My two daughters may have a very good relationship but they are two totally different individuals. My 18-year-old daughter Lauren has the diction of a Victorian matron, never swears and quite often subjects me to praise music when she’s playing her music in the car. My 16-year-old daughter Jordan apparently has delusions of being a rapper using words that I’ve never heard in the context that she uses them and playing music that has obscene words and expressions in it, that I can only pray she does not understand.
Thursday was my anniversary with my wife Pam. It was a mile stone one and I remembered it because my assistant put it in my calendar. In fact, she put it in a day early for warning and I mistakenly wished a happy anniversary to my wife on the wrong day. My kind and helpful assistant also purchased an anniversary card for me which I dutifully gave to Pam. I did not have the opportunity to drive by the cemetery so unfortunately I had no flowers to offer.
This morning, in Harrison Hot Springs, my daughter, Jordan made comments about my failure to be a romantic husband with regard to the anniversary. She expressed that I have “no game”, whatever that means, and that it was a surprise that Pam even married me. She gave further examples of me having no game, and I wasn’t able to come up with any countering arguments. The whole discussion did not leave me feeling good about myself, but then few discussions do. Clearly, I have no game.
This afternoon, after doing some work around the house, I was walking down to the Harrison Hot Springs beach and across a crosswalk that I have determined will be the ultimate place of my demise, and which I think of as “the crossing of death”.
Perhaps it is the excitement of heading up the lake for camping and recreation on Rockwell Drive which connects to this piece of highway, but drivers speed and feel that the crosswalk requires them to stop only if you are directly in their path and there is some uncertainty even of that.
Today, when I was crossing a car approached, and I recognized the car as one of our family’s vehicles which was being driven by my wife, Pam, who had been in Chilliwack getting groceries. She stopped. She STOPPED. There can be no stronger sign of love than that. Clearly, ￼I have game .
I would admit that over the last several years I have taken a certain joy in creating somewhat lengthy and rambling posts usually once a week that entail family events and celebrations or my more humorous (and often embarassing) experiences. I usually focus on events that are very positive or humorous. My goal has always been to entertain or to at least cause reflection on every day events.
As my posts focus on the positives, one could wrongly conclude that myself, and my family members lead charmed lives without challenges. That, of course would not be reality.
Last Thursday I posted that our daughter Lauren was celebrating her 18th birthday and was about to celebrate her independence by moving into a house in Abbotsford. I lamented that one of our little birds was about to leave the nest. Little did I know that later in the day an event would happen that almost caused us to lose one of our little birds.
A freak accident with a shattered glass window resulted in a badly cut arm with severed, arteries, nerves and tendon. With just myself and my injured oldest son in the house in Harrison at the time of the accident, I held a towel over the wound for compression as tightly as I could with approximately a litre and a half of blood pooled on the floors and carpet of three different rooms. As we waited for an ambulance, which seemed to take forever, I had severe concerns that it would not be in time. ￼ I thought of how unsurvivable losing a child would be.
An ambulance did arrive and stop the bleeding and take our son firstly to Chilliwack, and then to Abbotsford Hospital where he underwent over four hours of surgery to reattach the arteries and save the arm. He then was taken into Vancouver General Hospital, where he underwent over five hours of surgery to reattach nerves and tendon.
My wife stayed in Vancouver General Hospital, sleeping on a chair in the room during his stay there evidencing one more time what a wonderful, devoted mother she is. Our little bird is now home in Harrison with his immovable cast with us all hoping for the maximum return of function for the arm.
What of our house filled with pools of blood when the ambulance left and I followed? My wife’s sister, Michelle, who was visiting from Hawaii with the help of her daughter and our two youngest children, cleaned up broken glass and blood from four rooms and any and everywhere that the dogs (and I) had tracked it. Truly, blood had spurted everywhere. I doubted that I would ever want to go back when I left the house to follow the ambulance in my car. But on my return, the blood was all gone. Thank you, Michelle and kids. What a difficult, but wonderful job you did. And to my wife, Pam, whom I traumatized with a phone call while waiting for the ambulance, and who sat by the bedside at VGH for almost 3 days, I appreciate you more than you could ever know. And I’m sure your little bird does as well.
Once again our family encountered a fantastic response from the medical system. We are grateful to Dr. Lewis at Abbotsford Regional hospital and to the surgeons who worked at Vancouver General Hospital.
There is much rehabilitation and doctors visits ahead. But our little bird is approaching these challenges with a good attitude. Hopefully our prayers will be answered and the arm will have full function (and yes, I prayed).
Hug your loved ones tight
Happy 18th Birthday to my daughter Lauren Palmer.
I should apologize that so many of my recent posts have been about Lauren or photos of her, but this spring and summer has been her time to go to prom, graduate from high school, move out of the house, and of course, today is her birthday.
Although I have many beautiful pictures of Lauren that have been taken over the years, this photo is my favorite. This is the photo of a little preschool girl, who seemed to follow me everywhere. Who went with me to board meetings, UFV classes and community events. As a result, she shares so many values with me.
But now, my little buddy is moving out. She will be sharing a house with two roommates as they all go to the University of the Fraser Valley this fall. This weekend is the weekend of the big paintathon in the house into which they are moving.
Her independence and destiny of running the world, leaves her less time for me. She has better things to do now than tag along with me to the various pursuits to which I have devoted my life. What are the odds that I can lure one of the other three children to spend time with me? Unlikely unless I can develop some interest in computer games or makeup.
Happy birthday, Lauren. Welcome to the world of being an adult. You are going to be great at Adulting.
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