Editor’s Corner: Holding Onto Hope and Each Other

By: Kim Hasty

The good doctor took a look at my bruised and puffy foot. “Let’s get an X-ray,” he said. “But either way, the treatment will probably be the same.”

Two days earlier, I’d had an unfortunate encounter involving a large Rubbermaid container, the stairs in our house and my offhand decision to wear only socks rather than shoes with solid soles when it came time to haul the Christmas decorations from the storage area upstairs.

I slipped on the way down, and the container went flying. Having been holding the big box in my arms rather than sensibly gripping the banister, I went flying as well.

My toe took one for the team, getting caught in one of the spindles of the banister and breaking my fall. It could have been much worse.

I suppose it was a somewhat fitting ending, albeit a painful, inconvenient and unnecessary one, to a year that had been more collectively challenging than any other.

And even when the X-ray indeed revealed a fracture of the fourth toe on my right foot, a broken toe seemed like small potatoes given what we’ve all been through.

Over the years, I’d heard that not much can be done for a broken toe, and this turned out to be true. Unlike other body parts that can accommodate casts or slings when accidents happen, the best you can do for a broken toe is to tape it to the toe beside it for support. They call this “buddy taping.”

So as the new year dawned, and my toe was on the mend, I came to very much appreciate the concept of buddy taping. For one thing, it seemed to work rather well. For another thing, it has occurred to me that a similar concept has gotten me through, not just recent months, but every single one of life’s trials and tribulations.

I can certainly remember times when it was a darn good thing that I had someone solid and unbroken themselves on whom I could lean. Just the right text, call, visit, homemade meal or encouraging word has actually worked wonders at times when life has left me a little shaky on my own. Buddy taping. That’s me when the going gets tough.

Excuse me, do you mind if I lean on you for a bit?

In the unprecedented year that has just passed, it is true that many of us have had to kind of rely on first-aid in the form of each other to get us through. And now here comes 2021, heralded, in fact, by a rare astronomical occurrence. We stand here in the hope of a new year that promises to be less of a runaway Rubbermaid container and more of a bright and hopeful dawning. A new year is always a reason for optimism, but this one in particular has us looking forward to concerts, parties, hugs, oyster roasts, beach gatherings, gym workouts. You help me pick up my weights, and I’ll help you pick up yours.

I do have a bit of helpful advice as we head into the new year: it’s always a good idea to get a good grip as you proceed.

After all, you never know when something slippery might threaten to knock you off your feet.

In the unprecedented year that has just passed, it is true that many of us have had to kind of rely on firstaid in the form of each other to get us through.