Does anyone remember those blue books of stories found in doctor's offices? There is one story in particular that traumatized me as a child so I was doing a little searching on the internet to see if I could find it (morbid curiosity I guess). I did find that some others remembered it and were as traumatized as I and that it was from a series of books called Uncle Arthur's Bedtime Stories.
So the story goes (or how I remember it anyway), there is a boy in the hospital for a tonsillectomy and next to him is a boy who was in a horrible car accident and who knows he's going to die and is scared. The Tonsil boy befriends him and they decide that Car Accident boy should prop his arm up to show Jesus he's ready to go "home" (because apparently Jesus wanders hospital corridors at night looking for this universal sign).
Tonsil boy helps Car Accident boy prop his arm up with pillows and the next morning finds him "gone" with a beautiful smile on his face.
I read this in a waiting room when I was probably 8 or 9ish, because I remember reading it by myself and then being scared to death that I might accidentally sleep with my arm up and Jesus would take me away by mistake. That story haunted me for a long time (and made for a series of long nights in uncomfortable sleeping positions to prevent my arm from popping up unintentionally).
The other story that has traumatized me, but this time as an adult, was Love You Forever. The one where the woman cradles who newborn son and rocks him, and you see the years pass until the son is holding his frail old mom as she nears death. Hoo-boy! Now that's a great children's book (I realize it's a beautiful story and all, it's just WAY too sentimental and tear-jerking for my comfort level).
The first time I read it I was volunteering in the kindergarten class and reading books to a group of children. One of them plunked this gem in my lap and I unknowingly started reading. Well by the time I got near the end I was blubbering and trying desperately to get through it, but none of the kids seemed to notice, they just asked why I kept stopping. Lesson learned there. I've always steered clear of that book from then on.
So, has anyone else been traumatized by these stories? Were there any stories from childhood that really scared you?