Father’s Day: Redux
This father’s day will probably be one of the ones I end up appreciating most.
It’s not because I’m back home and able to celebrate it, or because I got an epic present for my dad or anything. But, I will probably remember it for a very long time because I will spend it, simply thankful that my father is alive.
Last Friday, on June 6th, my mother and I were waiting for my father to come home from work so we could figure out what to do for dinner. He had taken his motorbike because it was a gorgeous day and it was Friday. He normally was home around 5:15. But that time came and went. Then 6pm did. By this point, we were worried, and mum made the good mistake of checking Facebook. A community page had reported that the 1000 Islands Parkway was closed down due to a collision between a motorcycle and a car.
We had nothing else to go on but a Facebook status, but my mum knew that was my dad.
Motorcycle accidents don’t end well. So it was very easy to assume the worst. Some how, I pushed all thoughts to the back of my mind, and began calling every police station and hospital we could, leaving our name and number so they could contact us because at this point, my dad was over an hour and a half late and there was no way he was just stuck in traffic. There is no such thing as hour and a half traffic in our area.
At 8pm, we finally received a call from the Ontario Provincial Police that confirmed our biggest fear and the only thing we were hoping for: yes, my father was in the accident, but no, he was not dead. Due to the injuries, dad had been airlifted to Kingston General Hospital, which is better suited to treat the injuries that my father had, and he was in emergency. With an alarmingly clear head, I was able to get the pets fed, put them out to go to the bathroom, got them inside, turned everything off, got me and my mum in the car, and we some how made the hour long trip to Kingston.
It wasn’t until I actually saw my father that I finally felt that awful wave of emotion, where every bit of fear washed over me and I had to leave the room to sob. My dad is proof that wearing the right motorcycle gear works. He needed no immediate stitches, there was no bleeding or awful gashes, because he was head to toe in the right clothing. However, I’ve taken to describing him as a bag of marbles. He looks fine on the inside, but the list of damage on the inside is immense. Bleeding on the brain, dislocated shoulder, about 8 broken ribs, a shattered hip, fractured knee, fractured ankle, and his entire left side is bruised the most impossible shade of purple. My father was not allowed to move until an entire week later. Not even sitting up, he was stuck to lying flat, completely bedridden, for fear of re-dislocating various joints that had to be set into place, or some how injuring his ribs more and puncturing his lungs or something inside.
Because social media is both a blessing and a curse, photos of the accident were up on Facebook before we could even get in to see my dad. Never before have I been on this side of the social media, where the need for news is about someone so close to me, but seeing photos of my father’s incredibly close brush with death posted so commonly and so quickly, I felt sick. What’s worse, when my sister and I spoke up about how inappropriate it was to have the post up so quickly, there were those who were quick to tell us that they were entitled to the news. I don’t want to get into how I felt about that, but… No.
The accident was in the news paper the next day as well, but we missed that. However, lots of people apparently saw it and we have gotten a lot of “Oh my god that was your dad?” comments.
Obviously, everything has changed now. Every day is spent going to Kingston to spend time with dad. We see him making huge improvements every day, but considering how massive his injuries were, huge improvements right now include the entire “bleeding on the brain” scare ending up being a small bleed which eventually took care of itself and didn’t do any more damage. We celebrated the day the neck brace was removed. I celebrate every time they seem to remove an IV drip or a heart rate monitor or another wire or cable that makes everything look more terrifying. We joke about this winning for the “Most Extreme Attempt to Be Able to Watch ALL of The World Cup” and sneak in cookies now that dad can feed himself and seems to have an appetite. But… He’s still not standing up. Hell, he’s not even sitting up.
“You know, I thought I would be up walking by Thursday,” Dad said today as he told us how he was starting to understand just how severe his injuries are. “I genuinely did. But everything hurts and it’s just hurting more and more now.”
This father’s day, I’m so thankful to so many people who have helped me and my family through the week. So I’d like to take this brief moment to thank as many of them as I can, even though I’m sure most won’t see it.
- First off, I’d like to thank all of my family for being there for us even though we’re an ocean apart. Coming home to find your messages on the answering machine, or getting to talk with you when we had a moment on the phone, or using Facebook Messenger to talk together as a family has really helped us simply by having someone to talk to about everything, since it’s been such an overwhelming week.
- I’d like to thank the first responders who were on the scene right when the accident happened. We have been to visit them, and thanked them in person, but it goes without saying that without their quick actions, my father might not be alive right now. Thank you for helping immobilize my father, bringing him out of unconsciousness, and some how getting him to respond so quickly.
- Thank you so so so so so much to the incredible staff in the Kingston General Hospital Intensive Care Unit. The nurses that have been taking care of my father for the past week have been absolute angels, and have made it much easier for my family to go home and rest easy, because we know he’s in good hands. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
- Thank you to my father and mother’s friends and co-workers, who have been really awesome in helping out in what ever ways they can. Even if we never took up most of the offers, knowing that there was a bed available in Kingston if needed, or people who would be more than happy to help us our when ever we needed was a comfort.
- A special thanks to my dad’s friend Jamie, who has been walking Luke and Dora for us. This saved us a lot of time when we were spending 8 hours a day in Kingston, and was good to know the dogs weren’t suffering too much.
- Thanks to the Canadian Military and my sister’s boss, who let my sister take the time off to fly home from Edmonton to be with the family. None of us expected Jen to be able to come home, so having her with us was a real blessing.
And of course, thank you to all my friends who have been really supportive over the last week, asking how my dad is and being really caring about the matter. It’s really good to know that people are sending positive thoughts my dad’s way.