Saturday, August 3, 2013

Saturday Musings, 03 August 2013

Good morning,

The morning paper shimmers with lovely photographs of the butterflies and moths at Powell Gardens. A turn of the page reveals black and white photos of staff at a a local cancer unit taken by a patient's father. I sip my coffee, cradle my broken hand and think about luck.

Some might dispute my belief that I have always been lucky. But there is no doubt. I have survived weird diseases and freak accidents. I've literally dodged bullets and been hurdled back to earth by angels, where I came to lying on asphalt having shed not one drop of blood, suffering only a crushed leg while the car which hit me stood inoperable and steaming. I've been cut out of cars by the jaws of life and screeched to a stop just inches from a sleeping bear in the middle of an Arkansas mountain roadway.

Now I find myself typing with one reasonably capable hand and the index finger of the other on the docking station of my tablet, the radio humming beside me flanked by six hot ounces of coffee in a Don Francisco mug. I stepped from a curb cut into the wide stretch of street between the CVS and the handicapped space where I had parked. My legs wobbled; I went down; and who should be driving the car that narrowly missed me but a local physician? He staunched the blood and tidied me up while I waited for a ride to the ER.

I experienced a true Tennessee Williams moment. Kind strangers patted my hand while I bled all over the doctor's Brooks Brothers shirt. The pharmacy manager brought first aid supplies and a stool. A grandmother named Kate tried to reach my husband and then my son. Somebody scooped my fallen belongings into my bag and rescued a fluttering twenty-dollar bill from under my bumper. The doctor and his companions left me in the hands of the grandmother, who stayed with me until my son arrived to whisk me to the hospital.

A lifetime later I finally made it home, with a space-age splint and a Percoset prescription. Husband and son went back to fetch my stranded car. I trudged upstairs and dropped my shoes on the floor. A shiner bloomed on the left side of my face and a wicked headache threatened. I'll be lucky if I don't have to have hand surgery. I won't be driving for a while, at least until the ortho folks put something more sturdy on my hand. Typing poses a challenge and I'll be taking my son with me to court for a few days at least. Among the most annoying challenges? I am not quite sure how I will wash my hair. This is second only to the city's response to my being injured by my use of an inadequately situated handicapped space: they have apparently decided not to provide any accessible parking in Brookside. Nice call, Kansas City.

With all of this looming around me, I fight to push the pity party away. I add "run over by an SUV" to my list of things that haven't happened to me, and "fell right as a doctor turned the corner" to the growing catalogue of happy events in my life. Memories of the surreal four hours in the ER still draw a smile from me -- the unflappable pregnant triage nurse, the couple in their sixties wearing cocktail attire, making out in the corner. But there, too, I found reasons to feel lucky: a family huddled on one side of the room, speculating as to whether their battered loved one could hear them; a woman wrapped her arms and a warm blanket around a frail shivering man.

So another week draws to a close and Car Talk chatters in the background. My world turns a click closer to home, while somewhere in my town, a doctor's wife pats her husband's hand and tells him what a good man he is.

Mugwumpishly tendered,

Corinne Corley

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The Missouri Mugwump™

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I've been many things in my life: A child, a daughter, a friend; a wife, a mother, a lawyer and a pet-owner. I've given my best to many things and my worst to a few. I live in Brookside, in an airplane bungalow. I'm an eternal optimist and a sometime-poet. If I ever got a poem published in The New Yorker, I would die a happy woman. I'm a proud supporter of the Arts in Kansas City. I vote Democrat, fly the American flag, cry at Hallmark commercials, and recycle.