The past months have proven to be slightly more unorganized than usual. Ironically, it all started at a time that things had felt slightly MORE organized than usual. Frank had completed his physical therapy after not one, but two hip replacements in the past year (that had be preceded by a surgery to repair a torn acl/meniscus just the year before). So for all of you that may not have made it past first grade math, that was around and about two years of surgeries and physical therapy. We were all in a good place. The oldest darling has gotten into the college of choice (Go Dawgs!), middle darling was doing her thing with art and teaching herself the guitar, and the youngest was mapping out our impending first mother/son trip to Universal Studios. LOML and I had started walking/hiking on the weekends as we prepared for a big bucket list trip for him this summer to England to walk the Cotswold Way.
“The Cotswold Way offers just over 100 miles of magical walking, with long distance views from the Cotswold escarpment, and journeys through picturesque villages and past famous ancient sites.” (from https://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/cotswold-way)
We’d also dangled this carrot to the eldest darling as a graduation present, because what screams a fun senior trip like walking 100 miles through England with your parents?
One night in January, I was cooking dinner and waiting for the girls and Frank to get home. Trippe was back in his room doing something like writing a script for a new play which is what he seems to be into these days. Frank had just called to tell me he was stopping back by the office after a meeting to grab something and would be home in a few minutes. He was on foot. We both work very close to home so try to take advantage of walking when we can- this can bring about strange looks from those who prefer their cars. Around here if you walk, let’s say to work and not necessarily for exercise, folks might think you lost your license or the like.
The phone rang again and it was Frank’s cell. “Hey, I am ok, but I’ve been hit by a car.”
“I’m sorry, what?!”
“A car hit me but I am ok. Mama I’m ok. Mama it’s ok.” Why is he calling me Mama? “This guys helping me. I need to go talk to the paramedic. I’m up across from my office.” The phone clicked off
He said he was ok, I’m thinking surely he was ok. He called me right? The youngest darling had heard me on the phone because even though the phone call started in the kitchen, it ended up closer to the back where my youngest darling had been.
“Dad got hit by a car?” his voice shakes. “Yes, but he’s ok I just need to go see about him.” And then I left him to head up the street to the scene of the accident. I told my youngest child that his dad had been hit by a car and then I left him home alone. It is high ranked as my worst parenting moment ever. All I was thinking is that what if he just thought he was ok but really wasn’t? What if he was in shock? I needed to get to him. His run of luck (see above) had not been stellar as of late.
(*Before anyone contacts DEFACS, the oldest darling and my parents were contacted immediately and they headed to my house before I left to wait for further news so he was only alone about 10 minutes.*)
There is nothing quite like driving up on several emergency vehicles with lights going and traffic blocked off and knowing someone you love is smack in the middle of it. I parked my car pretty much leaving it running in the middle of the street and ran towards the intersection before being stopped by a paramedic. (That sounds a lot more dramatic that it was in reality but I’m trying to paint the picture for you.) I couldn’t see Frank or really anyone at this point and soon found out that he was in the ambulance already and they told me I could go to see him. I made my way to the ambulance and they let me in through the side door. Facing towards the back he looked over his shoulder and said he was ok, trying to make light of the whole thing. Really?! Because you just called and told me you were hit by a car and now are in an ambulance discussing which trauma center they want to take you to- yep, kinda thinking you are not “OK”.
I should go back and explain the “Mama” comment above. Come to find out, his parents literally drove up on the accident after it happened so he wasn’t calling me “Mama” but was calling his Mama “Mama”. Just didn’t want anyone to be confused here.
Transportation to the next county where they had a Level 3 Trauma center is where he was being taken. He had not stood up yet which was obviously our biggest concern. I won’t go into all of the not very juicy details that transpired over the next 72+ hours but it involved the following: 1. We almost got sent home before they realized he had fractured his pelvis and sacrum. (Hips were fine by the way- can I get and “Amen”?) 2. The state patrol officer came in to the ER before talking to Frank and told his parents and I that Frank would NOT be charged in the accident- oh thank God because I was worried about that one. Apparently wearing dark clothing can be held against you if you are hit by a car in a crosswalk- who knew? 3. He ended up staying three nights and had to have surgery to fix a very shattered elbow. Luckily the kids went to school across the street so they were brought in for the entertainment factor during this time. 4. Because he had still not gotten up yet to stand, they brought us brochures on rehab centers (fancy term for nursing homes) to recover if he wasn’t able to stand up. Let me tell you right now that nothing will get a fifty year old man with a fractured pelvis and sacrum up and moving like someone telling you the next step in your recovery would be going to a nursing home. We eventually got home and he started, yet again, the recovery process and as of today is doing great and as I type this out we are working our way through the packing list as we get ready to head out on our big Cotswold adventure. We also now have some sweet new stop signs in our little town. And to quote him, every day is a gift- live it that way.
Since then when things were starting to feel more organized and then the accident happened throwing things back unorganized more so than usual, time has been in warp speed. We made it to Universal Studios, the boy and I, and had our first mother- son trip. I also go to on what I hope is the first of many girls trips with my mom, sister and sister-in-laws. The eldest darling graduated from high school and the past few months have been a blur of “lasts”. I’m pretty sure they could have gotten out in January and their academic career would not have been affected. There have been lots of laughter and lots of tears through all of the above and that’s good because it symbolizes balance. That’s what I’m striving for but not dead set on achieving because too much balance could be quite boring.
Hoping to keep you up to speed from the “Way” over the next two weeks. My organized self would like to think that I will be creating these incredible blog posts from the picturesque English countryside. My unorganized self is just hoping we don’t kill each other over the course of 100 miles…prayers accepted and appreciated.