A snapshot of the past two weeks:
The short version...
- Wednesday April 9 - Melissa breaks her collar bone playing fetch with the dog.
- Monday April 14th - My front left wheel breaks off my car while I'm driving on campus.
- Thursday April 17th - We get word that Melissa's grandmother is on her deathbed.
- Thursday April 17th - I hit two deer at once time while driving in Southern Utah
- Friday April 18th - Melissa's grandmother dies.
- Monday April 21st - Today - Nolan and Ian get the stomach flu and spend all day Tuesday and most of early morning Wednesday throwing up.
It has been a rough few weeks, but really it could have been so much worse.
The long version...
Wednesday April 9 - While playing fetch with the dog on a 50 ft leash at the park, Melissa gets pulled over by the overzealous puppy chasing her ball, and she twists on her heals and falls shoulder first onto the concrete, snapping her clavicle in half like a #2 pencil. We spend the afternoon and early evening first at the Urgent Care, and then at the hospital getting x-rays and waiting for the Orthopedist to give us a diagnosis. Melissa gets her first shot of morphine and tells me she'd rather give birth than break her clavicle. If you know anything about Melissa's pregnancies, THAT is saying something.
We are told to come back Monday for consultation. Melissa is sent home in a sling and torso wrap that is miserable to wear.
Plus side? Melissa could have hit her head and suffered a concussion. She could have been alone at the park (her sister was with her), I could have been out of town, She could have fallen, not onto the concrete, but into a boiling pool of great white sharks.
Monday April 14th - at approximately 10:45 am, fifteen minutes before the last day of my advanced creative writing class where we have planned to eat pie (a potluck for which I have baked from scratch a crumble-top apple pie) and share our work, I am driving my Honda up and out of the JFSB parking garage on BYU campus, when I turn a corner and the left front wheel falls off my car. I grind to a stop, get out, survey the damage, and call campus police, who tell me I need to call campus parking, who tell me I need to call campus autoshop, who tell me they can't help without, yes, permission from campus police. Guess who I call next?
When the police arrive, I ask them to watch out for the car while we wait for the tow truck and I rush my pie over to my class of waiting students. I ask them to carry on without me, as my car is currently broken and blocking traffic in the aforementioned parking garage, give them the pie as a consolation prize, and head back to the parking garage where a tow truck meets me courtesy of AAA, and hauls the car to my favorite little autoshop where they fix the problem for a scant $700.
Oh yeah, and while all this is happening, I'm supposed to be taking Melissa to the Dr. for our consultation with the Orthopedist, so instead of me picking her up, she gets dressed and drives herself one-handed to Provo and picks me up.
At the Doctor's office, we decide to give the sling and torso wrap three weeks, and if things haven't started fusing back together, we'll do surgery.
Plus side? My wheel could have fallen off on the freeway, which could have caused the car to roll, and perhaps killed me.
Thursday April 17th - Faced with the question of how Melissa will survive on a long-planned trip to Capitol Reef National Park for the weekend, we decide that Melissa and her mom and sisters will stay here in Provo while our exchange student, the older boys, grandpa, and I go to Capitol Reef.
However, one hour before we are scheduled to leave, we get word that Melissa's grandmother is unresponsive in her room in an Oregon assisted living center, and Grandma and Grandpa Fitzgerald change plans, buy tickets, and fly out to Portland that afternoon.
Upside: Grandma and Grandpa Fitzgerald arrived in Portland in time to see Grandma one more time before she passed away. And Naoto, Callan, Nolan, and I still made the drive to Capitol Reef. Melissa and her sister's spent the weekend together, which helped them handle the news of grandma's passing.
Thursday April 17th - That night, after three hours in the car, and with only a few more miles to go before we arrived at our lodging near Capitol Reef NP, I came around a corner on Highway 12 outside Torrey, Utah and hit two deer at once who were standing in the middle of the road. Nolan, who had been talking and talking as he is wont to do near the end of any road trip, said, I realize now, "Dad, don't hit those deer," but he said it so softly and as such a matter of course that it didn't register as a warning until after I'd already slammed on the brakes and watched the two started animals hit my grill and roll onto the pavement in front of me. Both animals jumped up and stumbled off into the darkness, and we rolled on to our cabin.
Both boys said several times, "That was really scary," but I didn't realize how effected they were by the event until almost a half an hour later we were sitting at the kitchen table in the cabin and right in the middle of a conversation about hot dogs or something, Nolan melted into tears. I scooped him up and let him cry a bit and then he said, "Its okay though, because the deer got up and walked away." I'm thinking its okay to let him believe the deer will be okay, and who knows, maybe they will be.
Upside: the car is only cosmetically damaged, and we still had a great time at the park.
Monday April 21st - Both Nolan and Ian start complaining of stomach pains and then spend the whole evening and following day throwing up. It is now Wednesday and Nolan is doing fine but Ian is running a fever and has only had Pedialite to drink since yesterday.
Upside: at least it isn't all three kids throwing up!
I've got to say, I'm grateful to have a flexible job that has allowed me to work from home so I can take care of Melissa and the kids, and I'm grateful to neighbors and family who have helped with meals and who have watched boys and given rides. We are pretty exhausted and alternate between laughing and crying because, really, what else is there to do? Still, amid all this we were able to have a large group of exchange students over for dinner as a last hurrah for Naoto, our exchange student from Japan; and we had a potluck with graduate students one night; and we got to spend a wonderful Easter afternoon with my sister Krysti and her husband Ross and their kids this past Sunday. So it's been crazy and we are ready for a breather, but it has also been lovely, and in the end, it really all could have been so much worse.