Of Platitudes and Percocet and, um, Love

December 11, 2006

I was feeling pretty good this weekend: I had managed to reach a point where I could be philosophic (as they say) about the gloomy turns that life had been taking. I found light and poetry in my reflections on death. I swore my commitment to love and light over gloom and dark. Life was giving me lemons, and I was making lemonade! Go me!

So it was with light heart and sparkling eyes that I loaded WonderBaby into our car and, with the Husband, plotted a sunny afternoon drive to a small town just outside the city, the kind of small town with cobbled streets and old stone buildings and little cafes and all the sorts of things that you find in pretty small towns that are keenly aware of the effect of their charms on romantic city-dwellers like myself. It was a sunny day, a mild day, and we were meeting friends. Maybe, later, we would find ourselves a Christmas tree. We would be light-hearted. Happy. Grateful for our wonderful life. Somewhere, I’m sure, an angel was just about to get her wings.

Or not.

We were only about fifteen minutes into our trip, still in the city, stopped at a light, when our sweet day came to a shattering end. I heard the crash, the thundering clang of metal on metal, felt my body lurch back and forward and back again. I felt my neck twist and my back wrench and heard myself scream and then all I could think was the baby the baby the baby and I didn’t think about the pain in my neck as I spun around in my seat and grabbed at WonderBaby, clutching her arms, her legs, running my hands around her little neck as she stared back, wide-eyed, terrified, and I cried are you alright are you alright?

She was alright. She moved, she turned, she didn’t flinch as I poked and squeezed. She didn’t cry. She just stared.

Later, after Husband had restrained himself (with difficulty – my sweet, gentle husband restrained himself only with difficulty) from attacking the silly young man who had sped into us, and after he had dealt with police officers and after he had declined the ambulance to take us to Emergency himself, he said, we were lucky.

We were lucky.

We were fine. WonderBaby was thoroughly examined and determined to be unscathed (this, after she had overturned the waiting room at Pediatric Emergency). Husband was sore, but unhurt. I was (am) hurt, but nothing insurmountable: whiplash, torn muscles along the spine, an embarassing stint in a neck brace that wounded my dignity, somewhat. It was scary – really really scary – but we’re fine.

I’ve had to keep reminding myself of that. I spent some hours struggling with disbelief – why me? why this week? - before the pain got too bad and I relented to a dose of percocet and a Beverly Hills 902010 marathon, after which deep thoughts – any thoughts – were impossible. For a while, the next day, I thought, maybe this is funny, in the manner of being absurd. But I soon dispensed with that thought – it wasn’t funny. We were very close to being more badly hurt. My baby was in a car accident. Some tard got a bit itchy on the gas pedal and put my child in danger. My family in danger. He hurt us.

But, but… true to what I said in my last post, I can’t dwell on the bad and the sad and the scary and ever-present spectre of death. I can’t live sad and afraid. What I can do – what I must do – is be grateful that we’re fine, especially when some others haven’t been fine, won’t be fine, some others close to me. If anything, Saturday’s car accident serves as a reminder of how true is the maxim that we must be grateful for what we have, embrace what we have, seize it and squeeze it hard.

Such platitudes, but so true: life is fragile, and short, and bitter and sweet. Precious, for its fragility and its sweetness.


Precious, too, for the love that abounds in the communion of lives – and for the love that has been running over the cups of the blogosphere this week. While I was brooding, friends were joining together to take calls to action a little further than I ever imagined.

Kristen telephoned me on Friday to tell me that she and Julie, with the help of a host of other folks with big, big hearts (see full list here), had come up with a crazy, wonderful, spectacular idea – to lift Her Bad Spirits and make the world a better place. By doing something crazy, wonderful and spectacular for Tanner. They were putting together a raffle-auction, to benefit Tanner, to raise funds to be donated to MD Canada, in his name. And they were going to solicit letters, too: they would ask parents to ask their children to send him a card, a note, a drawing, a piece of cheer to brighten the life of a boy who has struggled with being different, with being marked as different because he has a disorder that is crippling him and that will, one day, kill him. They were doing all this Tanner. And for me, because they know how much I love Tanner, and how very much I wish for happiness in his short life.

