Wednesday, July 20, 2011

beginning driver (part two)

Suffice to say that the night didn't get any better. But it is a long story from a long time ago. A bit of our family lore. The fact of the matter is that Chuck and his brothers got through the night. He was in the hospital for quite some time, moved from the PICU out to the pediatric ward after a while, with less frequent monitoring. Then home. He was out of school for a decent period that fall, was provided with a tutor, and could not participate in sports activities. His brothers were reminded that they could not punch or kick him, in other words, no boyish pranks, no wrestling for a year due to internal injuries. As if the wreck wasn't enough, the following year he was out of school another month because of mono. He lost his job at a nice restaurant because of the lengthy illness. He was run down and basically stayed in bed sleeping for the entire month, which again, put him behind.

When the boys were small I frequently took them down to Twin Lakes. Our town had built a small water park and a man made "lake", it was a nice place to take the kids, to cool off.  After it was first built it was THE place for moms (on a budget) and kids to go. Karen who knew the boys from the Stephen's Pre-School and later, whose children attended Lee Elementary with them, recalls seeing the boys and me at the lake when they were younger. "They always played so well together", she told me. She was right, as children, they did play so well together.

The bill to tow the car out of the ditch and to the junk yard was fifty dollars. After the accident, when Chuck was on the mend, when his friends gathered in his hospital room and kept him company, when his girlfriend of two years sat on his bedside vowing to never break up with him again and he to never break up with her again (they would later break up). After all of the trauma and evenings of either his father or me sitting with him, I drove over and walked into the tower's lot and looked at the car. The driver's door was pushed into the "cab" of the car, the driver's seat was literally bent in two so that the door nearly met the center console, the frame of the car was pushed in also. There was enough physical damage that it was a complete loss. I remember pulling guitar cases from the trunk (difficult to open but amazingly intact) and cleaning the car out.

Later that week, after the car stuff had been taken care of, I wheeled Chuck down to the shower area for his first shower in what seemed a very long time. A few days later he was released to home and bed rest. His brothers watched out for him in other words, they played well together (stuck up for each other) not unlike the times when they were little boys.

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