Friends. The first thing I want to tell you is that Dale is going to be alright. The rest of what I have to tell you, though, is scary and it’s hard for me to write about it. But I’m having trouble coping and I know that I process my feelings through writing so here we go.
On Monday afternoon, while my beloved husband was mowing our lawn, he was hit by a car. I was in our living room when I heard a loud bang out front and our lights went out. I ran for the front door and in a split second I took in 3 things: the utility pole on our corner was at a weird angle, there was a car smashed into it, and Dale was lying on his side in the middle of the road.
As I ran to him across our lawn, I saw my neighbor Jeff had gotten to him first and he was already holding Dale’s hand and yelling for someone to call 911. I knelt down beside Dale and I looked at that face that means everything to me and I said, I’m here. I’m right here. He looked up with his blue eyes and all I felt was relief that he was alive. Jeff said, it’s his leg but he’s going to be okay and I clung to those words. In a matter of minutes the police arrived, along with the fire department and paramedics, all people I know and trust. Our Town Administrator was on the scene immediately and my kids somehow got through the police barricade that was preventing traffic from coming down our street and I was surrounded by good, smart, capable people who knew how to take care of my guy.
He was in the ambulance incredibly fast and there was barely time for a quick kiss and I love you before he was on his way to Boston. Without me. Because we are living in the time of corona.
Here are the things I know:
he broke two bones in his lower left leg
he had surgery Monday night and it went well
he did not sustain any internal injuries
other than some cuts, bumps and bruises, his only significant injury is to his leg
To put it in no uncertain terms: this is a miracle.
And despite that knowledge, I am struggling. Not with the gratitude, for I am extremely grateful. And not even with accepting how miraculous it is that his injuries, while serious, should not be (or become) life threatening. The truth is that I’m struggling with the trauma. I see him lying in that road every time I look out my window. In any other time I would be with him, sitting by his side, holding his hand, watching every breath he takes. Observing with my own eyes that he is alive. Rather, I have to rely on information from others. Nurses who are kind but also busy and working very hard, and doctors who are taking care of Dale but don’t have to look his wife in the eye and answer her questions or return her phone calls.
It’s hard, so hard, to not be with him right now. I’ve talked to Dale and he sounds good (albeit loopy from pain meds) and I know he’s in the best place. But, I’ll tell you plain, I am terrified most of the time. I’m carrying on and people are wonderful with their concerns and prayers and texts and phone calls. Our social media accounts have been flooded with good wishes for Dale, he even has his own hashtag now, #dalestrong. Even so, yesterday I had two full blown panic attacks. They were scary and overwhelming and I couldn’t breath and felt like I was going to shake right out of my skin and I’d like to never have that happen again thankyouverymuch. I’m told, by some very excellent people, that this is my brain’s way of coping with the trauma and that I should expect this to come and go for a couple of weeks. I’m thinking that they will lesson significantly once Dale is home and I can lay eyes on him whenever I want. Right now, though, I don’t know exactly when that will be so I’m just . . . hanging on. Sometimes by nothing but a thread, honestly.
I know without a doubt that you are all reading this with love and concern and you will keep Dale and I and our family in your thoughts, prayers, and well wishes. I’m betting my comment feed is about to explode, which I anticipate with wonder because I know there will be words of wisdom and an outpouring of love. I do ask for your forgiveness, though, if I just don’t have the strength to respond in the ways that I usually do.
I will keep you posted as I’m able but in the meantime please just know that I’m here, I’m reading your comments, and I’m so very grateful for all of you.