My heart nearly burst. It is still bursting. It will ever be bursting, from this outpouring of love.

(I’m tempted, here, to make a joke about how maybe my over-bursting heart was kind of an air-bag against all the badness of the car accident, which happened the day after I received word of the auction, but then I’d have to account for the decidedly non-bouncy chest that contains the bursty heart, and the joke sort of starts to fall flat – no pun intended – because I got too literal which is why I avoid jokes and why was I trying to be funny in this PROFOUND post anyway?)

Go, go, see what they have done, are doing. Join in. Buy tickets. Have your children write letters. Spread the love.

Her Bad Auction

And accept my deepest, most hearfelt thanks, for being my friends, and for always reminding me that this world, this life, is indeed filled with so much love, so much laughter and so much joy.

Thank you.

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    { 77 comments }

    Mom101 December 12, 2006 at 9:40 pm

    First and head and shoulders above all, I’m glad you’re all ok. Your optimistic perspective is inspiring and a great lesson for all. We can’t dwell on the “what if’s” when there’s living to do. Thank you for that.

    Her Bad Mother December 12, 2006 at 11:18 pm

    My optimistic perspective has been helped along by percocet, Mom101, but I’ll take the props.

    You all rock so much, do you know that? SO MUCH.

    (And, um, Mad Hatter? I totally had not thought about the tree-icide – tannebaumicide? – that might occur if I give WB access to a tree. *smacking forehead*)

    chelle December 13, 2006 at 12:05 am

    oh my!!! I so know the scariness of being in an accident with the baby! I am so glad everyone is ok within reason! I hope you mend quickly!

    I am so plugging the raffle … the sweetness of it all is so so overwhelming!

    Kristen December 13, 2006 at 1:39 am

    So glad you’re okay, hubby is okay, and especially that Wonderbaby is okay. I would’ve done the same thing – checked on my baby over and over. But no one would’ve been sensible in our house and we might’ve just took turns beating the person who hit us while the other held them down…yeah- we’re a little whacked.

    Alex Elliot December 13, 2006 at 1:43 am

    I’m so glad that you’re okay! That must have been terrifying.

    Bridgermama December 13, 2006 at 1:46 am

    Why is it during my gray period I choose to read your blog? Fate. Thank you so much for helping me put things into perspective and awakening the compassion and empathy buried so deep within myself, covered by my own pity and self-consciousness.

    I send you so much love and hope you and yours get through this time. My heart and gratitude genuinely goes out to you…

    hautemama December 13, 2006 at 3:14 am

    Whew. COuld Wonder baby BE any cuter?

    Where’s Zanta these days?

    Jenny December 13, 2006 at 7:12 am

    I’ve never wanted to hug you more than right now.

    Lizzy December 13, 2006 at 10:53 am

    Jumping jeebus… how scary.

    Needless, I’m happy to read that you all escaped relatively unscathed.

    However, I find the need to comment about percocet and 90210. Back in “the day” one of my favorite pasttimes was popping a recreational percocet, enjoying a glass of a nice single malt and sinking into oblivion to the 90210 marathons. Heaven, I tell you. But I don’t think you need me to tell you that.

    How wonderful that the ladies have organized the auction.

    V-Grrrl December 13, 2006 at 11:34 am

    I’ve had whiplash, and I know it’s worse than people make it out to be. Even after the initial constant pain subsides, you have assorted aches and pains and your muscles fatigue easily for a while.

