Slip-sliding away…

Monday morning in Rhode Island was freezing. Cold. Freezing cold. I found out the hard way… at the expense of my husband, Barry.

Barry is our early riser and his routine is comforting. He wraps himself in his robe, steps into his slippers, heads downstairs, opens our front door and steps into our little slice of the world to retrieve our newspaper. Yes, we still have newspaper delivery… even though we both gets our news during the day on-line, as well. Barry then heads to the kitchen, puts on a pot of coffee (I never make coffee in our home… it just doesn’t taste like Barry’s), reads the newspaper and then heads back upstairs for his morning shower. By then, the aroma of coffee has me up and getting ready for my day.

Not this past Monday. It was dark when I heard Barry shuffle back into our bedroom. Slowly. But not the kind of slowly that would not wake me up. Slowly… as in something’s wrong slowly. I sat up in bed as Barry attempted to sit on the edge of his side of our bed. He said, “I just slipped on the black ice on our front porch and landed on the stairs.”

Our front porch? Our front porch is 230-year old granite and the steps are granite to match. And steep steps, I might add. I shot up in bed. “What? Are you hurt?” I asked. Of course the question was rhetorical because he never comes back to bed. And he never fills me in on injuries.

I gingerly helped him get into a quasi-comfortable position… then he told me the saddest story. Sad because I love him so much. Sad because I saw the agony he was in. Sad because… as he stepped from our foyer onto the porch, he went airborne and then landed at the end of our granite porch and slid right down our steep granite stairs. On his back. His side. His hip. His thigh. His knee. (I can thank God here that he landed on his left side because he had hip replacement surgery on his right side 2 years ago, and that would have been a disaster.) But it was still so slippery at the bottom on the sidewalk landing that he was forced to crawl on all fours around the walkway and stairs until he found a tiny safe area with no ice. Then he had to crawl back up onto the porch and into the house.

Oh, my. We live on a very main street in a little New England town. I wondered just how many people may have seen him. I mean, Barry doesn’t crawl around on our front walkway (we’ve kinda laughed about this since, but it truly is not funny). Could someone have stopped to help? Would you have stopped? Did no-one actually see him? But then the other questions became apparent. Had he broken or fractured ribs? Was his swollen knee beginning to show signs of injury? Had he hurt his good hip?

I will jump ahead here. We did take him to our physician. He did a thorough check and ordered x-rays. The results were good. Lots of bruising, but no fractures. Lots of discomfort for a few weeks and reduced activity… but the best news possible. Yes, he can still sit on a bar stool and have a couple of beers.

All is well, especially considering what could have happened… as our physician pointed out, like hitting his head on all that granite.

But that little tricky black ice wreaked havoc all over New England on Monday morning. I personally know 6 people who slipped and fell… and the newspaper was full of more stories. Oh yeah, that pesky little newspaper. Maybe we should just get our news on-line!

So this brings me to a question… Do you think you would have stopped to help a guy in a bathrobe crawling on all fours along a front walkway at the crack of dawn?

About Audrey

Audrey McClelland has been a digital influencer since 2005. She’s a mom of 5 and shares tips on her three favorite things: parenting, fashion and beauty. She’s also a Contemporary Romance Author.

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  1. 1.8.09

    Ohhhh, poor Barry!!! 🙁

    And yes. I would absolutely, without a doubt, stop and help.

    If I was driving I would pull over, get out and help. Someone is in a bathrobe on their hands and knees? Something is obviously wrong.

  2. 1.8.09
    Heather said:

    Oh my goodness!! I’m so glad he’s ok and wasn’t more seriously injured!! Give him lots of TLC 🙂

    I would have stopped if I’d seen him! The bathrobe and ice would have been a giveaway that he needed some help. My sister was once passing by a window in the back of her house when something caught her eye. It was her elderly neighbor across the way and he was taking out his dog, as he always does. As she was walking away, she saw him fall and realized that he couldn’t get up. She was eight months pregnant and very ill but she ran back there to help him. He lives alone and may have laid there for a while before anyone saw him had she not been home that day. I always think of that story and how she was willing to help him even though it wasn’t comfortable for her to do so.

  3. 1.8.09
    Erin said:

    I would like to think that I would’ve stopped! I mean, if I saw a guy crawling around the lawn of a frat house, I probably wouldn’t have stopped. But in Barry’s situation, I’d probably be able to surmise what happened. Poor guy–make sure you give him lots of TLC!

  4. 1.8.09

    Oh, poor Barry….You better believe I would have stopped to help, especially if the bathrobe came open…just kiddin’. I know he is in good hands now and will get a lot of TLC from you.

  5. 1.8.09
    Rachel said:

    I’m gonna be honest. If I was driving – I probably wouldn’t have even noticed him on the stairs or anything.
    If I did see him – then hell yes I would stop and help

  6. 1.8.09

    I’m glad to hear that Barry is only bruised and will be OK. I was a little worried when I saw that he fell on twitter.

    To be honest I’m not really sure if I would have stopped. What if he was just a drunk lunatic?

    Nah! My conscience would have made me at least stop, roll down the car window and yell to see if he needed help.

  7. 1.8.09
    Chrissy said:

    I’m so glad to hear that he’s okay!! The ice is terrible! In my family, someone seems to fall every time there’s some black ice outside. But a fall on the stairs is awful; you’re right – it could have been much worse. I’m sure you’ve been taking excellent care of him. 🙂

    I would certainly stop to make sure someone was okay if I saw them crawling around in a bathrobe in the cold!

  8. 1.8.09
    Nadine said:

    I feel so bad for your hubby. I hope he recovers quickly.

    Just for the record, I would help the man crawling around. The only thing that would stop me is if he didn’t have anything BUT the robe on. 🙂

  9. 1.8.09
    Emily said:

    I would certainly stop to make sure someone crawling around in their bathrobe in the freezing cold was OK, especially since I have almost slipped and fallen on my own (brick) stairs every morning since this most recent round of storms came through Connecticut.

    Poor Barry! The fall and then the indignity of crawling around afterwards, and all before even having one cup of coffee! I hope he will feel much better soon.

  10. 1.9.09

    Poor Mr. Courto! What a horrible morning.

  11. 1.9.09
    Lisa said:

    Poor guy! I hope he is feeling better soon. Thank God that he wasn’t injured more seriously! I think I would have stopped to help him had I seen him crawling around in obvious distress. Although, as graceful as I am on the ice, I probably would’ve ended up on the ground also.

  12. 1.16.09
    Poppy said:

    I remember your comment telling me your last morning of freedom was upon you because of the fall, and then I remember thinking about you and him so many times over the last several days — EVERY time when not near a computer.

    Please give him a very big hug for me and tell him to stop acting like an “old people”. And then stick your tongue out.

  13. 1.21.09
    Dottie said:

    I fell just about a year ago on black ice(two days before Christmas). No one was around. I knew I had “broke” something. My whole left side was letting me know. I did manage to roll onto snow covered grass and eventually get myself up.In process, my cell phone rang and it was a friend from another state(no help there).Ended up with fractured shoulder. About eight months later, I was walking in a lovely neighborhood near home with my daughter. I tripped over the edge of bricks placed at end of driveway. Of course I fell, several cars went by without stopping and one did finally stop. The man was reculant to get out of his car(offered to call 911) . He finally did help my daughter to get me up. Don’t know if we looked all that threatening to someone or what.

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