I flipped the calendar over on Friday. I love a new month. A fresh start. And on a Friday. Bonus. I knew that I would have a nice Friday night with Scott. And I'd sleep in on Saturday. I could hardly wait. Around 10:00 p.m. the text came. Call me ASAP. It was from Amy. I sort of smiled. I thought that she would be reminding me that her birthday was only two hours away. She would probably be saying that I only had a couple of hours to talk to her before she turns another year older. We are sisters. And yes we're goofy. Most of the time.
This wasn't one of those times. I called and she had news for me. Mom and Dad had been at a dinner party. Dad went to get the car for mom. He does that. It's one of the things I love about him. While walking to the car he fell and broke his arm. Some fellow partygoers helped him get to his feet. He got into the car and sat in the passenger's seat and mom drove him to the emergency room. It was there that they ruled out any injury to his head, ribs or hip. Thank goodness. But he had broken his arm in two places and it was a compound fracture. That's right. Bone poking out of skin. Oh man. This is bad.
A terrific surgeon was called in. From 12:30 a.m. to 4:30 a.m. he was in surgery. A plate and several screws are now a permanent part of my dad. There was a lot of clean up that needed to be done on dad's arm. Lots of fragments that needed to be removed. And of course there is the worry about infection.
So instead of getting together for brunch on Saturday to celebrate my sister's birthday, we gathered at the hospital to be with dad. Not exactly the venue we had planned on. But that was about all that was different. Dad was still chatting it up with hospital staff. He was talking with the nurses and hamming it up. We were laughing and joking. There he was, in bed with stitches from his shoulder to his elbow, and he's asking other people about where they are from.
He's always done that. Both my mom and dad have always been equally as kind to people they know and love, as they are to people they are just getting to know. It's who they are. They are truly interested in others. They are smart and great listeners. They are compassionate. They are funny. Even in difficult times. They are authentic, beautiful people. I couldn't have asked for better role models in life.
So the next six to eight weeks will be different for my mom and dad. Dad won't be able to dash off for coffee or lunch like he's used to doing. And mom will be full time nurse. This will not be easy for either of them. But I also know that those who love them will be stopping by and calling often. I know that I'll do what I can. I know that my sister will be fantastic at helping wherever she is able. And I know that their grace and humor will ease the pain a little.
This wasn't the fresh start I was anticipating in March. I'm pretty sure it wasn't the birthday party Amy had planned on either. But we made the best of it. And right now I can almost hear it in my head---my dad saying, them's the breaks!