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firecrackers and first aid

August 16, 2010

My thirteen-year-old cousin, Emily and I walked out of church and were greeted by the priest.  He shook our hands and wished us a good day.  I noticed Emily rubbing her hand as we walked toward the car. 

“You ok?” I asked.

“Yeah, but he squeezed my hand really hard!”

 “Oh no, Emily!” I gasped.  “Are you going to survive?  Are your fingers broken?  Is your hand going to fall off?” 

“No, but my pinky might!” Emily responded to my dramatic inquiry with her usual dry wit.  I put a supportive arm over her shoulders. 

“Well let me know if it does, cause I can save your finger.  I’m trained in first aid, so I know exactly what to do if your finger falls off.  And even though I’m not the greatest seamstress, I do know how to sew and I could always sew it back on.”  Emily graciously (and wisely) turned down my offer. 

A few of us had stayed the night with Emily’s family after the reunion so we wouldn’t have to drive all the way home after a long day.  And that meant we had to take three cars to Mass!  Emily rode in my car just in case I forgot my way or lost the lead caravan car. 

We were almost half way to the house when I noticed a pain on my knee.  That’s odd, I thought to myself.  My hand automatically dropped to my knee.  I located the injured area and tried to remember if I had knelt weird at Mass, but the pain wasn’t in a place that would be affected by kneeling.  I glanced down and saw a large red circle on my knee.  Hmm.. Is that a bruise?  Did I run into anything yesterday? I couldn’t think of anything.  “That’s weird,” I said under my breath.

“Huh?  What’s weird?” Rosario asked absently.

“My knee hurts.  I can’t remember running into anything…” I glanced at my knee again.  “It’s swollen.  Blast it!  It’s a spider bite!” 

“Are you sure?” 

Oh, I’m sure!”  I said, finally recognizing the irritating sting.  The tender area was about the size of a silver dollar.  All insect bites, small though they be, turn into large, swollen welts for the first day or two.  And spider bites are the worst!  “I hope the swelling goes down and the infection doesn’t spread!” I moaned.

I glanced at Emily in the rearview mirror.  “Emily?!” I cried.  I was going to ask her if she would save my life if I needed it since I offered to save her finger earlier. 

Before I could get the words out, she piped up, “Don’t look at me for help!  You’re the one who knows first aid!”

“Touché!” I said once I caught my breath from laughing.  That Emily is quite the firecracker and I love that about her!  We have a special bond, ever since that one reunion when Emily… well… let’s just say she had my back that year…  I didn’t mind that Emily didn’t offer to save my life.  She didn’t need to, not when she has such sharp wit! 

Needless to say, Emily and I survived our maladies.  No life-saving first aid was required.  But if it had been required… I am trained in first aid…

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