Broken Bones


It´s a quarter passed five in the morning. Been upstairs comforting my fouryearold daughter. She fell from the bed whilst playing last night. Seems her collarbone is fractured. Going to see the the morning.

She is ever so brave about it. I have explained to her that her skeleton is like a twig that has been broken. That it only hurts when she moves her shoulder. That it hurts a lot, and the body will fix it but it will take some time. I asked her if she now understands why I always tell them to calm down when they play rough games on the bed. She nodded. Message received.

I normally tell them to ease up, her and baby bro, when I hear them play like that. But last night I was busy, watching their big sister show me her new dance routine. I thought they would be allright, as always. Then the scream. Shudders down my spine.

It´s two AM two nights later as I write this line. We went to the dr. yesterday, who sent us to x ray in the hospital. Sure enough, her collarbone is broken. She got a sling, or what it´s called in English. A band across her back, supporting her arm, easing the pressure on her shoulder. She gets painkillers four times daily (including nightly). Poor little mite. Today she told grandma on the phone “It´s gonna be okay…” Sweetest thing.

I remember last time I was involved in someone´s bone breaking. I was 14, and my little sister was 2. I put her on the back of my bicycle, and told her it was very important she kept her legs away from the wheel. Famous last words. Of course she couldn´t understand. Her little leg was broken, she cried all night and next morning her leg was plastered. I will never forget the sight of her sitting on the kitchen table, with her tiny, thick, white plaster leg.
I can´t remember feeling guilty, though. Maybe I´ve just repressed it. Our mother was always good at explaining how things could happen accidentally. Knowing her, she probably helped me un-blame myself.

One last thing in my life about broken bones, is an occasion where I didn´t break any, but statistics would say that I should have done.
We were on easter holiday, in the snowy Norwegian mountains, renting a cottage. I was 10 or 12, and had made friends with one of the local boys, who was a dj at the kids´ disco in the afternoons.
One day him and his mate showed me how they used to cross the river. Underneath the car bridge, there was a concrete beam all the way across. Connected to the bridge with iron poles, maybe 2 metres apart. The river was about 25 metres wide. “You don´t dare to do this!” They said, and started walking on the beam. Now, those words have the same effect on me as a red flag on a bull. When they said that, then I just HAD to do it. To prove them wrong. So I walked after them. Holding on to a pole, then letting go to take a step before I could grab the next pole. The water was rushing beneath my feet, five six metres below. Bit rocks sticking up, the river foaming around them. Soon we reached the other shore, and I was happy and relieved. But the boys just turned around and started walking back across the beam. I had not thought about the return.
I started walking, letting go of the pole, taking a step, grabbing the next one. Suddenly I thought “If I fall now, I will hit my head on a rock and drown.” I froze. But the only way out of there was to keep walking. Pole by pole. Let go, walk, grab on to. One more time. One more time.

I felt very happy and proud when we reached the starting point of the river crossing. It took me many years to think of it as something wreckless, risky and foolish.

I guess one can also view it as an act of the fool in a tarot deck. Walking into the unknown fully trusting everything will be okay. Fearless.

When I get the chance, I will talk to my children about pride. Explain to them that everyone needs rites de passage; to show their peers acts of courage, proving one´s beloninging with the strong ones. But that need must not get stronger than the need to be care-full, being one´s own best friend, resting in the knowledge that no matter what I do or don´t do, I know I am a brave and strong person. Some times the bravest thing to do is to stand alone, resisting a challenge.

I have never had any bone in my body broken. Not yet.
But I have been through breaking relationships.
I have felt heartbroken. And experienced a few broken inner barriers.
A lot of emotional pain. Spending time in sorrow, whilst waiting for the wounds to heal.
Once something broken mends, it makes you a bigger person. Richer somehow. Your depth deepens, your height heightens, to try to draw a picture of increased consciousness. This doesn´t necessarily mean what happened was a good thing, though.
No one ever said life would be good. Or easy, or fair.
At age 23, I was so filled with despair, I didn´t want to continue living. That inner breaking apart, almost cost me my life.
Not every wound can heal.
In some cases, you must learn to live with the loss.
So help us God.
Or whatever you choose to call the higher power. Or not to.
Every person is free to choose its own truth. What to believe and not to believe. Beautiful freedom that each of us has got.
Life is a mystery.
Of this, at least, we can agree and be sure.

I guess I should go back to bed now. So I´m “fresh” when my daughter wakes up again in a couple of hours, crying, in need of more painkillers. Feels terrible giving her medicine. But what else can I do than relieve her pain so she can sleep.
Sleep is the best medicine, so they say.
And with those final words, I say good night.



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