On your front porch! Metaphorically of course. One day you’re going about your life making tie dye onsies for your baby girl and your mother in law comes all the way to your house unannounced and you see her walking up to your door, and you think “hmmm, she didn’t even call before”. Then you think the worst… And then it is… Not the Absolute worst. But it’s pretty fucking close.
What my mother in law came to tell me was that my parents and youngest siblings were in a car accident. They had left to spend a week in Baja before Nick, 12 and Alex, 16 went back to school. We have been going to Baja for about 20 years. We’ve been all the way to the very tip of the Baja peninsula, so it’s not like my dad isn’t an experienced driver down there. It’s just one of those stupid things; the ones that change your perspective, your relationships, your life.
I’m really grateful it was Rita (my mom in law) who came to tell me. She didn’t tell me to calm down or not to cry. She just let me freak out. As my brother in law drove us to the hospital my mom was at I called everyone I could to get information. I learned the accident happened 2 days earlier and it took them that long to get across the border. I learned my dad and nick had a lot of scrapes, gashes, and bruises but they were ok. My mom was admitted and shattered her shoulder, fractured her back and had deep lacerations. My heart got heavy and the blood rushed to my head when they told me my sister Alex was the worst. Something was wrong with her back and she couldn’t walk. To say that our family was changed forever is an understatement.
It’s been a month, to the day exactly since the accident. Since then my mom had shoulder replacement surgery. She’s recovering. She doesn’t let anything slow her down and will be back at it in time for tamale season (kidding, but I hope so, I know nothing about making them) Alex has a much longer road ahead of her. She fractured both her sacrum and L4 and had to have screws put in to stabilize the fracture and clear bone fragments that were pressing and obstructing her nerves. As of today she can transfer from her bed to a wheel chair, sit in it for up to 4 hours, take a shower in a shower chair, put on her own clothes, and is beginning to move her right foot more. These are the things we are celebrating.
So life took a big metaphorical shit on my family’s metaphorical front porch. At first I was very angry. Angry that my mom is going through all of this, that my dad carries guilt for being the driver, that Nick can’t emotionally deal with it, and that Alex hasn’t been home in a month… Now I am just grateful. That I am visiting with them in hospital beds and not wishing I had said “I love you” before I lost them. Who cares if they are a little banged up, it gives them character 🙂