Take care of your body; it’s the only one you get

Here is an excerpt from Chapter 6 of my upcoming publication, Letters to My Hypothetical Children. This book is organized in two different ways. The first is that the chapters roughly align with the eight dimensions of wellness: environmental (Chapter 1), intellectual (Chapter 2), occupational (Chapter 3), financial (Chapter 4), spiritual (Chapter 5), physical (Chapter 6), social (Chapter 7), and emotional (Chapter 8). I tried to group the stories in themes, and these were the themes that made the most sense to me. That’s why there are eight chapters. Because it’s organized in themes, there will be some minor repetition of stories from different perspectives (I’ll try to keep it to a minimum).

The second structure is within each chapter: life lessons, parenting perspectives, and stories. The life lessons are designed for teenagers and my daughters (Maya and Cami), the parenting perspectives are for parents and reminders for myself, and the stories are in between. But really, anyone can read some or all of these in any order; it’s like three books in one! Enjoy!

“Parenting Perspective: If you’re not sure, just go to the hospital

To catch the bus in the morning, my sister and I and a few other kids that lived on our dead-end road had to walk down to the stop sign. It was winter and it was snowing, and the plough hadn’t cleared our road yet, so my sister and I were walking in the grooves left by the car tires. She yelled ‘car!’ and I immediately started toward the side of the road that I thought was closest. Did I mention it was snowing? So that meant visibility was poor for both me and for cars. Unfortunately, I was closer to the left side and started heading to the right and was hit by a Chevette. It caught me in the right hip and sent me airborne over the top of the car which skidded into the ditch. My sister ran over to see if I was okay. Soon to be a paramedic in training, she was checking to make sure I could wiggle my fingers and toes. My biggest concern was an oral French exam that I had that day. Everything seemed to be in working order, so when I heard the bus coming, we all ran to get to school.

My mom called me at school during my first period class—my neighbour, who had hit me, had walked to my house to tell my mom and they called the police. When everyone arrived, they started looking in snowbanks for me since they couldn’t find anyone around. Over the phone, my mom asked me if I wanted to press charges and since it was my neighbour and technically my mistake, I said ‘no’. After school, my mom and dad asked me if I wanted to go to the hospital, but clearly nothing was broken and there wasn’t even a bruise. I was more embarrassed than anything else. Now my right leg is shorter than the other and I will probably end up with arthritis in my hip. I may have still developed arthritis even if I had treatment, but it probably would have been a good idea to see a doctor.”

Though this excerpt is from a Parenting Perspective, it’s really a life lesson too. If you get into a physical altercation with a Chevette, just go to the hospital.

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