You know 90% of the things you worry about don’t ever come to pass? You’d think that statistic would make a chronic worrier and over analyzer like myself stop worrying. But it doesn’t. I’ve heard it said that most things we worry about don’t happen and that what does happen in our life blindsides us at a 4:30 on a Thursday afternoon.
My blindside came at 6:00 on a Monday evening.
Just a typical evening. Kids playing, I’m fixing dinner. Smoke alarm going off because of a piece of paper that “some how” got in the oven. I’m furiously fanning the smoke alarm, opening every door and window in the house when the alarm company calls to check on the smoke alert they got.
“Yes we are fine…my name…password…thank you…”
Things calm down and I go back to dinner. The smoke alarm goes off again and after my ritual, I still get another call from the alarm company. Impatiently spewing out the same information, my cell phone rings. It’s my mom. “Oh, gosh, I’ll have to call her back.” About 30 seconds later husband runs in and grabs his keys off the wall blurting out, “your dad’s been in an accident…I’m going down there.”
Whaaat? Wait. My dad? What are you talking about?!? Without even answering me, he’s peeling out of the driveway and racing down the hill toward their house.
I couldn’t stand it. I couldn’t be a prisoner in my home and continue making dinner as if everything was okay knowing he was hurt. From what, I didn’t even know.
I turned off the oven and all the burners, threw the girls in the double stroller and told my oldest to come on. He went running on ahead of me and the girls and I go running across the yard. I ran the whole way there and the only thing I could say was “Jesus.” Over and over again, calling on Jesus’ name was the only thing I knew to do. I could hear the neighborhood echo the screams of sirens of multiple emergency vehicles and knowing they were for MY dad was almost too much. I turn into their road only to see the road lit up with flashing lights and more emergency vehicles. We get into their house, I throw the baby into her crib and run out the back door to the deck where my mom was. She was out of her mind with panic and frustration because she couldn’t get down there to him. She does well to walk on flat ground…there was no way she could manipulate the deck stairs and the uneven backyard, over the hill to where dad was.
I had no idea what to expect. He’d been on his ATV, who knows for what reason, and it had flipped over on him. My first wave of panic was that he’d broken his back because of his osteoporosis. His bones have been described as pieces of chalk. As I slide down the hill and see my dad on a backer board with countless first responders, I had a peace wash over me that I don’t know where it came from. It would be okay. He was complaining of his hip, shoulder and chest hurting. He didn’t have any visible trauma, so despite the peace God had given me, my mind went to, “Okay maybe he’s paralyzed. He was awake and talking, but could he move his toes?” The EMT and police were talking about “preparing the bird” which I could only surmise meant a helicopter. They were flying him to a nearby trauma hospital because they didn’t know the extent of his injuries either. Six men carried my dad up the hill to the court where all the emergency vehicles were. The court was still packed with people and vehicles. As first responders were asking me questions, I couldn’t think straight. I gave the police my mom’s cell phone number which consisted of 3 other people’s numbers and I botched his birthdate. Thankfully J was there to help me sort out seemingly easy information. Mom wanted me to call her pastor and when I did, the pastor’s wife did 2 amazing things: offered to pray right then and offered to take the girls so we could go on to the hospital. And she meant it. Her help was genuine. After loading everyone up, we raced to her house to drop off the girls and their things and headed to the hospital. On our way, we saw the helicopter that held my dad racing across the sky. I wasn’t ready for any of this. Mom wasn’t ready for this. The man that has been beside her for almost 50 years, was now hurt.
We are now at the hospital, the ER, and still don’t know the extent of my dad’s injuries. We are fielding endless texts, Facebook messages, phone calls of people who are genuinely concerned for us and dad. It’s overwhelming. I take the boys up to the cafeteria to get snacks and on our way back we end up on an elevator that put us in the middle of the ER. I’m casually looking into rooms to see if I can see dad when a chaplain finds us and asks us if we are with Mr. Kendrick. My first thought is, “Okay, when a chaplain finds you, it’s usually not good news…” I tell her yes, and she thankfully puts us in a large but private waiting room because there are so many people with us. We file in and out of his room and over the course of the evening we find out that he has 8 broken ribs, a broken hip and a punctured lung. Sweet Jesus.
Countless emergency vehicles.
10 day hospital stay.
Over a month has passed and dad is still healing. He may never be the same strength wise. I want to make other plans for care during the day for the girls, but they say they’ll be fine. I just don’t know. It’s been a real adjustment. It’s been the longest month and a half of my life. I always appreciated my parents and all they did for us but not having them in the capacity that I’m used to has been a real reality check. I’m so thankful for the people who have stepped up and helped take care of the girls. Financially it’s been difficult because we are having to pay people to help us. It’s been so stressful to me. Because after all, it IS all about me, right? Ugh. I’m so thankful to God for my dad’s life. This story could have had so many other tragic endings. But he’s alive and mobile and of his right mind.
I’m. So. Thankful.