The phone call came at 6:15 AM on Thanksgiving day. A little girl, my granddaughter’s age, had been in a horrible accident on the Interstate. I had been in the twilight zone between asleep and awake, hearing the radio without listening, when the phone rang. I hurried out of the house.
“Hurried,” as I age, has become more and more a qualified term. Hurried this morning meant that I showed up with bed hair and with toothpaste stalactites at each corner of my mouth (no time to use a mirror, razor, or washcloth — you get the picture). It also meant that I shuffled across the icy parking lot. Again, the same weather that caused the accident in the first place, that denied us air superiority for transfer to a trauma center, caused our parking rink to become a skating lot. I learned that shuffle with a painful lesson five years, three surgeries, and a permanent disability ago.
The little girl will be fine after some recuperation. It could have been so much worse. I left her in the capable hands of those who during more pleasant weather would have arrived much more quickly with a clatter of rotor blades. By land or by air, they’re always a welcome sight. Angels don’t always need wings.
Oh — “hurried” also meant that I spent approximately thirty minutes in the trauma room with the fly on my jeans unzipped. Oh, well. Dress in haste, repent at leisure.