We were having such a lovely family moment Wednesday night. All four of our children together for Santa pictures, then a trip to the Hallmark store to get our yearly ornaments.
"Honey, we could be a Norman Rockwell painting. This is so wonderful" I said to my husband. He laughed and agreed. It's an amazingly content feeling having all my children with us. I really did say that thing about the Rockwell painting. Honest.
However, I've not seen a Rockwell moment end in screaming, blood, sirens, medics and did I mention the screaming?
That's the way our Rockwell Evening finished up.
With our busy lives it's so hard to get everyone together, even for a meal. But we have one very important family tradition each and every year for the past 22 years; Santa pictures and ornament buying. I have two very large frames that hold each memory of these events, lined up by year. Each Christmas I bring them out and hang them on the wall to
So we got the picture taken, purchased it and went on our way to the Hallmark store in Canyon Park to pick out ornaments. Each year each offspring gets to buy a new ornament. We mark it with their names and when they marry and leave home, they'll take a lifetime of Christmas memories with them. I know, very Norman Rockwell, right?
We finished buying ornaments and on our way home we were driving past Country Village, which as you might expect, looks like a country village.
It was a dark and stormy night. I know, I know, but it was. Dark AND stormy. Raining too. We parked and proceeded to the boardwalk. And when I say 'boardwalk', I literally mean we were walking on boards. Tiny little rotten boards. But I'm getting ahead of myself here.
My three daughters spied a boutique clothing store and we followed in right behind. I'm not big on shopping--ask anyone who knows me and they'll tell you. I hate shopping. However, I enjoy browsing nice independent shops with interesting and different offerings. As my girls were ooohing and ahhing and trying things on, my 19 year old son Christopher and I stepped out for some air. It was kind of warm in that little shop and I don't do warm.
We walked out and around a corner to window shop. I told him how happy I was to have him with us and he laughed. "Don't laugh, I remember when you didn't want to go anywhere with us--ever" He then said the words every mother of a teenager would pay dearly to hear. "I know. I was pretty stupid back then. I just didn't understand" We then talked about Canon Beach Oregon and the time we took him there and he spent the entire time being mad at us. For taking him to one of the most gorgeous places on earth. It was nice to hear him say that he'd been dumb and then APOLOGIZE for how he'd acted that way.
I was incredibly happy at that moment.
We walked back to the clothing boutique to see if they were done yet. They weren't. Alli had a beautiful white coat on. I agreed we should buy it. Ashley had a shirt she liked and Steph was sporting a new hat. Ashley asked me to come outside so she could show me something else she liked. We walked outside and she went ahead of me to another little store with some purses outside on a table. The one she liked was $40. I told her sorry, but she wouldn't be going home with that purse.
I turned and walked back towards Chris, who was outside the other boutique the others were in with their clothes. I put my left foot forward and down, you know, like people walking are wont to do.
All I remember of this horrible moment is a loud crack like a gunshot and instant agony. I was down with my left leg wedged to the thigh in what felt like a vise. I heard screaming and realized it was me.
The medics asked me later if I'd lost consciousness. I wish I had been knocked out. The pain was intense. Lance had run out from the store and pulled my leg free---oh--oh--oh the pain. I was screaming and sobbing and laying face down on the wet boardwalk.
I remember hearing Ashley sobbing hysterically that it was all her fault because she'd asked me to go outside. I knew my crying was further upsetting her and I tried to calm myself so she wouldn't get so hysterical that she'd have a seizure. I tried to take deep breaths---it wasn't easy. I called out to her from the ground as the medics were working on me that it wasn't her fault. Mommy would be fine. It. Was. Not. Her. Fault.
I was on my back and rain was falling on my face. Blankets were placed on me, someone's coat was under my head and still the rain fell. I heard Stephanie asking if anyone had an umbrella--apparently no one did because she took off her coat and held it over me so the rain wouldn't drown me. I was shaking so hard, sobbing and trying so hard to stop so I wouldn't further frighten my children.
The put a brace on my leg and eventually put me on a board to get me off the wet cement I was laying on. Shaking...crying....shaking. Hands were holding mine. Some were my family, one was a lady I didn't know who leaned down to tell me how sorry she was, that she knew I was in great pain and tried to help me get my breathing under control.
The ride to Northwest Hospital was a new adventure in pain. I hadn't realized there were so many bumps in the road. Really hadn't noticed them too much before--now each one made me wince and cry out. Ashley was riding along in the front seat of the ambulance with me.
I won't bore you with every little detail now of the multiple needle pokes to get an IV going on me, or the x-ray and MRI and several shots of Dillauded they pushed into my IV to help my pain. Suffice it to say that the fall through the boardwalk tore my medial collateral ligament and tore my meniscus in two places. I'm purple from my shins up to my middle thigh. They say I'll need surgery to repair the damage. I'm hoping to see the Orthopedic Surgeon today to find out when and what the surgery will entail.
So this Rockwell Evening didn't end as I'd planned---with us all having hot chocolate around the piano while Alli played Christmas songs and the family sang along. It wouldn't have worked out anyway.
First of all--we're sans piano at the moment so that wouldn't have happened. We do have hot chocolate at the house but I guess I'll never really know how the night should have ended.
All I know is that Rockwell never painted a picture like this...