Mary took a misstep on the concrete steps outside church this morning. She had a moment’s dizziness, went to one knee, and her head bounced. Gravity never forgets. Head wounds bleed a lot. There are many surface vessels. It scared her companions in the choir. They didn’t want to go in and begin the service, but you know, the show must go on. She got an ambulance ride to the hospital.
Murphy’s Laws are real. We were up late last night watching Beach Party movies from our youth, and I was home out walking the dog with my cell turned off when the call came. That’s how it works. The one time people really wanted to find me, they couldn’t. But my pal from two doors up came and found me, so I was there in time to watch some of her x-rays. Nothing’s open on Sunday except the hospital. Those who are most dedicated to helping whoever, whenever, work on Sunday. I am always grateful there are people like that.
She got a head CT, a good idea. The actress Natasha Richardson had a ski accident and refused one, went to sleep and died because no one could see her skull fracture bled into the brain. Mary’s neck has already been retrofitted with steel from the stepladder fall three years ago that ended her career. We’ll have to wait a few days to see the extent of the knee damage. She is planning to sing in a demanding concert as part of a select choir five days from now. She will look like she got mugged or was in a car accident, but you know, the show must go on. It’s great, important music, and we’ll use a trowel for her make-up if necessary.
The techs and the Emergency Room doctor and nurses allowed me into the “holy of holies”, the sterile back rooms where health care workers see bodies split and broken open, and put them back together. As a rad-tech, I’m in the club. I know the lingo. I’m a medical levite.
These things happen when you get older. People fall more often, and older bodies are injured more easily. The machine begins breaking down. I have no illusions about it. I worry a bit because I like my life with Mary, but I expect she will die first because she has more of these mishaps than I do. Of course I might get hit by a car or something, but it’s less likely now that we live in a region with less traffic, and we both drive shorter distances. You look at statistical likelihood, and understand there’s also a wild card factor to life. Things are predictable, until something unexpected happens.
The only way to be prepared is to accept what happens, and make good choices when what happens is outside of what you expected.