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driving miss janice
We had Easter service in the emergency room this morning after my Mom had a wreck on the way to church. This is not her first time to total a car, in fact it is the third and last. Macular degeneration has taken a toll on her vision and she just can't see what's coming. Daddy called me from the ER to tell me what was up and to say "Nah, there's no need in you coming out here..she's in x-ray right now." As far as blessings go, she was in pretty good shape this morning. The sheriff, also on the way to church, witnessed the accident and sent an officer to get Daddy out of the choir loft and to the hospital. A guy who owns a wrecker was also in the vicinity, and he towed the car to his shop. The ambulance transported her to the hospital ER which was luckily quiet. On my way in I drove by the shop to look at the car and shuddered at twisted metal that was once her vehicle.

I walked into my workplace in shorts and a t-shirt and ran into a surgeon who is a fellow church member. He had already been in to check on her and pointed me to the radiology table where she lay quietly with her eyes closed. I tiptoed into the dark room and took her hand. When she opened her eyes and saw me standing over her, she began to cry softly. "It's okay Mama...I'm here." There were cuts on her little hands and arms from the force of the airbag, something that we have witnessed each time before. Her ankle was broken but certainly not her spirit. She was scared, sad and shaken up. And she was totally grateful to have me walking behind that stretcher when the radiology tech took her back to Daddy.

The preacher was standing in the hall right outside her room. He had gotten the news from the usher who fetched Daddy and made his way out to check on her between packed-to-the rafters Easter services. He gave her a condensed version of his sermon which was centered around a story where a little boy says that Easter is all about "SURPRISE!" We had to chuckle at the irony. There was a prayer for Mama's healing and peace and he was gone again to give the full version to the second service.

When Mom told the ER doc that I worked in the lab there and that she and Daddy are volunteers, he immediately started ragging me about lab turnaround time in a good natured way. Of course everybody knows that all the lab techs do is sit around on their rumps and withhold information from doctors and nurses just to see 'em get mad. We're evil like that ;) The nurse, whom I did not know, was more than wonderful down to the last detail including education on the use of crutches. While Daddy headed to the pharmacy for pain meds, me and Mom drove past the church to see the traditional flowering cross. My friend PL, the Christian education director was outside taking pictures. "How's your Mama?" she hollered out as we cruised by. The flowering cross is a tradition on that corner of ground. Congregation members bring flowers from their yards on Easter morning to stuff into the chicken wire surrounding the wooden cross. It's a sight to behold.

I'll spare you the details of me trying to get her into the house on those crutches. Let's just say that using them requires a lot of upper body strength and great co-ordination, neither of which she had immediately following a head on collision. It's a wonder that our little adventure using plastic lawn chairs from car to den door didn't result in broken hips for BOTH of us.

We turned another corner in the thing that is family life today. From now on, somebody will take her where she goes, but there are several of us who can share chauffeur duty. It is incredibly bittersweet how life comes full circle on the child and parent thing. For those who don't have that, all I can say is "Bless their hearts."
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