Friday, December 4, 2009

Life's Unexpected Turns

Switching from my writing world to my personal world today. Yesterday morning, two of my very closest friends were in an auto accident. A daughter of one of them was flying home after a nice ten day visit with her mother, so they were off to Kansas City to the airport. They had not left our town yet when a truck made a left turn in front of them. The truck driver says he never saw their car. It's possible as it is a silver gray car and the early morning sun may have been reflecting on it. That's of little consequence, however.

My two friends are both in the hospital. One here in our community hospital with a fractured sternum, muscles spasms in her neck and aches and pains from head to toe. Seatbelts save lives but they inflict injuries of their own at times. My other friend, the driver, was airlifted to a Topeka hospital with two fractured vertebrae in her neck and a broken ankle. She was in surgery last night as there was internal bleeding in that same area, and they needed to stop it to relieve pressure on the spinal cord. She is in ICU now. One of her family members who called me said, "She was awake and alert all day and giving orders." That last part left me smiling and breathing a sigh of relief, because that meant she was herself.

The third person in the car, my friend's daughter, had a broken kneecap, but she went to Topeka with a brother to be with her mother yesterday. Each of these women who ended up in hospitals have large families. One has 6 children, the other 5, plus many grandchildren. It was a major production to notify all their family members who are spread around the country. Plus a long list of friends.

Yesterday's plan was that we were all to go out to dinner last night and then to play bridge afterward. Our Christmas celebration for that bridge group. How quickly plans can change, how quickly a life can come perilously close to ending, how quickly we come to realize how very dear someone is to us--all because a truck driver did not see a car and made a turn that has changed many lives.

Be careful when you're out doing all your December shopping and celebrating.

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