My Dad fell and broke his hip on Monday. I was on my way to Youth Camp when it happened and in and out of cell phone coverage so I did not get the message until I stopped and got out of the car at camp. I called his wife Wanda for an update. They had been going out for pizza at lunch time. They were going to an old Arlington hangout, Mama's Pizza that had gotten a write up in the paper. Somehow as he was stepping up from the parking lot to the sidewalk he got his feet tangled. They were holding hands and so they fell together. He landed right on the curb. She landed on him and then she hit the sidewalk with her face.
After 5 hours in the ER, they had a room and a plan which involved surgery on Tue. I got up that morning and drove from camp (south of Waco) to Arlington. I arrived and we waited for the surgery to start. It was later than expected, but finally they came to take him about 2:30. I decided to slip across the street to get lunch and then hurry back before the surgery was finished. Wanda had several friends with her and I told here I would be right back.
I headed to the parking garage and called Cindy who was immersed in VBS preparations to give her an update. As I approached my car I dropped the call, too much concrete. I started the car up and headed toward the exit. I did not make it. I heard a noise. I stopped the car. I got out. My tire was completely flat. I knew intently what I had to do. I had to change the tire, go get it fixed and then hurry back so that I could return to Youth Camp that night.
I hoped open the trunk, grabbed the necessary equipment and started the process. It was the first time in this car so I was unfamiliar with several things. I had to crawl around to find the gift spots. I could not figure out the twisting part of the jack and so it took tons of extra time. I got the flat tire off easier than getting the donut tire back on. All the while I was trying to keep my kaki pants and yellow shirt clean. Finally, the flat tire was int he trunk, the new tire was one and I got into the car dripping wet.
I headed to a tire place. I waited in line and asked if they could fixe my tire. They came and looked and said yes. It was clear that a screw or a nail was in it. There were several people in front of me so I sat down and waited. I called and texted Wanda my update, but got no response. I waited. Eventually, they took my car to the shop area. I tried to do some work while I waited. I kept checking my phone to see if Wanda had gotten my messages. Still nothing. Then the text came through, Mel was out of surgery. I screamed a little on the inside.
Not long after, the attendant handed me the bill. He told me the car was out front. The bill was confusing it looked like it had several charges on it, but the total was blank. I waited in line to pay the bill. the attendant came back and asked if I had any questions. I said, "No, I was just waiting to pay." He said, "Oh, its no charge." I was confused, then grateful. (I want to thank the Discount Tire Store on Division street just across from Cowboy stadium for their generosity and help)
I walked out of the place and got into my car and headed back to the hospital. Dad was wheeled into his room not long after. He had had three screws put in and I had had 1 taken out. A screw in the right place can do a lot of good, in the wrong place it can be deflating. He was in good spirits and sent me bak to youth camp. After Camp ended, I headed back to Arlington on Friday afternoon and got to see him walking. I'm writing this at Starbucks as I wait for him to get delivered to a rehab center to help strengthen his muscles and get him back on his feet.
It has been a great, difficult, trying, exciting, surprising week. Youth Camp, Broken Hip, Surgery, sermons, relay races, blobbing, rehabbing, driving, praying. A typical week in my life. Life is complicated, hard and rich.