The first time I fell down, no one could have been more surprised than me. One moment I walked in my neighborhood and the next instant I lay flat on my face on the sidewalk. I didn't seem hurt, so I got up and went home.
The second time echoed the first, only I noticed that I tripped on a crack in the sidewalk.
The third time I tripped on a crack as I walked to some Lincoln, Nebraska, event. I crashed face first to the cement, but got up and carried on. A friend with me observed, "Marilyn, you really ought to get a cane." So I visited Kubat's Pharmacy and chose a simple style: black to match my shoes and my belt.
The fourth time I fell as I walked in my garage. I held my cane in my right hand so I couldn't fall on my face. Instead, I fell on my left side, into a display of snow shovels. I fell hard. This time it hurt. I got up, all right, but I lived for a week with a magnificent bruise on my left thigh.
The fifth time I fell, I missed one step as I stepped down two indoor steps in a church. My cane lay in my car. I managed the first step down but when two friends moved forward to talk to me, I looked at them and forgot to look at my feet. One foot stepped completely over the second step into pure air. I pirouetted and slammed to the floor on my back. My head cracked louder than thunder.
What to do. I didn't feel hurt, so I rolled over and pulled myself to my feet. The teacher brought me ice and a towel. I sat out most of the exercise class. By then I noticed a swelling as large as an egg on the back of my head, but I didn't feel dizzy and I had no head ache so I drove home. There I treated my disaster with more ice packs and with a huge bowl of ice cream.
I don't experience myself an expert in falling, since I've never fallen on my right side, but I'm getting ready. I use my cane everywhere I go, and I hold it with my left hand to prepare myself for that right-side descent. When it happens, then I can brag that I've mastered the four forms of falling: front, back, left and right sides.