I hope 2007 goes down as The Year of the Fall. If it does, that will mean that there were no falls, or certainly fewer of them, in subsequent years.
This year Linda fell on ice and broke her ankle so badly that she was ordered not to drive for six months. Jerry fell down a flight of steps at a theater and separated his shoulder. Jane fell down stairs in her house, breaking her leg in several places. Linda's husband and daughter are helping her, Jane is temporarily living in a rehab facility, and I drove Jerry around. I have to admit I wasn't all that gracious about it. Driving 25 miles on back roads to his house, and then to the city to his appointments (when did he develop such a long To Do list??), and then back to his house, and then back to my house, is tiring at best.
After a 90-minute wait at the orthopedist's one day (followed by the dry cleaners, the bank, his office, and Blockbuster) I got downright testy. Low blood sugar didn't help. But by the time I was fed and back in my coccoon I was ready to apologize. Because the thought had come to me rather emphatically: It could be you. I live out in the country, too, most of the time by myself. In addition, I have animals to care for: dogs in the house, cats in the house and barn. What if I got hurt?
And a few days later I did. I was walking one of the dogs early on St. Patrick's Day, after an 18" snowfall, when I fell twice on the icy plowed road — once on my knee and once on my hip. I thought I was in trouble when I came down hard on the hip in the middle of the road, but the knee turned out to be the bigger problem. I spent the next week mostly in bed watching Grey's Anatomy.
The animals got walked and fed because my son and daughter-in-law are living with me for a while. Otherwise, I don't know how I would have managed. I learned some time ago to say the words, "Can you please help?" But it's been a while and it might take some effort to force them past my throat. Even relying on my family to help me was no fun. Grey's Anatomy is a good show, but I would have been ever so much more excited and happy to be washing dishes, doing laundry, and manning the pooper scooper.
Remember that the next time you're plodding through routine chores. I will.