Lucky ~ Week 11

Do you have an ancestor who was lucky at something? Lucky to be alive? Lucky at cards? Lucky in love? Maybe you have an ancestor with a name that reminds you of luck or fortune. There’s always “luck of the Irish.” Maybe you have a story of how luck played a role in finding an ancestor.

Another one that stumps me…

I am the one who is lucky. Lucky to be alive. I look through all the family trees and see children who died at a very early age. It could have been me.

One Sunday in May 1965, I complained of feeling unwell but my Uncle Louis and Aunt Evelyn were visiting so my whining was shushed and we visited with them. The next day, I complained more and was taken to the doctor. He sent us immediately to the hospital where I was scheduled for surgery early the next morning. I remember smelling the ether and being asked to count backwards. Dr DeGrandpre did a great job removing the ruptured appendix. I have a very long jagged scar on my stomach and an indentation where there had been a drain hose to rid my body of the awful green poison. I spent three weeks in the hospital and learned to hate apple juice and love my nurses. The nurses taught me to make hospital corners when making the bed. I had tons of coloring books. I remember Deputy Dawg especially. I had a visit from a minister who asked me if I knew how close to dying I had been. That still throws me. I think I still have the get well card sent to me my Mrs Chilton and the children in my fourth grade classroom. When I returned to school later in May, it was the day for state tests. Pretty sure I aced those! Early in June, I went for a weekend to Lake Clear to the Girl Scout camp. We stayed in lean-tos. I remember hiking and being told I needed to take it easy. But eventually, I was allowed to lead the group along the trail.

Move ahead to August 1970. My sister and I were goofing off after breakfast/early lunch. We were putting off having to go to the barn and clean the milk house. Our four-month old nephew was asleep on the bed. I had a birthday party to go to later that afternoon. Cleaning the milk house was never fun and we definitely were procrastinating. Suddenly, there was an incredible loud noise and everyone was looking around like crazy trying to figure out what had happened. The barn was rocked off its foundation. It was eventually shown that the hot water heater had been defective and had exploded. It was found on the other side of the road, a matter of maybe 200 feet (see first comment below for correction to this). So our procrastination saved our lives. Scott slept through the whole thing but when someone peeked into the bedroom to check on him, the squeak of the door woke him up.

This is what the barn currently looks like, 48 years after the events described. The line shows approximately where the water heater tank was found.

And, not least of my luck, in 2013 my husband started a new job which meant we had new health insurance which led to us needing to change doctors. The new doctor I saw wanted to know what the lump on my neck was and had an ultrasound done followed by a fine needle aspiration which led to a diagnosis of thyroid cancer. My previous doctors had done an ultrasound (I’m not sure what year) and then tested thyroid function annually which always came out normal. I had one functioning thyroid lobe which worked. In July 2014, I had my thyroid completely removed, did a course of radioactive iodine treatment and learned to live with daily thyroid replacement medication.



2 thoughts on “Lucky ~ Week 11

  1. from my brother: Dan Barcomb As I’m reading this there is one mistake, the hot water tank was on top of the hill near the stone wall approximately “250 yards” from the barn! I was the one who found it.


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