Sir John and the Knights of the Long Table

Eleven of us live here at beautiful Schamelot, and we have a small 20 acre farm of chickens, emus, two dogs, 13 or so cats and a cockateil named Sassafrass.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Our First Broken Bone

Today Rachel broke her wrist falling off a horse. I received her phone call just as I was hanging Marian's diapers on the line. It was a sunny day after a few of rain and I was eager to have the sun work it's magic on the lingering "mustard" stains. When I saw it was Rachel calling my first thought was that she wanted to ask me if I thought if would be o.k. for her to accept lunch from Ashley's family. She had forgotten, yet again, to pack her lunch and had resolved to wait until she got home to eat, but she was so excited to get to ride today that she didn't eat breakfast, either. It would be just like her to consult me before imposing on someone's hospitality. She's extrememly conscientious, but has more confidence in me than in herself. I know, now, that somehow this accident today is designed to help her find that confidence in herself. Actually, she's been feeling rather taken advantage of lately, by her siblings who don't seem to appreciate all of her many skills (especially her baking talent which provides all of us with the most delectable sweets almost every weekend!) I was struggling internally with how to help her and her siblings grow in their love of one another. I know that today's accident is also designed to provide an answer to that prayer, as well.

Anyway, her first words were, "Um, Mommy, I don't want you to worry, but I fell off Sassy, but I'm o.k." I could hear the quiver in her voice and knew that at least emotionally she wasn't o.k. I was reminded of so many times during my children's toddler years when they were having SO MUCH, fun, comletely unaware of themselves, and then suddenly the were hur--reality jarring them, reminding them of their mortality.

I told her that I thought I should come get her. She protested, saying that she was o.k. and they had made plans to go the the waterfall. I pushed a little harder, asking her if she was sure she was alright, and insisting that I really didn't mind coming to get her, that I really thought I should. She said, "Oh well, o.k., I'm really fine, but they think it's broke."

I said I'd be right over.

You know, there's so much that could have gone terribly wrong. She could have had a head, or spinal cord injury. I have no personal experience with riding horses, really, let alone getting thrown, which is probably why I was able to remain so calm. My midwife's daughter had a terrible fall several years ago, ended up in a coma, and seems to have suffered a personality change due to head trauma. I knew this when Rachel called me. I guess because she said right off the bat not to worry I didn't feel the need to panic.

We walked into the emergency room right behind an elderly gentlemen who, I overheard, had cut his thumb with a saw. He held his fist clenched tight, I presumed, to stave the flow of blood, of which I saw none.

The woman I sat next to was 4 months pregnant and had been on a wild goose chase throughout the hospital to "get more fluids," while her mare at home had just foaled, we learned from her cell phone conversation. She offered that information in an attempt to make Rachel feel better, so she said.

Rachel was cold in the waiting room and I went to ask for a blanket for her. I thought it might also be a good idea to find out just how long the wait might be, since I had Marian and Caroline with me and the other kids home with John Michael. There's just no telling how long a baby can last in an emergency room before completely coming unglued. I was informed that the wait could be as long as 3-4 hours.

I took the blanket and called the ER at the hospital just north of us. While they're not at liberty to say just how long their wait is, the kindly nurse intimated to me that, "it's not THAT long!" So we packed our bags, I made the long trek to the car alone, and, loading everyone back up and removing our names from the waiting list, we headed north. I felt like we were restaurant shopping, which reminded me that it was after 1 and we were all hungry. Thank God for the 692 billion McDonald's locations in this world.

I called John, who was at the base working out some stress at the gym and informed him that he was going to Potomac with Rachel and I'd meet him at the PX to make the drop. I was clearly needed at home, as McGregor had just started crying during my last check-in with John Michael and there's never any telling where that might lead.
On the way to meet John, Rachel, still in considerable pain and lamenting the fact that she wouldn't be able to perform in this year's piano recital, noted, in her quintessentially optimistic way, "At least I won't have to milk the goats for a while!" The other kids are so sad Rachel broke her wrist.

On the way home Caroline and I stopped into WalMart, where we had been planning to go before Rachel's call. There I ran into my dear friend, Gracie. I haven't seen her in 3 years or more and she had her newest little guy with her, whom I had never met before. It was a delightful suprise to run into her! Unlike so many people who will hear of Rachel's accident and say things like, "Well, that's what you get for riding a green-broke horse," and "So, does she still want a horse?" Gracie, who has horses herself, told me how her own daughter had taken a spill a few weeks ago, and another horse lover friend's daughter, who's been riding all her life, took a nasty fall recently and broke her collar bone. She said, "It's something you never want to have happen, and you do everything to prevent it. But sometimes it just does."

That's just the way life is. No matter how careful you are, sometimes things just don't go as planned. But we're not going to let that stop us from planning. But then again, sometimes it's the things we don't plan that make the best memories. Tonight we're having hotdogs and s'mores, not so much because Rachel broke her arm, although by the time I got home this afternoon the last thing I felt like doing was cooking, but just because today is the only one of it's kind--ever. So why not celebrate it? And tomorrow (which according to an old Italian proverb never comes) will be the only one of it's kids, too. What are you going to do to celebrate?
I'll let you know what happens after I find out...

Have a great moment!

1 comment:

discomike2000 said...

Hi Robynn,
I was doing a search for pro-life and Catholic bloggers, and I discovered yours! Pretty cool! I'm sorry to read about Rachel's broken wrist. I remember when I broke my arm at the age of 12. No fun.

Anyway, I'm building a foundation of pro-life and Catholic bloggers and was wondering if you'd be interested in receiving some pro-life updates from me from time-to-time. If so, just e-mail me at

Take care!