Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I am fractured. But not as much as my sister. The above picture is her leg. Before surgery. I got a call Sunday afternoon. No. Make it Saturday but my phone was turned off. Long story. And I forget it anyway. But it was off and so nobody could reach me and so when I finally looked at my phone I had a gazillion messages from family and friends who family had to contact because I was missing. But it's not about me. Except that I'm telling about why I've been missing and why my heart is breaking. Along with my sister's leg. Heart and leg. Broken.

I finally got the messages. And within minutes a knock at the door from Jill who was on a mission to find me and a call from Anne who was finding Jill who was finding me. And I stopped mid gazpacho making. Grabbed some things (but things that now I'm here I'm not sure why I have and why I don't have other things), made arrangements for Satchmo (thank you Melinda) and headed over the pass. Driving like a bat out of hell (my car does 93 mph...not on purpose. It's just the road was long and straight and almost empty and I looked down once and that's what it said.) Got to the hospital around 11 PM and could hold my sister until she rested (a bit) and settled on a cot in the room and did time until she was taken to surgery at 7:30 AM.

Here's the scoop. She was at the Lake with her family. At Dad's place: Priest Lake, Idaho. They had all gone up a logging road where the huckleberries are especially plentiful. There was a flat patch near where they parked so her daughter, my favorite (one and only) niece, Sarajane could pick as she is just recovering from acl knee surgery of a few weeks ago. Julie is a veteran berry picker and always looking for the heavily loaded patch. The one she spotted was on the other side of a slope of bear grass. Somehow she lost her footing on the steep slope and twisted to balance. The angle was enough to snap her leg which she heard break before she even landed down. She screamed in pain and for her husband, Mark, who had to cover a bit of distance to reach her. He knew right away it was a bad break. The others (except sj who couldn't cover the terrain) rallied to her (Dad, son Rob, niece Mary) and they did their best to stabilize her. Dad, Rob and Mark all told me separately that any movement at all caused an animalistic ("primal" I think was used to describe) scream. The picture explains why. There was a community effort to keep her from sliding further down the hill (she's sore in other places from trying to hold herself still). No cell phone reception there so Dad and Rob took the truck to the campground below and called medics. They arrived. Did a heroic job on carrying her up the slope in the "sled". Transported her to Newport (they did not have air conditioning or drugs in the transport vehicle). There these x-rays were taken and it was decided the break was too much for this small hospital to deal with so a more equipped ambulance got her to the closest hospital in Spokane. That's where the story continues. I have more to add later. I could (and may) go on and on except for, as I said, I'm fractured. So fractured in fact that when I had ended a phone conversation with Mark, the wasband, this afternoon I came within a millimeter of signing off with "I love you" which is how once upon a time I ended phone conversations with him. Man, that would have been a horrendous mistake and impossible to recover from. I have no idea what stopped that just in time, but I am eternally grateful it did. I've got enough mess to deal with without that.

I know many of you are praying for Julie and the rest of us. Thank you. This will be a very long haul for my beloved sister and her precious family. Prayers are the best that any of us can do right now.

My biggest challenge right now is to see my sister suffer. Caretakers of the world (including especially caretakers of broken, hurting parents, children, heartmates): I have no words to tell of how much I .... no words... (I hope you get the gist of what I'm saying...I have no words)

1 comment:

U Can Still Play in the Rain said...

goodness! I have not been on here for a while! So so sorry about your sister. Having one of my own that I am very very close to, I can relate to what you are going through. Prayers for recovery for her and prayers for strength going out to you