“Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand” – Mark Twain
|Image: All Rights Reserved,|
|New York:St. Martin’s Griffin|
Now I understood why my parents had tried to fix me before. I was six weeks old when they first noticed my birthmark. There it was one day, having surfaced out of nowhere like an unexplained bruise. The paediatrician was certain I’d outgrow it. But instead, the hemangioma continued to grow, and by the time I was a year old, my entire right eye was discoloured and twice the size of the other one. Before the age of five, I’d undergone four unsuccessful operations. All they did was leave a few tiny scars on my lid where there should have been a fold. After the last surgery, my father started buying thick medical books that he stacked on the floor of his office. He subscribed to half a dozen medical journals, searching for something that could help.
I grew up with strangers staring at me, coming to my mother in the supermarket, in line at the post office – wherever – asking what had happened to my eye. “Did she fall? Was she in an accident?” My mother would wave them off, her voice dismissive. “Yes, yes, she was in an accident.”
My father’s approach was different. Whenever someone asked about my eye, he’d come back with something like “Aw hell, you should see the other guy.” He said this was easier than going into the whole story. Besides, it always got a laugh.
Extract from the book Every Crooked Pot
By Renee Rosen
All Rights Reserved.
New York : St. Martin’s Griffin, c2007
Call No.: Y English ROS
Extract contributed by Tung Ai Jui
Available at NLB
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Do you think adopting a sportive or humorous outlook prepares you to deal with challenges you face in life?