Sunday, December 09, 2012

Letters from my dad 3


I remember the night dad was involved in that big wreck that shattered his hip socket. After Uncle Dean brought mom home to clean up, we went back to see him. When we slowly walked into the dreaded shadows of that darkened room, I saw him all strung up with the traction ropes, and bandages on him just everywhere. I remember mom saying to me, grasping me on the shoulder, in a hushed tragic whisper, "Oh Jim! He's hurt SO bad!"

I'd never seen or heard anything that wounded me so deeply with the feeling of absolute grief and distress, although there have been plenty of times like that since. But I tried not to cry, because for some stupid reason I was supposed to be tough, at the time. I thought mom needed me to lean on. Stupid naive teenager. Turns out she's always been tougher than I could ever hope to be. But that's another story, isn't it?

As that instant passed, I remember the feeling that came over me. It was not really comforting or any silly stuff like that. It was just the KNOWING that dad would be all right. Eventually. And realizing that although he was as broken and in as much pain as a man can be and still be alive, I knew he was going to survive. I knew he would be with us for quite a while yet. I've really never felt anything like it, before or since.

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