So, my dad called Friday morning while I was teaching so I let the call go to voicemail. I listened to the vociemail a little while later and he was asking if I could come over and show him how to insert a CD in to his computer so he could read the manual for his new camera. A common request given his advancedage and novice computer skills. “Just come by sometime over the weekend, no hurry,” he says. I finsihed my workday, got home and a friend called to invite me to a local watering hole. I went out had dinner and drinks, then headed home to bed. I got up Saturday, lazed around, mowed the lawn, did some grading and lesson planning then headed over to my folks to help with the CD.
I walked up to the front door, took out my keys to open the door and noticed a small smudge on the doorjam. “Huh, that looks a little like blood;” I thought, “guess dad cut his finger or something.” Their front door is a double door, the smudge was on the left hand side where someone might put their hand if they were steadying themselves while opening the main door.
I unlock the door, walk in, and the first thing I see is my mom standing there with her right hand wrapped in a temporary cast, and the left side of her face all bruised with a black eye, swollen nose and upper lip. What the heck?! They had just started their walk Friday evening when she tripped on a bump on the sidewalk and fell. It was around 4:30 pm and my dad was barely able to get her to their family GP, who is also their neighbor across the street, before his office closed. They were able to get x-rays, bandage her up and get her some pain meds to get her through the weekend until they can get to the orthopedic guy next week. My dad said she must’ve blacked out because when he rolled her over she was non responsive. “I was sure she was dead,” he said.
“Holy cow!” I said. “Why didn’t you call me and tell me what happened?”
“Well, I had called you earlier about the computer and didn’t hear back, I thougth you were out of town.” He replied. “I did call Kevin, and Morgan…”
“You called my brother who’s an hour and a half away and my uncle who’s eight hours away, but you didn’t call me , who’s a mile away?” I thought to myself. “Sheesh, woulda been nice to know before walking in the door and seeing my mom all busted up.”
I helped my dad with his camera, stayed for dinner and chatted with my folks. Mom was remarkably upbeat, maybe it was the pain meds, and positive. She really has made a lot of progress since she broke her femur two summers ago, the trauma of which accelerated her Alzheimer’s. Ironically she had only recently begun to be able to walk around the neighborhood on her own without having to hold my dad’s hand for stability. Previously she had been terrified of falling again. They’re both resilient people and she’ll heal soon enough. As I left I gently reminded my dad to give me a call the next time one of them faceplants.
“Yeah, I guess walking in and seeing this was a little awkward.”