It’s Saturday. The kids had soccer in the morning. You think getting the kids out the door with shin guards, uniforms, and cleats on the right feet should be an olympic sport.
On Saturday night, you put the kids to bed. You make some popcorn. It’s 9 pm. You turn on HDTV and watch “Property Brothers”. You and your spouse can’t believe how a teacher and a professional hamster training can afford a 1.2 million dollar home. You fall asleep on the couch. You had intended to fold the laundry. But when you wake up, there are unfolded towels in a laundry basket on the floor of your living room.
The dog wakes you up early Sunday morning. You throw on sandals. And take the dog to its spot. You know. the one spot on the planet the dog finds suitable to do its business. Half asleep you come in and make coffee. The first pot of the day.
Then the kids get up. They want Honey Nut Cheerios. They want to watch Netflix. You turn it on for them. Buying possibly 30 minutes of quiet before they want something else.
You check the sports scores on your phone. You find out the Red Sox bullpen blew the lead late on the West Coast. You think the bullpen could be this team’s weakness.
You look through the kitchen. You see there’s nothing to eat. I mean aside from Honey Nut Cheerios. And you suspect the kids have eaten directly from the box. I mean, who knows where there hands have been. The thought of pouring milk into kid touched Honey Nut Cheerios is too sad for you to stomach. You decide to go to the store and pick up eggs and bagels.
You gently nudge your still sleeping spouse. You say “honey, sleep in….the kids are watching Netflix and I’m going to get bagels. The dog has gone out. I’ll be back soon.”
You get in your car. Back out of your driveway. You adjust the radio. Sunday morning radio is kind of sad. No station has a live host. Everything is pre-recorded except for those terrible overnight west coast sports shows. NPR has Car Talk on. NPR has had Car Talk on weekend mornings your whole life. Or at least as long as you can remember. You wonder if anyone listening knows they cancelled the show years ago. You wonder if it matters.
You decide to play whatever CD is in your car CD Player. You hope it’s not Kidz Bop. You’re relieved when Pearl Jam’s “Backspacer” comes on. You think the album is great.
Then it happens. The only thing you remember is the noise. That terrible sound.
You wake up. You’re in the hospital. You don’t know what happened. You don’t know what day it is. Everything hurts. Bad. You first thought is about your family. Are they okay?
Alarms go off. Nurses run in. You hear them say “he’s come to”.
You struggle to speak. They tell you to relax. Sometime later your wife comes in the room. You know it’s her. You recognize her cry. She says the kids are okay. She tells you everything is going to be okay. You both know everything is the opposite of okay.
There’s all the medical stuff. They’re talking about stabilizing you. Then they’re talking about moving you to a rehab facility. Moving anything seems impossible. Everything is broken.
Then there’s all the other stuff. Who is going to take the dog out? Who is going to get the kids cereal? Who is going to mow the lawn? How are you going to pay the bills? Will you ever be able to go back to work?
Your life turned on a dime.
And the truck company – whose poorly maintained truck being operated by a texting driver – wants you to give a statement. A statement? You only remember the sound. You wonder if you have to give a statement. You feel groggy.
Does my insurance pay for this? Who pays for this?
You need help. You don’t know where to turn. And you know that’s confusing. Your hospital room is bombarded by ads for Personal Injury attorneys. You never imagined you’d need an attorney. Let alone a personal injury attorney. Do you trust your family’s future to the guy on TV?
You know the choices you and your wife make in these early days are going to shape everything going forward. You hope to make the right choices. You need to make the right choices. Where do you turn?
This is just the beginning.