Setting the stage.
On Thursday the week previous, my husband sent me a text while I was finishing up at the office.
Oh crap. The car just died on the Yellowhead.
No problem. Friends, AMA, feet and bikes got us to and fro for the next few days as we started our search for the new Hoffman vehicle. Besides, Jon was training for the Iron Bike so biking around the city lessened the training regime and I love walking.
Stress is a funny thing.
I have a high capacity for getting things done, juggling priorities an running around like a chicken with my head cut off. In fact, if life isn’t a wee bit crazy and there aren’t enough crazy things going on in my life I get bored, depressed actually.
If there isn’t a mountain to climb, I stop living up to my potential.
- Masochistic, eh?
One of the things I dislike most about myself and I am trying to work on is not being a volcano of stress all over the people I love most, my husband bearing the brunt of my volcano-esque ways.
It has gotten better over the years, but every so often I erupt.
Tuesday night lava flowed freely.
I don’t even remember what caused me to choose to let go of my internal discipline but in the midst of the never ending home renovations and broken car, I found myself ranting and raving at my kind hearted husband about how he should fix all of my problems.
- Whenever you expect your husband to be God, it never turns out well.
In the midst of my diatribe about everything that was wrong in my life and how the fact that the dishwasher hasn’t worked for 6 weeks since we reinstalled it and everything was so horrible, I smelled a hot electrical smell.
My first thought was that my brain was on fire. Then I saw a wisp of actual smoke wafting through my dining room. My washing machine was on fire…or something.
As I continued my never ending lava flow, I pulled out the washing machine to reveal a puddle of water, the cemetery of lost socks and a lot of dryer lint.
Hanging over my 1990’s washing machine from my waist didn’t yield any more information other than hoses attach to the back of the washing machine and blood rushes quickly to my head.
- While upside I realized how ridiculous I was being.
Sighing deeply, I turned the washing machine to spin, put the clothes in the dryer and hung those that needed hanging and looked to my breaker panel for answers.
Apparently the dishwasher breaker was off…for the last 6 weeks. Don’t ask me why I didn’t check it, but I didn’t.
One problem solved, now onto fixing the relationship fractures I created in the last 18 minutes of lava flow.
One of my quirky stress relievers is to do jigsaw puzzles. There is something about looking at 1,000 pieces of odd shaped cardboard and working to put them together that helps me sort out what is going on in my heart and mind.
I stayed up later than normal working through my internal stuff, taking notes on what I discovered and started putting things back into place in my soul.
- Jon wasn’t home yet.
He was biking back from the west end from a meeting. It would take him about 30 minutes and so I expected him home around 10:00 pm. Not to worry, he has been bike commuting for years even through the winter months and -30 celsius weather.
It was only 10:00 pm, but I was oddly worried.
We have a rule in our house that I don’t get to freak out and decide he’s dead and start calling people to see when they last saw him in an effort to find him until an appropriate amount of time has passed.
Let’s just say, I deserve this rule…
A strange number calls my phone while I am brushing my teeth. I notice the message when I go to plug my phone in to charge over night.
I listen to a message from my husband which confirms my worry.
Hi. Its Jon….uh I guess you should send me a text. *click*
Breathing purposefully, I send him a text only to see that his phone is dead as the iMessage didn’t go through.
I called the strange number back 4 times – no answer.
Message left on the 4th call back.
Google search for the number and name of the owner that called my phone ensues.
Strange number calls me back.
Hi. Your husband was riding his bike in the river valley. He crashed and hit his head really hard. The ambulance took him to the Royal Alex. I have his bike and will drop it off at the hospital since it is on my way home. He hit hard.
I think I formed a few words and then hung up.
- No car.
- Jon hurt…
- Its late.
- What now?
I ran to the closet, got dressed and found myself wondering if I should put running shoes on and sprint to the hospital or bike. If I biked then we would have two bikes there and no way to get my very hurt husband home.
