Saturday, November 26, 2005

More thoughts ...

I think the hardest thing right now is trying to keep up some semblance of normalcy around my children. They're old enough to know that something's wrong but not old enough to explain the situation to.

I have told my oldest, Boy, that Granddaddy's got a very bad owie and is in the hospital. He (my son) also associates hospitals with the happy arrival of a new sibling so he doesn't get the significance right now.

I rang my mother and told her. That wasn't fun. At all. She still lives in that uncertain twilight of loving the man, her first husband and the father of her only child, and hating him, the man who left her after 18 years of what she thought was a good marriage (gosh, that bit sounds familiar). She definitely reacted a lot worse, initially, than I did.

You see, oddly, I've been waiting for this call my whole life.

My father has flown airplanes and has driven fast cars for as long as I can remember. Ironically, he wasn't driving Thursday - something we were puzzling over especially since Kimberly never drove the Corvette. My dad likes to drive, he likes to be the one in charge, the one piloting the craft (I'm the same way). Some questions may never be answered and you can run 'what if' scenarios through your brain until you go mad.

We've kind of reached a consensus that he must have been grading papers in the passenger's seat while Kim drove. The little boy who hit them (apparently traveling over 75 mph) crossed over the centerline and the nose of my Dad's Corvette acted like a ramp - the Beemer literally drove up the hood, crushing the windscreen, and vaulted over. There's a chance that Daddy actually never saw what happened at all.

I went back up to the hospital today. I opted to drive in the daylight today rather than be up all night Monday night. Nature helped out by pissing down rain the entire day, making it dismal and cold and holding me up waiting behind traffic because of accidents on the roads.

Dad looked slightly better - though still ghastly - his skin was a bit pinker, he could open and close his eyes, and he responded by moving slightly when you spoke to him. It was almost worse, though, than seeing him like he was before. He kept frowning and moving his lips around the two tubes in his mouth, making me wonder what he was trying to impart (or if he was just randomly moving). He would pull against the restraints on his arms and that upset me (even thought I know that they have to tie their arms down so that they won't move suddenly and harm themselves). His bruises stand out black on his pale skin and he still has blood caked in his nostrils and at the edge of his mouth from the accident. It was just altogether frustrating and disturbing.

I spoke with another Dr Very Young who was very sincere and knowledgeable but who told me not to expect dad to be coherent any time soon. I was proud of how I can speak so calmly to the staff. What I really want to do is grab the nearest doctor by the lapels and scream into his face: "FIX HIM! Make him work again!" and shake him like a ragdoll until he complies. It's a good thing that I don't snap like that, folks'd be wiping spit off of their faces all day.


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I have learned something already through all of this.

People want to talk to me. Not my aunt, his sister, or my husband or her husband ... me. hey not only want to offer their condolences and their assistance (both of which I deeply appreciate), but they also just want to talk. This talking is for them. It's a form of therapy for them to help them wrap their brains around what has happened. It takes a similar form with everyone:

"Oh my god, I am so sorry. I just can't believe that this has happened. Oh my god. They were just here, having dinner with us. They were such a great couple. Oh god I just can't believe this, really. Do you know who was driving? Do you know if the boy was drinking? Do you know when your dad will be off the respirator? Will he be able to walk? Will he stay at that hospital? Do you know how long? Where are you staying? Are you from here?"

And so on and so on. Now, please don't think for one second that I don't want these folks to call. I really, really appreciate everyone who's rung and everyone's good thoughts and offers of help. But, after 10 or 12 calls, many from people whom I have never met, and 10 or 12 times reciting all the horrific details and fielding long strings of questions including some that were, frankly, not pertinent ("now, where did you go to high school?") I was strung out, upset, and on edge.

But it taught me something. In future, if *I* ever am speaking to a person who's had a loved one badly injured or killed I'll remember that this person is overwhelmed. A person in this situation is not only grieving, but is having to handle a million things and talk to dozens of different people. If I ring them I will remember to express my condolences, offer my help, and then hang up. Any strictly nosey questions and lurid speculation can wait until later.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 12:04 pm   1 comments

1 Comments:

At 7:11 am, Blogger Anna said...

I'm very sorry about what happened. I hope your dad gets better soon. I'll be thinking about you (two) and hoping things take a turn for the best.

 

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