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?