Thursday, February 17, 2005

Live! From Percocet City!

I thought about titling this story "Curses! Foiled again!" My husband says I should call it “Things can always get worse.” They certainly can. For example, when you’re going into battle against Satan and her attorney, and your family and your very life are on the line, don’t be surprised if your judge's name turns out to be Gilmore.

Don't be shocked when your witnesses disappear or chicken out or have emergency surgery or have to stay in Missouri to take care of a spouse who is suddenly deathly ill. Don’t be at all surprised if your babysitter suddenly cancels on you the night before the trial and none of your friends and acquaintances are home on a Tuesday night to answer your calls for help. And it goes without saying that you should expect bad weather and bad traffic.

I have to admit, though, that I never expected to throw my back out an hour before the trial. I didn’t expect it to take more than an hour to get the kids dropped off and get to the courthouse. And I never expected or even heard the ambulance zooming into the intersection we were entering.

I am SO lucky that it didn’t hit us, and even luckier that my mom and dad made it to town in time, so one could take me to the emergency room while the other stayed in court to watch the carnage. As bad (OK, excruciating) as the pain was, as I clung to the siderail of my hospital bed, I grinned at my dad, “ This is still more fun than being in court.”

After I left the hospital, I went to see my primary care doc, who said it was likely a ruptured disc and that surgery was possible. Oh, yay. At this point, I just wanted to go home and lie down…but when we got there, I realized (through a codeine-induced haze) that I’d left my keys with my husband…at the courthouse…20 miles away. Of course. What to do…? We didn’t have the baby seats, so we couldn’t go get the littler boys.

Then it occurred to me that after the morning’s fiasco, I didn’t even know where our oldest was, so we set off to find him. I’d arranged for his Den Mother to pick him up after school before I knew that they’d cancelled Scouts that day, but I wasn’t quite sure where her street was. So we went to a mutual acquaintance’s house to get directions, since I’d left the info in my car…at the courthouse…20 miles away. This friend was just pulling out of her driveway as we drove up, but we caught her and got directions to the scout leader’s house. Scout leader was just heading out too, and said that our boy was in fact at the other friend’s house with our other little guys. Back across town we went to that tiny apartment full of kids and toys, but not much else.

Then we just waited. Eventually my husband would show up or call. ‘Cause no, we don’t have a cell phone or even an answering machine. As we sat there amid the chaos, trying to have a grownup conversation, my dad discovered that the husband of this friend was from the same obscure little area of eastern Utah that he’d grown up in. “What? So-and-so’s your cousin? He was my best friend!” And so on. Meanwhile, toddlers fought over who got to ride the tricycle in the house, preschoolers fought over cookies, and the older kids fought bad guys on the Xbox-like thing. And I fought the pain.

Eventually, my husband called & said he was on his way over. Did he mention how the trial had turned out? No. The booger. (He’s wonderfully romantic and a great husband and father, but he’s still a booger.) My mom called next and gave us a bit more information. First, we didn’t get a verdict. Second, the opposing attorney is evil (this from the woman who sees the good in everyone). And third, what would everyone like for dinner? I love my mom; she’s so practical.

The folks left for the airport before 5 a.m. today so they could be home in time for work. Crazy, wonderful parents. I’ve been bedridden since yesterday and expect it to continue for another few days at least. Today was my deadline at work. I didn’t get that last article in. My coworkers came by to say not to worry about it and give me flowers. Nice people. And a dear friend from church brought us dinner (and more flowers) tonight.

So I ask you, am I cursed? Or the luckiest woman alive? Either way, it makes for a great story.

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