    Wishing you a speedy recovery–and the tard that hit your car, a call from your lawyer. : )

    soleclaw December 13, 2006 at 12:32 pm

    How terrifying. I cannot even imagine the fear that raced through your body. I’m trembling at the mere thought of the situation. I’m grateful you are all okay.

    gingajoy December 13, 2006 at 12:37 pm

    all that good feeling–you brought it lady.
    so so glad you are ok…

    (and if you wear the neckbase with a matching sweater, maybe people will just think it’s a trendy turtle neck;-)

    Pattie December 13, 2006 at 12:56 pm

    So sorry you had to deal with this (on top of everything else) but thankfully you are all ok. I hope your back and neck are feeling better soon.
    I think it is wonderful what all those special ladies are doing for Tanner, and the other children afflicted with that awful disease. I’ll be buying some tickets for sure! :)

    Take Care of yourself….

    Waya December 13, 2006 at 1:23 pm

    I’m so glad everyone is fine! What a terrible ordeal to go through. Hope the sun will shine on you during these terrifying times.

    something blue December 13, 2006 at 1:36 pm

    I’m just so thankful that you and your family are ok. I hope the pain subsides quickly.

    Miss Misery December 13, 2006 at 1:46 pm

    I’m glad everyone is fine. My sister got whiplash from being in a car accident, I hope you’re not feeling too much pain.

    This is my first time coming to your blog and hearing about Tanner. I’m so sorry, he’s such a beautiful child to want to spend his last wish on someone else.

    Julie Pippert December 13, 2006 at 1:51 pm

    So glad you are okay…and hope you feel better soon.

    Is it three yet?

    Chase December 13, 2006 at 2:28 pm

    SO glad everyone is ok!

    Methinks you need to get some sparkly butterfly pasties and stick them on your neck brace thing. That’ll make you smile, at least. :)

    sunshine scribe December 13, 2006 at 2:41 pm

    So glad you are okay.

    So glad you have so many friends who are sending so much love to you and your family this week.

    mothergoosemouse December 13, 2006 at 2:58 pm

    Love you. (Now I’m the one too emotional to leave a lengthy coherent comment.)

    Heather December 13, 2006 at 6:30 pm

    I’m late on the scene, but wanted to add I’m sorry to hear of your luck and hope you’re all doing much better. I can totally give you stretches and exercises to help with your neck if you want (having been in a car accident a few years ago).

    Will be off to bid on her bad auction!

    P.S. Wonderbaby, as always, is gorgeous.

    Lena December 13, 2006 at 7:18 pm

    The tix have been purchased and Savannah is working on a letter.

    Much love. *smooch*

    Momish December 13, 2006 at 9:31 pm

    You know, I think you are perfectly right to be upset and feel depressed about a string of bad luck. I don’t know why we rationally think we can’t be both at the same time, when in reality, it is EXACTLY what is going on. A car accident is horrible and you can’t help but wonder why your day should have gone as planned and not ended in fright and pain. But, you are still grateful it didn’t end worse. I am a firm believer you don’t have to trade one feeling for the other, but they can live together side by side!

    P.S. The auction is wonderful. These women are amazing, as are you!

    cinnamon gurl December 13, 2006 at 11:36 pm

    Very scary! But I’m so glad you’re going to be ok and wonderbaby was fine. Just sit back and enjoy the percocet now! ;)

    scarbie doll December 14, 2006 at 12:19 am

    Sorry Catharine, I’ve been self absorbed in my own bullshit — nothing nearly as awful as yours and hadn’t been by in a while. Sorry that life is taking a massive dump on you, but I’m glad you’re all alright. Checking the auction site now.

    Joker The Lurcher December 16, 2006 at 5:37 am

    sorry – somehow i missed seeing this in the babble of life recently. i hope you are feeling better now. i cannot believe how life is on such a thread. some jerk can wipe you out with no warning, just because they think their purpose in life is more important than anyone elses. take good care.

    Percocet Side Effects December 2, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    My name is Monica Stone and i would like to show you my personal experience with Percocet.

    I am 35 years old. Have been on Percocet for 7 days now. It did help the pain but the side effects weren’t worth it. I’d rather have the pain.

    I have experienced some of these side effects-
    nausea, very itchy, racing heart, anxiety, flashing lights(almost hallucinogenic?), weird dreams, tiredness

    I hope this information will be useful to others,
    Monica Stone

    Comments on this entry are closed.

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