Last Leg of Summer

Right at the end of a beautiful summer in Montana, my daughter broke her leg.  She hovered in the air for about 2 seconds I gather , and fell off a friend’s skateboard while I was at work.  I got the call from my neighbor that afternoon, which had me concerned because we have that dialogue now, after many trial runs.

Phone Rules while I am at work:

1. Call to ask if you can go anywhere outside the neighborhood.

2. Don’t call to tell me you are bored.

3.  Please do not have me pick you up acting like Scarlett O ‘Hara

on her last carrot in the potato field and then be jumping on the couch 15 minutes later.

4. Call if you are bleeding .

5. Don’t call because you can’t find the remote.

So I finished up my tables and went home to see her laid out on the couch and I knew right away something was very wrong with her leg.

We got in the car hopping clumsily and with a lot of pain.  It was hot and I had to pick  her sister up at daycare.

“Mom, ” Please don’t take forever at Jane’s ,” her brown eyes pleaded with me over her tear-streaked face.

“I won’t,” I said with great fervor. Then I went into Jane’s house and had a ten-minute conversation with her about which hospital to go to.

It was August 25th, my brother Jeff’s birthday.  When Jeff was eight or nine, he ran into a clothesline pole at the end of a grassy hill.  It was the only thing standing in the middle of the yard and he broke his femur.  Due to the randomness of this event and Jeff’s reliance on high drama at this age, we didn’t take him to the hospital immediately.  Actually, I believe I got a bad perm that same day. Jeff spent the whole summer in a body cast. Now, he repairs power lines in extreme storms – climbing 70 feet in the air in hurricane winds. Go figure.

I patted myself on the back for having the sense to change out of the all black waitress uniform I wear during the day. No, I am not complaining, I have a great job where I look over  the  river all day long.  The nearest thing to a life or death decision is what type of salad dressing to serve and I have benefits. I am thankful especially as I watch these bills drift in. Oh am I ever grateful.

Jesse was fitted with an air-cast walking boot because she had a spiral fracture near her growth plate.  They fitted her with crutches and I admit my first thought as I watched her lurch down the hallway was, “We ‘ll be back.” I chased that out of my mind and concentrated on the new reality that things were going to be very different this school year.

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