One Year and One Month


One Year and One Month

As I always said, "I’ll get through it but I’ll never get over it.” That remains true, but I’ve also had an added twist in 2012; on October 28th my beautiful operatic son Cameron suffered a near fatal motorcycle/farm tractor with manure spreader accident. It was touch and go for several weeks, and he spent two months in hospital with a right broken wrist, dislocated left shoulder and massively broken humerus, broken right tibia and fibula (at the knee), five pelvic fractures and the complete removal of all the skin on the front of his left thigh from groin to knee. Surgeries, skin grafts, infections, tube feeding – the whole nine yards, but he made it home on December 22nd. Christmas was a pretty weird affair this year; losses and gains, death and life.

It amazes me how different it is to be a caregiver for someone who’s expected to live and improve; the pressure to be perfect about everything increases exponentially. It’s hard to wrap my head around the fact that I’ve been a caregiver for eighteen months out of the last two years; I’m pretty tired.

Through it all I’ve continued to work (I’m even teaching an overload this semester) and I’ve won a fairly coveted assignment to spend next fall in the Italian Alps with a select group of students. The preparations for this are a real headache but it will definitely be good to be in a completely different place doing completely different things.

I miss Paul terribly. I’ve done well at compartmentalizing things in general and keep on going but the visceral response to his absence is still so real; Cameron had a major shoulder reconstruction three weeks ago (the last of the incredible number of surgeries) and when it ran past the time he should’ve been done (over 5 hours) I found myself pulling out my cell phone and starting to punch in Paul’s number. I have NEVER done that before!

So it goes, and life goes on. I wake up each day and do what needs to be done. His memorial is now installed at his parents’ place gazing toward sunrise over the pond and mine remains in the manger I’d built for them together which is once again in my home.

I think of you all often, and send healing energy to you and yours.

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Hi Jennifer--I'm so glad you stopped by with an update. It's sooo hard to believe it's been a year. \r\n\r\nWhat a horrible scare about Cameron. I hope he continues to heal and recover.\r\n\r\nCan I be one of your students next semester? :)\r\n\r\nI'm curious: What do you know now that you didn't know last year?

The Unit Known as Shandi

Jennifer,\r\n It is so good to hear from you. I, too, have wondered how you're doing and thought of you (and Paul) often. I'm so sorry about Cameron's accident, and so grateful that he will be okay. I understand about being so tired, and caregiving again. My husband has had multiple medical issues this year, and several hospital stays. I do know that both Paul, and Cameron, count you as one of their biggest blessings. I'm thrilled to hear about your Italy trip. It should be a wonderful change of pace for you. Hugs.