Ground Hog Day |Time Space Intersects

I'm feeling a bit like Punxsutawney Phil, peeking out on the blog after a long time away.

Warning, carnage ahead....

We have been counting our blessings and reflecting on the the sheer, dumb luck that we experience in our day-to-day lives.  This unfortunate doe t-boned my husband as he was riding his Ducati ST3.  

It was 2 p.m. in the afternoon -- supposedly a 'safe' time.  When on a motorcycle, there really is no 'safe' time.  Nevertheless, he was heading toward home, not more than 4 miles away, when this doe was charging out of a thicket of trees at full bore.  My husband never saw her coming, and certainly vice versa.

She took him down, knocking the bike from underneath him, causing him to skid all the way across the road.  A car came from the opposite direction (thankfully no sooner as he would have hit my husband who was launched into the other lane).  The driver stopped and assisted Mark in getting the bike out of the road.  This is a county back road, so road hazards around blind turns are no uncommon.  Don't be a road hazard. Another friend was coming behind a distance away.  Upon coming to the scene (which he had witnessed from behind), he lent a hand.  The deer, after the collision, managed to get up only to collapse.  I believe she died quickly.

I was at home at the time with my daughter.  She dropped by for a brief visit, and I was glad for the break having worked since about 6 a.m. nonstop.  The home phone rang.  I said, "Let me check and see if that is your father."  When I saw his number, I knew that it was not good news. No reason to call home unless your bike has broken down or there is another problem.  We are long past the "I-was-riding-and-thinking-of-you-and-thought-I-would-call-you stage.

"Are you alright?"  I asked worriedly as I answered the phone.  

He hesitated and launched into a ramble clearly distressted:  I hit a deer or a deer hit me I don't know, Tim is here, and he is going to ride the bike home; I think that I'm alright, but my hand is bleeding and my pants are torn, a deer hit me, I never saw it, I think that I'm alright, Tim is going to ride the bike home, I'm going to drive his truck home.

At this point, I have some concerns about his driving.  "Do you want me to come get you?" I ask cutting off the loop. 

The loop replays:  "Tim is going to ride the bike home, I can drive.  Someone stopped to help me and get my bike out of the road.  The deer is dead, and Tim loaded it up in the back of the truck because he wanted the deer meat. I think that I'm alright and Tim says that he can ride the bike home.

After about the third, 'I think that I'm alright' and 'Tim can ride the bike home,'  I began to have my reservations.  "Let me speak to Tim," I asked.  Tim confirms that Mark is okay to drive and the bike is ridable without further carnage.

Mark gets home, and I inspect him carefully.  His hand has a bad gash that needs stitches.  His pants were torn, and there was a deep road abrasion.  His ribs are sore.  I ask to see his helmet.  On the right hand side there is an impact impression where the helmet hit the road. (Why there are states with no helmet laws is beyond me.  If someone wants the freedom of riding without a helmet, let them have the freedom to pay for his/her almost certain head injury in the instance of a wreck.)

I call my primary care physician to ensure that they can stitch him up, or if I should go to the hospital.  They said bring him in.  The appropriate care setting is an important part of keeping healthcare costs down. 

We drive to the doctor, both of us recounting how lucky we are that this is what we are engaged in rather than something more dire.  At the doctor, he's cleaned, xrayed, stitched, prescribed and exited out the door in less than an hour.  He needed stitches on his knuckles, he has one broken rib, and his right arm is bruised.  Bike is totaled, helmet and jacket replaced.  He has a helluva story to tell; and we are grateful that he can tell it.  The day after the accident, I say to him, "I'm sure glad that I'm not having to plan your funeral today."  That intersection of time and space for Mark and the deer was a moment for pause and reflection.  Others are not so lucky.


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