The other day, our 16-year-old and I were on our way somewhere and a silly guy she dated briefly came up in conversation.
“When was that?” I asked.
“Last summer,” said she.
“Really? Was it just last summer?”
“He was late to my birthday party,” she responded. “It was really irritating.”
Wow–that was just last summer. “That seems like an eternity ago,” I responded.
Indeed. We are in a completely different place right now than we were last July. It’s been 4 months (last week) since my husband’s car accident–the accident that left him with a shattered heel and a calcaneal incision that refuses to heal. So much has happened–and so little has happened–since Dec. 11, 2013, that summer of 2013 feels like it was years ago.
So much has indeed happened. Anyone who read this can catch up on my husband’s injuries through my most recent blogs. And we’ve added a 4th procedure last week, in which the doctor placed collagen and amniotic fluid into the canyon on the side of my spouse’s foot. Today, he was released from the wound vac for at least a week–a freedom I don’t think he’ll ever want to relinquish!
Just think: since Dec. 11, 2013, David has experienced the worst injuries of his life, including 4 procedures (one, a major surgery) and Chicago has experienced the 4th worst winter in its history. He spent more than a week in the hospital and a week in rehab. The boys and I have shoveled more than 72″ of snow (we refuse to shovel what fell last night–and don’t ask where the daughter was). The car was, of course, totaled. We finally placed an order for a new Ford Edge lease, which should arrive in the next few weeks.
My mom came up while David was in rehab and first home to help out with the kids, the house, and spelling me as “licensed driver” with our daughter. She was here with us for a very thankful Christmas.
I spent a few weeks in January working in a spare (and vast) office at my husband’s company. It was great for him to see his coworkers after nearly a month. We could not be as positive as we are today without the support of his employer. Everyone should be as blessed as we are to have a company like Halock behind us. I also enjoyed working in an office setting.
But our teenagers have their own tale to tell .. . The accident occurred precariously near the end of first semester classes for our high school junior. Do you remember how important Junior year is in the college admissions game? The junior nearly had a break down but did, in the end, successfully handle her NINE finals. Our 8th grader got to experience performing at the Midwest Clinic, which is the national conference for K-12 band directors. It is a great honor for a middle school to perform at Midwest–and we missed it. David was still in the hospital, and good friends with a son in band spent quite a bit of time carting our son around with them, to and from McCormick Center and related special events that we had to miss. Both #2 & #3 were also part of this year’s middle school Science Olympiad team. Unlike last year, I couldn’t make it to regionals. And unlike last year, the team didn’t make it to state, so we couldn’t plan on seeing them later.
At the end of January, we adopted our furry Old English Sheepdog children, C.K. Dexter Haven and Annie Warbarks, with the bizarre notion that David would be walking soon. However, they have been a panthea to me, making me both cringe and laugh at their highly energetic morning greetings (puppy popcorn). They have, like our late Lucy, the gift of Sheepdog Love–which is funny and overwhelming at the same time. For about 6 weeks, I felt knee deep in housebreaking mistakes. But we are almost completely there now (give or take the repugnant day or two of wet spring weather).
David did get to see our 8th grader play his IGSMA trumpet solo and sing his IGSMA double duet during rehearsals. But I took our son to the actual IGSMA, which was located in an old Evanston middle school and not easily handicapped accessible.
In all of these events, where David is unable to attend, I feel both sad that he can’t be there and relieved that this is a temporary ailment. I know people who are widows or widowed with children. And that is a permanent situation that continually reminds me of the relative minuteness of our tale.
Finally, with that thought in mind, I shouldn’t complain too much about the fact that I have taken over all of the driving, including driving the injured to Schaumburg from Skokie at least 3 times per week as well as all of the errands and kid-related driving. All of the driving. I’m sick of driving.
I do get to listen in to my husband’s team meetings at 8:30am on Mon., Wed., and Friday, while I drive him in to the office. It has truly enlightened me about his role and the work of his team.
This might sound like a lot of activity . . . but the winter really left my husband home- or office-bound. On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I drop him off at work. His lunch is at the mercy of others–just like so much at home is with my help or that of one of the boys (the girl has dealt with everything by being here as little as humanly possible). His cab ride home (generously donated by his company) can be physically painful (bumps) as well as insanely long (no Waze or other GPS-apps to suggest faster routes). The snow made it almost impossible for him to go anywhere this winter. We managed to get out to eat sometimes after doctor appointments. We went to a New Year’s Eve party hosted by our friends. But, alas, that was about it until the snow finally started to melt.
The arrival of spring has been a new lease on life for both of us. I can much more easily transport my husband to and from destinations besides work and the surgeon’s office. David even made it to a couple of college tours with me and the daughter over Spring Break. However, despite all of the activity, it does feel like we are stuck in some type of limbo. All of these weeks have passed, with our children continuing on. But our lives make us feel as if we have been stuck in slo-mo for four months. I felt bad handing David a short-sleeved polo-like shirt the other day. Winter, and now spring, is passing by . . .