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Sharing life's bruises with friends
Dick Yarbrough
Dick Yarbrough - photo by File photo

She is not going to be pleased that I have told you this, but we are all family here, even if some of you consider me the illegitimate stepson of the weird cousin who talks with his mouth full.

So you might as well hear it from me that the Woman Who Shares My Name has fallen — again — and broken her leg — again — and I am left to wonder — again — if we are the featured characters in a new book of the Bible, tentatively titled Job Redux.

It has been only 4½ months since my bride slipped while getting out of the shower on a cold, rainy November Sunday night, precipitating 911 calls, EMT visits, a trip to the emergency room, surgery and an extended stay in both the hospital and rehabilitation center.

This time, it was a bright, clear Monday morning, and she tripped on the one step that separates one half of our house from the other. It wasn’t anywhere as dramatic as the incident last fall, but hard enough to rebreak a bone under repair that wasn’t quite ready for the jolt. Ergo, another visit to the emergency room ("Hi! Remember us? We are the Yarbroughs. So, what’s been going on with you guys since we last saw you?") and more surgery.

As of this writing, we aren’t sure of how much rehab time is going to be needed but, hopefully, not as much as last time. As her surgeon, a brighter-than-a-penny young man named Anil Thomas, reminded her, "You’ve done this before." Indeed, she has. With two broken legs in less time than the gestation period of a goat, we should have the drill down pretty pat by now.

The hardest part is keeping it all in perspective. It doesn’t take much for me to throw a big pity party and wonder "why me?" Well, why not? Nobody ever said life was fair.

If anything, you begin to assess what is important at times like this and what is not. You will discover that you have much more for which to be thankful than you are sometimes willing to admit. In spite of all that has happened, we are blessed that what we are dealing with at the moment can be repaired. It is painful, but it is not life-threatening.

We have enough money to pay our bills and not go hungry. We have a roof over our heads. We have sufficient insurance to cover mini-disasters like this one and the one before. I am thankful for one and all of the above, but our real blessings begin with family.

Our son and daughter, aka Bossy Boy and Bossy Girl, strike a marvelous balance between telling us what to do and yet, somehow, well — telling us what to do. I marvel at just how wise these two urchins have become over the years, and I am watching the role reversal that is playing out between parent and child. I never saw it coming, but I am glad it is here.

And then there are friends and neighbors. We are surrounded by people who genuinely care for us, who hurt when we hurt and who pick us up when we are down. They call us. They send us cards and emails. Not once, but over and over. It is humbling and gratifying.

And that brings me to you. I would daresay that few columnists and readers develop a rapport as you and I have done over the past couple of decades. That doesn’t mean that we won’t disagree from time to time. You will on occasion start a note with, "I don’t always agree with you, but …" I will generally respond with, "Neither does the Woman Who Shares My Name.")

You have grieved with me over the loss of our beloved grandson, Zack. You have sent my yearly letter to my other grandsons — and now great-grandson Cameron Charles Yarbrough — to your own children and grandchildren or saved them for future generations to come. You have rolled your eyes at my broccoli battles and chided me for being too liberal or too conservative.

As I said earlier, once the Woman Who Shares My Name arouses from her zonked-out state and discovers I have told you about her latest bumps and bruises, she isn’t going to be a happy camper, but I had to share it with somebody. Why not my friends? That is where you come in. You are more than my readers. You are my friends.

Contact Yarbrough at yarb2400@bell; at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, GA 31139; and online at or

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