Sunday December 02nd 2012, 8:58 pm
Filed under: Family,Life

I didn’t sleep well last night, I admitted to John this morning; I couldn’t get that image of Dad on the ground and all that blood out of my head.

It wasn’t all *that* much, he countered–then thought a moment and added, But. Yeah.

So here’s how yesterday went: lots of people came to the openhouse. Old friends, old relatives: I don’t think I’d seen Max and Lee, Dad’s still-identical twin cousins, since I was ten. Much love, much celebration, much admiration of art.

Comparing notes between us siblings, all of us thought the idea of Dad taking us all out to dinner afterwards was too much for one day: he and Mom especially had been on their feet for hours and he looked a little unsteady to my eyes. Other ideas were brought up–take out, perhaps?–but dismissed. Dad wanted his family party.

And so we piled into two cars and went to the folks’ favorite Chinese restaurant.

Which, it turned out, had two concrete bulbouts jutting into the sidewalk near the door, one to either side. I did a last-second half-jump-and-dance in the dark over one as we approached. Mom and Dad had had to park around the block and they were a minute or two behind us.

Suddenly Mom was shouting into the restaurant for help. I didn’t hear or see but others did and I caught on quick. Dad was down and there were four puddles of blood around him. The goose egg was already huge and his hand was bleeding.

Someone had already gotten him a chair, I’m assuming brought by the waitress who was trying to know what to do. Son John and brother-in-law Bill lifted Dad up to it. Richard pressed napkins to Dad’s hand to stop the bleeding, Marian held an icepack to his forehead and then let me step in and hold it there with my other arm carefully around my father in support.

Richard and my brother Bryan had asked Dad questions and in the immediate moments he was lucid but then briefly out of it and the decision was obvious and clear and beyond any protests: emergency room.

No! I’m taking you all out to dinner!

John, can you bring the car around?


I’m going with you and Mom too, said Bryan.

Dad pitched a fit: Bryan is diabetic and the food was inside that door right there.

Bryan told me later he could just picture John dropping Dad off at the curb and Dad falling again and maybe taking Mom down with him: no. He was coming too. Bryan is unruffleable and he stayed put in that car and off John went with the four of them.

Meantime, my sister Carolyn had gotten a message from her son that he was interviewing here Monday and had just realized that oh wait, his mom was here from NYC and–and so he got dropped off on his way in from the airport to the restaurant.

Almost immediately after that car pulled away.

So those of us who were left were talking when suddenly it hit us: Mom had the keys to their car and John had driven the other one. Oh wait.

And so when the time seemed best, John drove back to us from the hospital, gave us keys, and by that point the dishes Dad had pre-ordered were served. We boxed up meals, labeled Bryan’s and not-Bryan’s and sent those back with John to the hospital.

Dad had bent his right pinky backwards so far his skin had split wide open. Six stitches. CT scan of his brain was okay and skull uncracked, and our icepacks had done the trick: the goose egg was essentially gone when he came home, although he’s got an impressive bruise across the side of his upper head.

But before they could send him off, he started complaining that there was pain in his left arm and it was growing worse.

Okay, x-ray.


But everything will heal and Dad, who is 86,  is still our Dad, and of good cheer even. Thank heavens. He laughed and laughed when I had to cut up his melon for him over dinner tonight and suddenly told him the old pun, melon-choly baby.

We all played our part perfectly, each of us, as he needed us and in the way we needed to in each of those moments.

It was a darn close call, and he’s going to hurt for awhile, but essentially, he’s alright.

25 Comments so far
Leave a comment

So glad he wasn’t any worse. How scary!! I love that he’s laughing already.

Comment by Channon 12.02.12 @ 9:12 pm

So glad he’s alright, and that you were all right there when you needed him!

Comment by Serena Rother 12.02.12 @ 9:18 pm

God bless him and everyone else!

I hope his arm heals quickly and well.

Comment by Constance 12.02.12 @ 9:29 pm

I held my breath reading this… I too am glad he’s alright and that you were all able to help as needed. God bless you all!

Comment by Suzanne from Montreal 12.02.12 @ 9:46 pm

oh how scary –

Comment by Rhoda 12.02.12 @ 9:51 pm

Oh my! Quick healing thoughts to your dad, and calming thoughts for you and the rest of the family. Sounds like that was a mighty scare for everyone. I am so grateful it wasn’t any worse.

Comment by DebbieR 12.02.12 @ 9:55 pm

Oh, my. I am so sorry he took that spill, so relieved it didn’t turn out worse. I don’t blame you for having a tough time sleeping.

