It’s a glorious, quiet Sunday afternoon and my French door is standing wide open. Freckles just galloped by on the rickety porch, her tongue lolling out of her mouth, in pursuit of an insect. In the other room, I can hear Mom and Papa talking about insurance and local doctors and ER costs and nausea.
Sometimes you just know what’s going to happen, but it almost seems as if the knowledge is removed—somewhere outside yourself. When Mom told me she and Papa were going for a motorcycle ride, we started talking about the dangers. In fact, it’s the statistics and dangers of motorcycles that led Papa to decide he’d rather I didn’t have a motorcycle license. As they aired up the tire I had an odd, eerie sensation. Mom tells me she did, too. The whole ride she kept praying for the Lord’s protection, but even more that He would just help her to be calm and to trust Him. As soon as Mom’s ring-tone started, I knew something was wrong—I knew they’d wrecked. Mom’s voice was calm and deliberate, explaining where they were and what had happened and asking me to bring the truck and have Josiah and Tommy drive separately. My mind flashed back to the time, several years ago, when Papa had cut his knee open with the chainsaw. Now, I could hear the same tone in her voice as she said, measured, “I’m fine. The motorcycle is fine. Papa’s injured, but we can take him in ourselves. He’s up at some folks’ house.”
That’s why Mom and Papa are discussing medical procedures. From the way he hunches and winces, Papa must have his broken collar-bone and perhaps even have a broken or bruised rib or two. Mom has a banged up knee.
It could have been so much worse. What Mom and I had actually discussed before they left is how many motorcycle wrecks are fatal. Even little spills can do big damage. With their helmets and layers of protection, Mom and Papa had no scratches. They spilled into the ditch on a hairpin curve right in front of a house where people were out in the yard. And they had cell-phone reception—barely. All near-miracles for those of us living out here in the boonies.
Papa just now hobbled through the open glass door in my room, his arm in a sling, a smile on his face. “It’s a pretty day, isn’t it?”