One day in September of 2009, a couple months after Roger died, Sammy, who was eleven at the time, came to me in the kitchen of our Shamrock house and said he stepped on a pencil.
“You’ll be fine,” I said. (It’s my go-to line.)
“It’s bleeding,” Sammy said. He wasn’t crying and remained calm which slowed my rush.
I looked at his right foot and noticed blood dripping out of a pencil-sized hole in between his big toe and second toe. I cleaned the hole and it would fill right back up with blood again, making the perfect, tiny crimson circle. I looked underneath his foot and saw that the hole went all the way through, and blood was dripping onto the floor.
“It was stuck in my sock, so I pulled it out and took off my sock. That’s when it started bleeding.”
“Does it hurt?” I asked him. He was being so calm.
“Not at all,” he said.
Apparently, he and Max were chasing each other around in their room and he stepped on a very sharp pencil. It pierced the area between his toes.
Today I asked Max about that day, and he, who was eight at the time, recalled the event and said, “At first we thought it just went through the sock, so he pulled it out and took off his sock. He didn’t seem like he was in pain. I was terrified that it was serious.”
I wrapped the injury, grabbed my purse and keys, and told Tyler he was in charge of Max and Baylee. We got into the van and left for Onslow Memorial in Jacksonville. We pulled up to the parking lot and I remember it being dark and warm.
Sammy was triaged quickly and a cringing, yet kind nurse, put us in a room. He fell asleep and six hours went by with no doctor or nurse. By then the injury began closing up, so they couldn’t clean it properly or stitch it.
They told us to go home and see the doctor the next day. We did, and he prescribed antibiotics for Sammy and for him to stay off his foot when he could.
One never thinks a pencil could cause such an injury. Needless to say, we don’t leave pencils on the floor anymore.