10:20 pm, 10:30 pm, 10:37 pm
I placed calls to the Royal Alex emergency and there is no record of my husband being there.
A text is placed to my mom in America, “You still awake? Can you talk?”. I don’t know why I didn’t just call her.
Fear induced tears, sobs and snot poured out as she answered the phone.
While my parents convinced me walking through the core of downtown in the middle of the night was a poor solution to my situation and my best friend would be more than happy to pick me up and take me to the hospital once Jon got there, my phone rang.
Hello. Is this Donloree? I am the EMT that picked up your husband. He hit is head hard in the River Valley. I just admitted him to the ER at the Royal Alex. He is not in good shape, he is hurt bad. Come quickly.
I stop deciding that I am a nuisance to my friends and call Nancy. She drops everything and takes me to the hospital without question.
Of course she does, she is my best friend.
Jon is rolling back from x-ray while strapped to a board, in a neck brace, abrasions on his face and his eye is split right open nearly down to the bone. He looks worse than a prize fighter who went 14 rounds in the ring and isn’t opening his eyes.
Thank goodness I cried on the phone with my parents, I was able to smile and tell him how glad I was to see him.
Three hours, 10 stitches and a lot of questions from me to the doctor later we were in Nancy’s jeep, bike and all, to go home and rest.
I stayed up until nearly 4 am, completely wired and thankful that my friend had offered her second car to me for the weekend. I needed it to get Jon to the hospital at 1:00 pm for a CT scan and eye appointment.
A man named Charlie.
An hour and a half later, I woke up at 5:30 am and stood up at a 75 degree angle. Drinking coffee, I started to come alive. By 8:00 I was on my way to the office which the list of things Jon poured from his mouth while he had his eyes shut.
With the list in hand, I delivered all the tasks to his coworkers, finished up the things I needed to do at the office and picked up the car from my friend.
Everyone wanted to see pictures which I won’t post here. Some gagged, others gasped and many shared my feelings of happiness that he is alive and well.
Driving back home a song rose up in my heart and I sang out of tune with the windows rolled down.
- Joy comes in the morning.
Pain meds, smoothie and a change of clothes took us up to the time of departure for the 1:00 pm appointments.
While sitting in the waiting rooms for the appointments it came up that I forgot to get his computer from his office when I was there. I offered to go back and get it if he was ok with waiting alone.
While sitting in a right turn lane on my way to the office with my neck craned to watch oncoming traffic, the truck behind me decided I was merging.
As I flew forward, I yelled,”Oh my gracious, are you serious?!”
There was no damage to my friend’s car, but the truck behind me was rather bent up, smashy-smashy in fact.
While standing in between the two vehicles talking to the man named Charlie who ran into me, I started laughing hysterically and tears threatened to pour down my cheeks.
I had to give him context to the hysteria.
I am so sorry. Its been a rough few days. My husband is in the hospital, this isn’t my car – my car is broken, my washing machine lit on fire or something yesterday, but good news my dishwasher is working now and….well…I’m just tired. This isn’t my car. Wow. I just didn’t need this I guess. I’m sorry. The hysteria isn’t from you rear ending me.
When asked me what I needed, I nearly asked him to hug me. Maybe I should have, it would have gone with the level of crazy I was already displaying.
At least my visitor sticker confirmed my hysterical story.
Home, all in one piece.
We are 100% ok. In the midst of all the crazy, we are fine. There are no broken bones, his eye is not compromised and we will heal. We have more than what I was giving us credit for.
There are those who will not heal unless God does an incredible miracle.
- Parker Gerlitz
My cousin’s beautiful baby is dying from Krabbe’s disease and my heart aches for them as they live through this deep pain. I cry when I think about it and I keep praying for a miracle.
I have zero to complain about and so much to be thankful for.
This morning I am sitting quietly, listening to the birds chirp and drinking coffee. My soul is at rest and the whole right side of my body hurts, not a lot but enough to make life uncomfortable today.
I will take discomfort, gratitude and peace.