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My parents moved into a brand-spanking new home on a quiet cul-de-sac in the village of Hensall when I was about two. It's a beautiful, open-concept home that they still live in, although they are currently in the process of down-sizing. This space is central to most of my earlier memories, and despite the fact I almost died at the hands of this house, it will always be home.
Part of the open-concept design is a large, open stairwell that runs between the main floor and the basement. It's funny how memories blur together, isn't it? I remember a time when a family friend taught me how to slide down the banister of this great staircase. And I have in my mind that's what I was trying to do when I fell, but a two-year-old couldn't remember that, could they? Or am I remembering another moment? However it happened, I somehow thought it would be a good idea to climb the banister that separated the living room from the 9-foot drop into the basement. That's right, there was a time in my life when I actually had no fear! Down I went, landing on the basement floor. From the marks across my forehead, I apparently bounced off the edges of the wooden stairs before hitting the concrete floor at the bottom. Obviously I survived. And miraculously, I walked away with nothing but a mild concussion. My parents talk of having to keep me awake through the night and all the work that comes from caring for a concussed person. The rest of my family teases that knowing this happened to me explains so much! They're funny, aren't they?