.
Aunt Jeanette’s sister-in-law, my aunt, Sandy Pattan told me something about Aunt Jeanette that is probably one of the nicest things I’ve ever heard said about a person. She said that Aunt Jeanette never had an unkind word to say about anybody. I was somewhat stunned about that. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe that about Aunt Jeanette, because I had no reason to doubt it. It was stunned because…seriously, how many people can honestly have that said about them, and yet there were several other people who said the same thing about Aunt Jeanette. She simply didn’t gossip, or say a harsh word about anyone. What an amazing tribute that is! I’ve thought about that statement since I first heard it.
What kind of person literally never says an unkind word about anyone? This must be a very forgiving person. I have known Aunt Jeanette all my life. She is a very sweet person, and I have always loved her very much. I can’t think of a time that I ever heard her say an unkind word about anyone. She has always been a fun person, and my husband, Bob and I have always enjoyed talking to her, and to her husband, my Uncle Larry, before his passing. Aunt Jeanette and Uncle Larry were always busy doing things. In fact, the place we often saw them was at Home Depot or Menard’s. They were always fixing something up. I think that is why Aunt Jeanette just never really aged. She stayed busy. Way to go Aunt Jeanette. Today is Aunt Jeanette’s birthday. Happy birthday Aunt Jeanette!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
Throughout my childhood years, I can say that I never broke a single bone. In fact, to this day, I can’t be sure that I have, but if I did, it was the second toe on my right foot. Since that was never confirmed, I really can’t make that statement with any degree of certainty. What I do know is that I have very strong bones, and when I was a child, I don’t think I thought that was a good thing. Of course, now I know that it is, but back then I wanted to be like some of my friends who had a broken arm, leg, or finger…I just never was.
Apparently, I was obsessed with the whole idea of a broken leg, because at one point I asked my dad to make me a pair of crutches. My mom thought the whole idea was crazy, and she was very surprised when my dad made me those crutches, but Dad saw no harm in it. He carved a set of crutches out of two single pieces of wood. There was no cushion on the top, and believe me, I can tell you that crutches really need them, but a wash cloth sufficed, and I was set. I loved those crutches, and used them for several years.
Thankfully, I never needed those crutches, but it was cool of my dad to take the imagination of his little girl to heart, and give me the desires of my heart…even if they were silly, and something I would look back on later, and laugh about. Mom told me that she couldn’t believe that Dad actually made them, because like most toys she figured it would be a passing phase and in a week or two they would end up in a woodpile or under the bed, but she was wrong on that one. I played with them a lot, for at least a couple of years.
Looking back I can’t imagine what the draw was for me, except the imagination of a young mind…a little girl who saw some of her friends wearing a cast and using crutches or a sling. I had one other passing phase in the broken bone arena before it was all said and done…the broken finger phase. That phase was when I took a wooden clothes pin and removed the hinge, and wrapped half of it with white medical tape around it and my finger, so it would look like a splint. I even wore that one to school one day…obviously I didn’t think that one through. My teacher saw it and started to be so compassionate, when she stopped by my desk during study time to ask what had happened. Well, I liked this teacher too much to lie to her, so I told her it was fake. She laughed out loud, right there in class, and told me that it had been a great prank, so I wasn’t even embarrassed about getting caught. She was able to laugh and still let me save face.
Like all childish phases, my imaginary injury phase went the way of the wind. After a time you just realize how silly some things are. Having a real broken bone would have most likely been a real annoyance to me, especially since I loved gymnastics. I can’t imagine a bigger annoyance to a gymnast that a broken bone that sidelines you for the season. Still, even though there is no picture that I know of, I will always cherish the memory of a dad who gave in to the whims of his daughter, and made her a pair of handmade wooden crutches, so she could pretend to have a broken leg.