Thursday, March 27, 2008

Learning the hard way

So I was picking up my son today…I arrived a few minutes early and was waiting for school to let out when my phone rings…it is my OTHER son.... he is a bit older and I don’t drive him to and from school any more…he and his buddies are all beginning to drive…

So he calls to tell me that he is walking to the corner….there has been an accident…two of his best friends…kids that he’s known since he was a toddler…he’s going to see what happened.

I spoke to him a few times before I actually arrived there myself, about 40 minutes later…the driver was fine. The accident was his fault. The passenger was being cut from the vehicle. He was more or less conscious….when they finally removed him from the vehicle, he was screaming…his face was bruised, more than likely from the airbag…he had a neck brace and was strapped to a board….he was rushed to the hospital.

We live in the New Orleans area.

This is not a good place to be in need of medical attention these days. Our medical community is…well, frankly, it’s a mess since Katrina.

This kid…fifteen year old kid is the child of divorced parents. His father lives out of state. His mother happens to be out of town for a few days.

We get a call a while later. His right leg is broken in several places…they are operating on it now.

His pelvis is crushed…and so is his kidney (can a kidney be crushed? – we are getting our news via the grapevine..and that is the terminology that was used).

So I was talking to my boys about…how quickly things happen…how dangerous vehicles can be….how terrible it must feel to have hurt your friend…but….

How, in a moment,

our whole lives can change.

We talked about all sorts of things….how…he will likely be affected by this accident for the rest of his life. They rolled their eyes at me.

Those boys were on their way home from school. I said to my son…his friend…’just thirty minutes before that wreck, he was sitting in a classroom….never in his wildest dreams would he have thought that his life would be forever changed in a short while…..or that he’d be in surgery in an hour or two’

My son said “yeah…I had class with him earlier today….geez”

So I said…”that is one reason why it is so upsetting for me when we part and are still angry…..if we have a rough morning …well…it’s just not a good way to leave things….our circumstances can change drastically…things can quickly before we see each other again..or IF we see each other again.”

That may be the first time in months I’ve said more than five consecutive words without getting the eyes rolling back in the head.

It seems that most of the lessons we humans learn…we must learn the hard way.

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