I later learned that someone on Facebook asked him to share the story of his smashed finger. He wrote, for all the world to read and believe:
Tricia smashed my finger on purpose
when she stepped on it with her foot
which she had tied a hammer to.
Okay, so not quite. I'm here to restore truth to the world and my standing as a sister and human being. Here's what happened...
We were at a big-party-family-reunion of some kind at a public park in Ohio. The party was happening in a rustic lodge, and I suspect it was with a lot of people we didn't know or like or enjoy tremendously... because we resolved to inventing games of our own.
The restrooms in the lodge had two entrances: one from the inside, and one from the outside. We began racing each other. We started outside, and we raced as fast as we could through our repsective restrooms, opening those monstrous, heavy wooden doors, rushing to be the first one inside.
It was very entertaining, competitive, and highly successful. For a while.
But then I won, by a longshot. Long enough to look around, catch my breath, and determine that Rob was nowhere to be found. Sweet. I won.
Except then I heard him. Screaming.
(This part strikes fear in my heart as a mother.)
In the split second when I knew I needed to find help, my dad heard him screaming too. Ever the hero, he bolted into the restroom in no more than three strides, and he carried my brother out with him. My dad looked panicked, Rob was wailing, and his hand was purple. And flat.
Those monstrous, heavy doors... not so friendly to little fingers. The party stopped. Everyone focused on whether these fingers could be saved.
My mom called the pediatrician (in the days before cell phones), and he told her in a calm, eased voice (much like my Dr. H), "He will be fine. I assure you."
She could not be assured. Frantically, she described the scene and those little fingers. Flat. There is just no other word.
And this is the nugget that has stayed with me, decades later.
In a rare moment, when he truly had to speak harshly to get her panicked attention, he said, "Do you want to panic, or do you want to trust me??"
He got her attention. She listened, and he told her what to do for him. I am happy to tell you, Rob's fingers took their normal shape within a day.
He went on to use those very fingers to play his trumpet in halftime shows all over Northeast Ohio.
And that's the story, and that's how I knew Tucker's fingers would truly be okay afer all. I was present for both incidents. I have a growing collection of experiences and wisdom, gleaned both from growing up with Rob and raising Tucker. They are much the same, those two.