Chapter 30

the sound: Paul McCartney and Wings – Band on the Run, Jim Croce – Time in a Bottle, John Denver – Annie’s Song, Gordon Lightfoot – Sundown, Eagles – One of these Nights, Doobie Brothers – Black Water, Michael Murphy – Wildfire, Harry Chapin – Cats in the Craddle, America – Sister Golden Hair

My mother is 5 foot even, not a single hair over 5 ft. but she’s spent her whole life being a force to be reckoned with. She’s tiny, and she’s mighty. She’s a Saskatchewan farm girl and she’s used to tossing calves to brand and bales of hay.

She marches into the middle of this melee and starts barking orders. She begins with “hey” several times, each time a little louder than the last and when that doesn’t work she pulls herself up to her full 5 feet and roars “shaddup” in a voice that would make a mule skinner proud. (and people always wonder how I could make myself heard over rock bands in the bar…I learned from a pro!)

There is about 10 seconds of stunned silence which is then broken with the sound of the kid cop putting his gun away, the father getting to his feet and looking sheepish, Mike hanging his head like he’s just been caught with his hand in the cookie jar and the boys sitting down and going back to their pizza and beer.

Just like that it’s over. Except for the Dr and the hospital security that come barreling though the swinging doors from the main part of the hospital…almost a day late and a dollar short.

Mom tells the father, the kid cop and Mike to get outta her way and they all shuffle to the side as she comes into my room. It’s not till she takes my hand that I realize she’s shaking and I remember that she hates hospitals and suffers from white coat syndrome so I guess we’re all lucky she even came at all.

I go to sleep again.

I don’t wake up until they are x-raying me. The x-ray confirms cracked vertebrae but with some care and a brace I’ll be ok. I am sent to a room where they wake me up every 15 minutes because now they’ve seen what’s left of my helmet and have decided that I’m not falling asleep but in fact concussed so everyone leaves and I spend the rest of the miserable night worrying about Mike who’d collapsed soon after they’d done my x-rays to confirm that I was basically ok.

In the end Mike had compressed vertebrae in his back between his shoulder blades and the Drs told him that it was only the fact that he was in such fine physical shape that he’d not done more damage to himself.

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