Sunday, March 06, 2016
Awash in a Sea of Gratitude
While tides of despair tug me to and fro.
There was a terrible accident Friday morning. Ralph had just left to take Becky to work when the fire whistles began to wail and we could hear sirens, many, many sirens. I always worry when I hear them, especially when loved ones are out and about.
And then the phone rang and everything as we knew it changed. Someone had crossed into oncoming traffic and although Ralph evaded as best he could, there are guard rails and there were other cars....nowhere to go
He was coming home to cut wood, meet a hay customer, and work on the floor so we could get a new washing machine. The laundry was piling up. Still is, as far as that goes.
Instantly none of that mattered any more. I thought Becky was with him and was incoherently begging the man who called to tell me if she was all right. Thank God he had already dropped her off. Thank God Jade just happened to have come home from work early. He raced down....this happened maybe two-tenths of a mile from the house. He helped get the boss out of the car, which was jammed and mangled and steaming and smoking.
He got them to let me walk down to be there and got me into the ambulance for the ride, and he and Liz ran crazy getting phone calls made and Becky home and hay customers fended, fires tended, and all that stuff. And for Scott and Jen who came and held my hand which unexpectedly needed it. I am tough, but not that tough.
Alan raced home from NY as did my brother. Everyone, everyone, rallied around and was good to us in more ways than I could list. Yesterday the kids cut wood, and car shopped, and brought food home and tended and cared for everything. And cleaned house too, because there will be people who need to come here and we are an untidy lot, with so many things to do that are more interesting than sweeping and dusting.
Thank you to all of them and to anyone I forgot. We know we have good friends and the best family any one could ask for, and we celebrate them and are grateful every day. However, something like this is a strong, if harsh, reminder of just exactly how fortunate we are.
Ralph also wants to thank the many kind friends and strangers who offered help and strength and comfort and so do I. Neighbors on the fire company who called family to come. EMTs who were gentle and good drivers and so kind. The sweet doctor at the hospital who kept coming in and out of the room exclaiming, "You are a lucky, lucky man."
And nurses, row upon row, who did what nurses do. The police investigator who called after it ended and offered much needed words of kindness and comfort. He was so gentle, and I so needed gentleness. Friends who called and texted and offered to do anything they could to help. So many good people....so much better than the network news would make you think.
So thank you all, and thank you kids and step kids and in-law kids....all good kids, good people, whom I am grateful to know and love......and be loved by too....you guys are the best.
Prayers for the family of the other gentleman. In time perhaps we will know why and how but for now, just prayers from the heart.
Ralph is home, and can get around with a walker, a far cry from the man who makes hay and firewood and does all our driving, but he is here. That is all anyone could ask for.
Today is Peggy's two birthday, as we call them around here. I am thankful for her other grandma and grandpa, who will be making it a big day for her, and for Aunt Becky, who already made sure she is well supplied with Paw Patrol fun. The best we have to offer is her Pa Pa, who is still here to get hugs and put Nickelodeon on his TV when she comes out to see him.