I hope he heals quickly and you sleep like a baby tonight.

Comment by twinsetellen 12.02.12 @ 10:12 pm

Scary! Sending prayers for quick healing and a sense of calm for everyone.

Comment by Jody 12.02.12 @ 11:25 pm

What a heart-stopping moment. Reading this, I felt like I was right there, a member of the family, trying to help and feeling helpless. I’m so glad it wasn’t worse.

Comment by Debbi 12.03.12 @ 3:33 am

Cast on and stitches? I hope his bone “knits” together quickly. It must have been scary for everyone.

Comment by pat Flores 12.03.12 @ 4:12 am

Oh, how very scary! I’m so glad it happened when all of you were there to help him through it, and could do what needed to be done. I know it helped you all to feel like you were doing *something*, no matter how small. I remember clearly how helpless I felt when my Dad took a spill in my parents’ driveway, and how quick we were to laugh over it when the stress of the moment was done.

I’m glad he’ll be ok. And, hey, he bought you dinner after all! Prayers for all of you…

Comment by Pegi 12.03.12 @ 5:57 am

Oh my! Prayers for healing headed your dad’s way! Was this Dad’s way of making sure you all remember the day?…and laugh about it later? So glad he is ok.

Comment by Pam 12.03.12 @ 7:24 am

Oh dear! At least you were all with him and able to help right away. More healing thoughts headed in everyone’s direction! “Cast On” now has a whole new meaning, doesn’t it?

Comment by Kathy in San Jose 12.03.12 @ 7:32 am

Oh my … I’m so glad he is going to be ok. Not the sort of ending to the day anyone wants.

Comment by Anne 12.03.12 @ 7:45 am

I’m so glad you were all there with him and could insure he got the care he needed

(and I hope that image fades from your mind quickly!!)

Comment by bev 12.03.12 @ 9:48 am

Scary stuff! My 85 year old FIL and 83 year old MIL have given us a few scares like that lately, but so far, so good. My 80 year old Mom is doing great, but one always worries. GLad he’s good now.

Comment by Sandra 12.03.12 @ 9:57 am

Oh, good Lord! Thank Heaven it wasn’t any worse than that — which was bad enough.
My prayers for fast healing.

Comment by Don Meyer 12.03.12 @ 10:28 am

My best wishes to your dad for a speedy recovery.

Comment by RobinM 12.03.12 @ 10:34 am

Sorry about the horrible accident, SO very glad everythign will be ok :-}

(((hugs))) for the scary part.

Comment by Diana Troldahl 12.03.12 @ 10:47 am

And while your dad is convalescing, could you fill us in a bit more on the museum–is it exhibiting your dad’s art collection or your dad’s own work, or some combination thereof? (Obviously his most significant creations left the museum to go to the restaurant.)

Comment by LauraN 12.03.12 @ 11:03 am

I kept reading faster and faster because I was so afraid how that might end. But it didn’t end that way. I think I need a drink of water.

Comment by Afton 12.03.12 @ 12:50 pm

Oh, so scary. No wonder you did not sleep well. I hope all goes well from here.

Comment by Sherry in Idaho 12.03.12 @ 12:54 pm

Oh my. And how typical to insist on taking everyone out to dinner, right? I’m so glad he wasn’t hurt worse. I have difficulty negotiating around those irregularities also, much less in the dark. I hope he heals fast.

Comment by sjanova 12.03.12 @ 6:22 pm

Life always revolves around the food. I’m glad your Dad is on the mend. What a story!

Comment by Robin 12.03.12 @ 8:22 pm

It was me yelling into the restaurant, and Mom I think was already inside; Dad, Bill, and I were bringing up the rear. I was immediately behind him, same angle, and I didn’t see the obstacle either and would have gone down myself. (I told him that later, and he grinned and said, “You’re welcome! [glad I could save you] The manager? owner? and waitress–he’s one of their regulars–kept coming to ask us for a report. We are all glad it wasn’t much worse. We only stayed for the planned dinner because it would have been chaos to all go after them, and it upset him to think that we didn’t get the dinner party he had planned so carefully. Thank goodness for cell phones so that we could get text messages back and forth to keep up on what was happening and work out the car keys problem.

Thank goodness most of all that he will be okay. He would probably say, takes more than that to get rid of me! For which we’re all grateful.

Comment by Marian 12.04.12 @ 5:33 pm

Leave a comment
Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>