The following is a guest post by Stephani Jenkins of Cheapskate Cook:
Six years ago, my husband was on his motorcycle, headed home from picking up mayonnaise at the store. The phone rang while I fed our kids dinner, dropping soft bits of food on my 9-month old’s high chair.
I don’t know why I answered the phone. I never answer when I don’t recognize the number.
“Excuse me, is this Stephani? Does your husband drive, like… like a scooter or a motorcycle?”
I barely remember what else she said.
“They’re calling an ambulance. You’d better get over here right away. He’s really hurt.”
I left the kids with a neighbor and arrived minutes later. There had been a crash, and when you’re on a motorcycle, you always lose.
Chris’ neck was in a brace, and I pushed my way through the EMTs. When he saw me, his first and only words were, “I’m sorry, babe.”
That night, we slept in the emergency room. Chris drifted in and out of pain meds, and I watched blood drip onto the floor before they got him bandaged up for surgery the next morning. A friend came around midnight with snacks, a sweater, and a breast pump.
The next morning, when the surgeon wheeled Chris away, he said, “We’ll do our best to save his leg, but I can’t make any promises.”
That was the beginning of the most difficult and expensive season of our lives so far.
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In that weird way that our brains face trauma with a detached realism, I remember not understanding the full scope of Chris’s injuries, knowing we would do everything we could, and knowing that even if it all went south, we would be okay.
This was a morbid comfort when the situation was completely out of my control.
We were young and healthy and had every reason to think we would continue that way for the next 30 years (well, maybe not the young part).
But what happened at the grocery store stoplight could have destroyed…