My heart sank when Andrew handed me the phone. It was my sister. She doesn’t call at 11pm. But when the news came I was shockingly calm. “Dad… a motorcylce accident…. he hit his head….. flew him to Rochester…..” She said that supposedly everything was fine. The trip to Rochester was a precaution because he had hit his head pretty hard. She would call me back in an hour with an update.
When she called back it was the same thing. He’s fine. Should go home tomorrow.
I knew better. I’ve been there before. My brother Caleb was in a car accident 2 1/2 years ago with severe head injuries. I knew that it took up to three days to find out the true extent of the injuries. We decided our best plan of action was to get some sleep and go down in the morning.
When I called to check on him the next morning my mom told me what I had been expecting to hear. Things had gotten worse during the night. There was bleeding on his brain and they were waiting for the results of an exam on his head and neck.
I was surprised by my reaction when I walked into the hospital. It was all so familiar. I expected it to come back to me easily. It did. Unfortunately it ALL came back. The endless nights, the wondering, the panic…. It took me a second to compose myself.
We ended up staying the night with my dad. He was having a hard time, but it would be ok. It gave me a lot of time to think. I knew that my brother’s injuries had been so much worse. Still it was almost harder seeing my dad there in the bed this time. He was my daddy. Every time he grimaced in pain it hurt me. I could see in his eyes every time he opened them that he didn’t want me to see him that way.
It sounds so dramatic, reading it that way. Dad went home last Tuesday. He has a fractured shoulder, some road rash, and a really bad headache. He has a lot of recovery in front of him as he regains his strength and full brain function. It could have been so much worse. I keep thinking how much better things could have been if only he had worn a helmet. How much worse Andrew would have been if he had not.
I can not emphasize helmets enough people!