Oh, your Dad…

Hi Honey,

I almost forgot to tell you! Man, would you be mad if you were here and we’d forgotten…

I was in Atlanta last week at a meeting and I got a text from your Dad, Can You Talk? I let him know I was in the middle of the meeting but I could pull out if I had to. The response: Yes. WTH?! You know I’m not much of an alarmist, but I did have a few “I wonders…” run through my head in a split second.

So I call your Dad…

And he answers with “I’m fine and nothing is broken.” O. K. A. Y… He was in a motorcycle accident! An F150 hit him from behind as he was making a right turn onto another road. Took the bike out from underneath him, spun him around, sent his bike into the car waiting to turn onto the road he was just turning from. WHAT?! He did not hit his head, no scratch on his helmet. He landed on his right hip/butt cheek, smacked his leg and hit his elbow. Your poor Grandpa drove by the cleanup and recognized his son’s bike. I can’t imagine the heart in the throat he must have experienced.

He has a mighty bruise on his hip, that we figured out was actually from his belt connection that is on the bottom of his riding jacket. Weirdly, his phone, in the leg pocket of the jeans on the same side, is unscathed! He has a quarter sized hole in the inside of his rt elbow on the jacket. I finally saw the bruise on his elbow yesterday. It took a long time to surface. His knee is a little unstable, basically a bad strain. He had his follow up with his Dr today and he gave him some exercises to do to make sure all the micromuscles in the knee are going to heal correctly. The scrape on his ankle is almost gone. He did have a raspberry on his butt, basically in the design of jean fabric. That’s almost healed, too, though the jeans are in the trash.

And he’s fine.

And being your Dad, he was more worried about the driver of the truck than he was about himself. In the time it took for EMS to get there, he’d already talked to the driver, an Afghanistan vet with a leg amputation, and thanked him for his service. He got a little teary eye’d, as he was telling me about him. Your Dad has such a heart for vets.

The insurance is already almost processed, the bike is totaled, and your Dad, of course, is planning on the replacement…

And I’m trying to be OK with that…

And I’m just kinda not…

Had this been caused by an error in his judgment, we would be having an entirely different conversation, but it wasn’t. And it just pisses me off that as I think about this, my only avenues are 1. He gets a new bike and he maybe never has another accident again, or maybe he does and 2. If I pitch a fit and ask him not to ride again, he would do that for me, as he once did when the motorcyclist hit me when I was pregnant with your brother. But he would mourn it for the next 30 years and I would pay for that. Not in a “you did this to me” kind of way, but in an “I sure wish” kind of way. And I really hate being in that position, and I really hate that the hardship of that, and the anticipation of the weariness about would feel about that, weighs in this discussion at all.

As we talked through this, I told him I don’t have the capacity to understand his love of riding. There is nothing that I do, that endangers my future with him, in any way. And I can’t imagine I would ever chose the thing over the future. And yet… On the one hand is his love of motorcycles and on the other hand is a long term future, which I obviously know, my girl, is not guaranteed. And somehow, it’s OK with him that the hand with the bike in it wins. And I know it is in no way a diminishment of his love for me, but it feels a little bit like I’m not important enough. That his NEED to ride is more important than my NEED for him to be in once piece.

And then he wants to share his excitement with me as he shops for a new bike. And he wants my opinions and my ideas. And I just shut down a little bit, because I don’t want to go there, and he doesn’t realize what he’s asking of me, and he keeps talking.

But in the end, as I told him, it is not my decision to make, it is his. And he has to own that decision, even if, in my usual way, I make it easier for him, while making it harder for me, and I can just know that if nothing happens, I’ll have spent time worrying needlessly and if something does happen, all the worry in the world won’t change it. So, somehow, I’ll find myself, again. I’ll look away when he gets on the new bike, until I don’t have to look away anymore.

I will not live in fear, though I will visit an avenue in fear that I haven’t strolled on in a while.

Today, I am thankful that there is a helmet in the garage with not a scratch. I’m thankful it was your Dad who called me and not some first responder or your Grandpa. I’m thankful for insurance and a contrite driver who immediately accepted responsibility for an accident, served his country honorably, and was unhurt. I’m thankful that your Dad is tough. I’m thankful that I am secure in his love for me, even when his choices feel like I’m not important enough. I’m thankful that I can separate for a little bit, when something hurts my heart, knowing that I will return to the reality when my heart is a little safer, a little more protected. I’m thankful it is not my decision. I’m thankful that all of this, in the end, has nothing to do with me.

I am thankful for today!!