From My Left Hand To You

Tuesday night I was sitting at my desk upstairs when I heard my youngest scream downstairs in the den. Dads instinctively know the difference between a he’s-not-sharing-with-me scream, an I-merely-stubbed-my-toe-but-am-going-for-the-Oscar scream and the dreaded I-was-just-tossed-into-a-hard-piece-of-furniture-by-my-big-brother scream. What I heard was the latter variety.

Gresham (eight) had hoisted Penelope (five) in the air on the soles of his feet. She giggled there suspended and happy for a second or two and then he made her fly…into the open door of an armoire head first.

“Like Superman,” he later said.

“Except she’s not made of steel,” I later reminded him.

I did what dads do. I overreacted.

I sprinted from my desk and as I bolted through the doorway I snagged my right hand on the open door’s knob. By “snag” I mean I punched it very hard.

And immediately felt like I was gonna hurl. I sat down on the steps as Becky walked calmly past me to put ice on Penelope’s knot.


The emergency room guy said my ring and pinky fingers weren’t supposed to sit lower on my hand than the others. Huh. You sure?

X-rays confirmed it: I broke my hand longways between my ring and middle fingers.

A large man who looked like Q-Tip finished off my visit to the ER and made me cuss. But I whisper cussed because a sin you can barely hear isn’t really a sin in some denominations.

Q-Tip splinted my hand temporarily, gave me a prescription for my new best friend Mr. Lortab and sent me home for Thanksgiving.


For the last week I’ve just been sitting around twiddling my thumb while my wife and in-laws prepare for the arrival of our Savior by standing on ladders in the freezing drizzle to affix lights to the gutters of our house…because Jesus, the Light of the World, descended into the gutters of mortality and sin and freezing drizzle two thousand years ago. Or something like that.

It’s been awful for me. Just watching others work so hard like this. Sitting idly by while others haul boxes of decorations from the attic. Or assemble a tree in my den. It’s been torture. For me.

Oh, right hand! How I loathe thee, robber o’ Christmas joy!

Tomorrow (Tuesday) I finally get to see a doctor – a hand guy – and he’ll let me know if I need surgery or just a cast. Either way I’ll miss out on taking down the lights and the tree and putting those boxes back in the attic. And, either way, I won’t be making music or typing with both hands for a while.

By the way, I’m irritated at those of you who thought it was a good idea to tell me the worst I-know-a-guy-who-broke-his-hand-and-was-never-the-same-again stories via e-mail, Facebook and Twitter over the last week. Interweb friend, your spiritual gift is not affirmation. Zip it, Eor.

Of course this could just be Mr. Lortab talking through me. Love that guy.

Make a record with Shaun Groves