Tuesday, November 10, 2009

It Might Not Be My Mother's Fault

The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.

Recall for Bad Accelerators

Most important is that my mom's mobility is only temporarily impaired. Still, it's hopeful to learn that there's currently a question of whether the car had a faulty accelerator and caused the accident.

In any case, my mom's still laid up in the hospital and rehab for at least a couple of weeks, and she will not heal for up to eight weeks.

"Oh, God," I said to Pat when I first learned of my mom's cracked sternum, "She's already got a bad back --"

"Her sternum is her front, not her back," Pat explained.

"Oy, so now a bad back and a bad *front*. My poor mother."

My mother looks injured, with a mottled, right hand that's full of swelling and a silvery finger-splint on her index finger. And every time she moves, she yelps due to the sternum-damage.

This morning by phone:

"You sound better, Mom. You were a bit morose yesterday."

"Because I had had no sleep. How was I morose?"

"Well, you were needing to be convinced that it made sense to hang around for Max's and Sam's Bar Mitzvah [in two years]."

"Yeah, well --"

"And I need you to stick around for my Masters graduation."

"Don't make me laugh, Sarah, it hurts."

"I'm not joking."

"Kayla's coming today."

"Yeah, and I'll visit you after my therapy session tomorrow evening."

"Oh, good --"

"So that'll mean you'll just be on your own on Thursday and Friday, but we'll all see you over the weekend."

"Well, they're moving me on Thursday to the rehab anyway."

Writing this, I'm haunted by the nurse who offered yesterday, "The people I've seen do best in the hospital are the ones from ethnic families. They might not even understand English or what's going on exactly, but they're here with food and everyone's in the room continuously. Sometimes, they spill out of the room."

I recall, thinking at the time that the nurse was no doubt right and that she had better not use that as an excuse and blame us, if my mother's health failed, God forbid.

Yesterday morning, I called the local U.S. Post Office to request that my mom's mail be held for eight weeks.

"We hold it only for 30 days. Let's cross that bridge if we come to it, though."

In response, I felt both hopeful and worried. Did the postmaster mean, Your mother might be better by then, or God forbid...?

When I told her my mom's name (Edythe) and address, she said, "My mother's name was also Edith."

"You said, 'was.'"

"Yes," she sounded like she was smiling wistfully.

"I'm sorry to hear it."

The Scene

In the afternoon, I picked up the police report from the Bedford Street station, got directions from a lovely police officer and then drove to the scene of the accident to see it for myself.

There is another Stamford, which I never really noticed as vividly prior. Once I drove under the I-95 overpass, the sky and land suddenly opened up and I felt like I was in the Hamptons or any beachy area. I drove past the convenience store, where one of my best friends who lived in that neighborhood and I used to hang out when we were 11. She would wear her sparkly "Yes" rock-band T-shirt and look so cool and I would feel like her nerdy sidekick.

And then I kept going down Shippan Avenue, till it was time to turn down a street and see the aftermath. I took two camera-phone pictures, but my phone doesn't enable me to upload the photos. It was terrifying. The stone-wall had a bite-shaped chunk taken out of it, the width of my mom's car, and I saw that behind the wall was a 20-foot+ drop down to the owner's property. Thank God the car got caught on the wall. It creeps me out, writing about it.

My mother had a friend, whose car was hit earlier this year, and he is paralyzed from it. Thank you, God, that my mother was not more hurt than she was. And thank God I have therapy tomorrow eve.

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