Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Age 3: The Edge of the Cliff

A Fiction Story by Dr. Margaret Aranda

This is Day 3 of the October Memoir and Backstory Blog Challenge, which is something about a 3 year old.  To catch more on this, please visit  Jane Ann McLachlan.  To start reading Articles from Age 1, Please Click Here: Age 1: Sitting on the Edge


Age 3:  The Edge of the Cliff

She was three years old, and her Mum put her in the back seat of the Ford Expedition.  All tucked in, yes indeed.  Seat belt tight, pillow under the neck for when she took the inevitable nap.  It was a drive home, so the baby had a diaper change, a full stomach, and you know.  The nap was next.  They had just finished visiting Grandma with her heart attack.  Grandma lived in a city that was over the hill, and today they had taken the dog Biscuit for a visit in the Nursing Home.  All was well with the world.

It was a sunny California Tuesday afternoon, April 24, 2006 at 2:16 pm to be exact.  Pepperdine University was on the right, and the cliffs of Malibu beach were just beyond the baseball diamond that was straight ahead. The sea gulls swerved away from imaginary pockets in the sky, and

All of a sudden.  Whoosh.  Spin.  Smack.  Stopped.

Cars driving past.  Her car was facing the wrong side of the street, and traffic simply veered out of the way, passing her.  No one stopped.

She didn't cry.  She wasn't worried.  She didn't know what happened.

When her Mum opened the door, she opened it too hard, and it shut on Mum's arm.  She screeched a bit, seeming really perturbed.  She asked the baby, "Are you okay?"  The baby looked up at her Mum, wondering where her toy was, as it had fallen to the ground.  "Yes, Mum.  Can I have my toy now?" Yes, that was a three-year old for you.

After that, Mum would leave the house sometimes for a few days, sometimes for a few weeks.  The baby grew and came to know that the ambulance in the home driveway meant that Mum was being taken away again.  Again.  Something about her brain, something about well, her brain.

The baby didn't want to go to the hospital to visit her Mum.  She did, though, because it made her Mummy happy.  She missed her Mum, and no one quite brushed her hair, brushed her teeth, nor read books to her like Mum had done before.

Weeks went by, then months, then years.  Mum was in a wheelchair and she couldn't talk.  Then she had an "iv", then she baked a Thanksgiving turkey.  After that, she could walk with a walker.  And after that, after a long time, she could walk with a cane.  One day, she tripped on the cane and in her anger, she threw it in the trash can.  She never used a cane again.

So today, the baby is a girl.  She is eleven.  She watches her Mum drive, and she listens to Mum tell stories of morning glories, of ladybugs and of rhymes, of songs and of the times.

And she knows that the  edge of the cliff is just the edge.
It can be diverted.
If you stay on top, it doesn't matter that there's a cliff below.
It just doesn't matter.

The only thing that I ever really, really wanted to be was a Mother.


To Order Dr. Aranda's books, please click here:


Dr. Margaret Aranda's Books:

No More Tears en Espanol
Face Book Page: Stepping from the Edge
Little Missy Two-Shoes Likes to go to School
From Menarche to Menopause: A Journey through Time

To Order Dr. Aranda's books, please click here:


For Additional Memoirs by Dr. Margaret Aranda, Please Click Here:

Age 31: The Color Blue

Additional Articles by Dr. Margaret Aranda

Medical Disclaimer: Nothing on this website is meant to diagnose, treat, or practice medicine. You must be seen in person by a physician for appropriate and individual medical treatment. If you have an emergency, call 9-1-1 in the USA.

Link Disclaimer: We are not responsible for any links that go outside of this website.

Full Disclosure: Margaret A. Ferrante, M.D.  is an Institute Physician with Cenegenics Medical Institute.  She receives no monetary compensation for hosting this website you are on, which is independent and not affiliated with Cenegenics. The information presented is for education and awareness.  Dr. Ferrante currently sees patients out of the Cenegenics office in Beverly Hills, CA. 
To book an appointment for a free Consultation, please email her at:


  1. I love how you've created the three-year-old memory from the viewpoint of the child of the injured doctor! And I'd never heard of dystaunotomia before. Horrible that the after-effects can last so long and be so difficult to diagnose. But happy ending-ish that the mother persevered and recovered!

    1. Thank you for watching the video, Kim Van Sickler...thank you. Yes, the ending is definitely better than it could have been. More to follow!

  2. I really liked this! A 3yo's perspective. Very good!

    1. I had never thought of it this way before, so it was a good exercise for me, too. Thanks for reading it through.

  3. This is an amazing piece, Margaret. Fiction? Well done! I'll be back to follow more . . .

  4. Ahh, Gerry, but you didn't watch the video! ;-).

  5. Amazing piece, Dr. Aranda. Great perspective on both sides. Thanks for sharing this!

  6. Interesting piece -- both the writing and the video. I always think it's so helpful when doctors experience a problem and then can write about both for other patients and for other doctors.

  7. Yes, Joy, if only they would listen. That, my friend, is the challenge.

  8. First-hand experience is certainly the best way to learn something. Too bad it had to be so traumatic. Your experience should go a long way toward helping others to understand what's going on when they have such experiences. Thanks for sharing.

    1. I so much appreciate your comments, Richard. Thank you.

  9. that must have been very frightening and frustrating! Interesting to see it through the child's perspective! :)

  10. This was very interesting! I experienced months of severe dehydration & low blood pressure following surgery last year - went into ER once & the triage nurse couldn't find a blood pressure in either arm - I've never been rushed through to the ER doctor so fast before! Yours, of course, was much worse & continued longer, and must have been very frightening b/c you didn't know what it was.
    A successful challenge to write about it from your daughter's POV!


Your Comment Matters to Me! Thanks for your Time and Muaaah!

WITHDRAWAL OF OPIOIDS AND PAIN MANAGEMENT WITHOUT OPIOIDS By Dr Forest Tennant   We are pleased to share information from Dr. Forest Ten...