When I was a kid, my parents worked hard to keep me away from sad experiences. They especially worked to keep me from experiences connected to death. That all changed at about the age of seven. It was the summer of the best game of tag.
I must have been 19 when I took this trip with my dad. We were on our way to Los Angeles. To prep for the one hour trip, I remembered to grab a small cotton hand towel to dry my hands. I don’t like the feel of moist hands, especially when I drive. About 25-30 minutes into the drive, my hands began to feel a little moist. With one hand on the steering wheel, I reached down for the towel with my left hand. Just a quick rub on the cotton towel. No big deal. We were moving close to 70 mph, but I didn’t need to shift my eyes from the road to reach for the towel.
Looking down at my hand this afternoon, I noticed that the large cut on my left palm has healed. It took a few days, but I’m relieved to know that it is much better. In the time it took for me to look it over, memories of the car accident my son had a few years ago began to fill my mind. It took months for him to recover. It was a trauma for him, for all of us. The process of changing bandages, keeping him comfortable and calm is all I focused on those few months. That was not as important as having had him survive it all. He was alive and had both of his legs. All he needed was to heal and learn to walk again. It is as far as my mind will allow me to return to that experience, so my memories push further back to a class I took in high school.
She came in to schedule my next appointment, but in our few minutes we gained much more than I expected.
“Hello” she said from behind the mask, as she sat down and began the search for dates on the screen. “I’m going to schedule your next appointment… are you okay with scheduling it for next year?” “Yes, of course,” I said.