Legend says I was born on the 24th of July on the hottest day of the year. According to the stories of my father, Arthur J. Knight, it took my mother at least 48 hours to persuade me to come out. At 8:10 that evening I took my first breath at the Brome–Missisquoi Hospital with blue green cat eyes, blonde hair, and a streak of klutziness that has followed me for my whole life.
At age 6 I didn’t see a car coming and got hit by a “drive-by car trunk” on Albert Street in Cowansville. Arthur Knight’s stories say that I flew up higher than neighbour Buster Goyette’s roof, and the last thing I remembered was my mother screaming in the doorway.
At age 7 I put a Quebec license plate on the back of my tricycle and fell over on a crack on the Albert Street sidewalk. When I returned home I noticed I could see the bone of my inner thig that the license plate corner had caused. No stitches were needed and Dr. Roy told everyone I was going to be okay.
Skateboards became the rage and I owned a wooden tin wheel number in Grade 8. I have ‘great concern” over heights, yet I went up and down that Oliver Street hill with the best of them. I had no idea that Russell Rychard and Randall Sargeant were hiding in the bushes that day. No idea at all. If I had, I would have picked up my board and gone home. Half way down that hill they jumped out of the side bushes screaming at the top of their lungs. Needless to say I fell off, rolled down the rest of that hill, and took off half of my knee cap. Dr. Roy once again came to the house and said I was going to be okay. At this point I don’t think he evn knew what else to say anymore.
Years have passed and every second day seems to be filled with stubbed toes, bruised elbows and paper cuts. I have slipped down the back staircase similar to a water ride. I tried to tape a 50 pound box up on a broken wooden TV table and it fell and broke my toe. I laughed when I saw a 100 foot wall of fabric in my old sewing factory tilt and 40 minutes later I was buried under it with a metal pipe crushing my back.
Years ago I did the splits in my old store without warming up and heard the “pop” that broke windows around the world and I could barely walk for days. I live with no cartilage and little bumps that move all over my knees. If something is 50 miles away I seem to find it and hurt myself. No longer is Dr. Roy around to say I am going to be okay– and maybe he would have given up by this point.
Even my dearest old German Shepherd kind of hated to hang around with me, but he loved the car rides. He enjoyed riding shotgun in the front seat and one day driving down an icy road I did a 360 and we ended up sitting backwards in a snowbank in the ditch on the opposite side of the road.
As we sat there waiting for help, he was still strapped in with a seat belt and the engine exhaust was coming out the tailpipe in the snow bank full speed. So, we both sat in the cold and “dog laughed” until the OPP (Ontario Provincial Police) showed up. Rolling down the window the constable scratched his head and said,
“Mam, I have been on the force for over twenty years and I have never seen a car in this position in a snow bank before”
I looked at him and said,
“You are lucky I wasn’t walking, it could have been a lot worse!”