>Then there was the year when everything seemed to go wrong around Christmas. I fought with the snowblower and lost, with the penalty being a soft tissue injury that hurt like heck and didn’t get better.
We brought daughter home from school after final exams to have her wisdom teeth out, planned it perfectly for my last day of school before break so that her younger brother wouldn’t need a sitter, and voila! we had an ice storm that closed schools. Grandma saw the school closing report on TV and called up to offer her assistance. We crept across town on icy-coated streets to take La Petite to her surgery. I didn’t relax until the car stopped moving in the parking lot.
Later that day, after getting La Petite’s pain meds and antibiotics and changing her dressing every hour on the hour, I went to my own doctor and had my still aching wrist X-rayed. No fracture, luckily, but she confirmed that soft tissue injuries hurt like heck and then offered a splint and anti-inflammatories. Back to the pharmacy I went, then over to Grandma’s to pick up Amigo and finally settle at home.
La Petite’s mouth healed slowly but surely. I wore the splint faithfully for my seven to ten days, taking it off only to shower and to stretch twice a day. On Spint Day Ten we got a phone call: my father had died in Missouri.
Husband couldn’t take off from work. One of his co-workers had broken a leg, and Husband was the only other one trained to run the equipment and drive the truck. He had just been sick, too, and was dragging himself to and from work and sleeping as much as he could at home. The kids and I piled our luggage, sore mouth, and splinted wrist into Husband’s Saturn and headed south.
We survived the trip, grieved, shared memories, and stopped at my brother’s house near Chicago on the way home. I apologized to daughter for “ruining” her New Year’s Eve, and she said she hadn’t even thought about it. Son did remarkably well, given his Asperger’s. He was thoughtful and well-behaved on the trip and at the ceremony. We were all exhausted.
Then I went back to school. In hindsight (always 20-20), I should have taken time off. I taught for three days (with my splint still on, wrist aching from driving 12 hours each way), and then said I had to rest. I took two days “death days” allowed by contract, and slept. And slept. And slept.
Life is much better now. Wrist has relapses now and then, but very seldom. I don’t touch the snowblower any more, but if I need to we have a new one with electric start. Amigo and La Petite remember the trip and the funeral, but they weren’t overwhelmed or traumatized by it. They survived, as did I. In fact, the multiple trouble of that holiday and the months that followed inspired me to start blogging as a therapeutic outlet. The rest, dear readers, is history.