So my Sweet Mama took an awful tumble yesterday morning. It was face first, down the two steps into the garage, right on her face, onto the cement. She looks terrible. It really hurts, too. We’ve been keeping close watch and, as of now, she seems neurologically sound, but a lingering headache has been troubling her somewhat, and she really wanted her doctor to have a look at her. I feel like we’ve done all that we should have — someone with her, making sure she woke up during the night at intervals and checking pupils and such more than is probably necessary, but finally decided to send a picture of her damages to her doctor and ask if he would stop over to see her when he comes to the Country Rest Home — hopefully today.
Today, I was out at Sweet Mama’s house, working on her medication planner, checking over the mail, and trying to make sure all would be well if she decides to go home with Brother Nelson and his good wife, Rose for a visit after our family reunion this weekend. I sent the doctor the text and then sorta’ waited around, hoping to hear from him. When I hadn’t heard back for quite some time, I decided to betake myself home. It is Certain Man’s birthday, and I have things to get ready for this weekend, and I had already spent the day on Tuesday with her, so I needed to be getting on home.
When I left the house, I paused for some minutes at the front flower bed where Middle Sister, Sarah, her youngest daughter, Edie and niece Holly were industriously removing the weeds from the petunias that were bravely trying to bloom there. We discussed what we should do with our dear Mama/Grandma, made some plans for someone to spend the night with her and then I got on my way. There are two ways for me to go home from Sweet Mama’s house, but today, I needed to put some checks in the bank, and that meant that I needed to go through the town of Greenwood. So I made a right turn at the end of the driveway, and headed on out.
Greenwood is famous for a very infamous reason. They have very mean traffic cops. I do not speed in Greenwood. I learned this a long time ago. I’ve never been ticketed there, but people I love have, and I have been exceedingly careful. Accordingly, today, as I came into the 35 mph zone that precedes the 25 mph zone, both strictly enforced, I even braked a bit to make sure I wasn’t speeding. Good. 23 mph, coming into the zone.
At that very minute, my cell phone beeped. A message from Dr. Wilson. I flipped open the phone and read the two sentence text. I did not talk on my phone. (I don’t need to — my mini van has “in-house” wireless.) I did not text. I did nothing but hold that cell phone in my hand.
“Huh!” I thought. “Dr. Wilson is on vacation, but he is still is going over to see Mama tonight or tomorrow.” I was so relieved, so weary, so numb from the weeks adventures that when I looked in my rear view mirror and saw the cop behind me with his lights flashing that it didn’t register. I kept going down the street. Suddenly I looked again at the rearview mirror again. Yikes!!! He was after me!!! ME!!! Who wasn’t speeding!!! What in the world??? Oh, dear. That stupid cell phone.
He got my license and my registration. I offered a bit of protest, and he wasn’t rude. But he didn’t listen. Went back to his car. Wrote me a ticket. $106.00. I decided that I didn’t need to go to the bank. I didn’t want to explain why I was crying. I rounded the corner at 36 and 16 and thought about stopping at my Daddy’s grave for a few minutes. I’ve shed a lot of tears there and when I’m troubled, it is so comforting to go there, but time was short and I needed to get home. Besides, I could cry all the way home if I wanted to, and I could talk out loud between my sobs to my Heavenly Father who is the healer of broken hearts and the Friend who will not fail me.
And so, that’s what I did. Sobbed all the way home,lowered my sun visor, and turned my face from oncoming traffic so they wouldn’t see my tears. Somewhere around Fitzgerald’s Road the tears abated somewhat , and by the time I got into our home, I was no longer crying. Certain Man and Middle Daughter were profuse in their sympathies and their general indignant outcry against the powers that be. If the language of the paper telling you how to contest wasn’t quite so acrimonious, I might try contesting this ticket. But reading through the small print makes me feel like it isn’t worth it. Certain Man says that is their point — that they try to discourage you from even trying to get out of it. I don’t know. Sweet Mama is so upset that she is vowing to pay the fine. Again, I just don’t know. Somehow it isn’t as much the money as it is the principle of the thing.
But then I saw this butterfly . . .
. . . enjoying himself in the afternoon sun on my window box flowers and I went out to capture that moment on my camera, and I felt better. There is so much beauty in my little corner of the world that lifts my heart and makes my spirit sing. There is much to be somber about, and sometimes I think that old saying should be, “God’s in His Heaven, and all’s wrong with the world!” But looking for joy and beauty and reasons for gratitude are not just something I do, it has to do with who I am. Negativity and a critical spirit changes us inside — in our very souls somehow, and dwelling on the injustices, real or perceived is something that I have been encouraged not to do — for physical and mental health, yes, but for my soul’s sake.
And so, for this day, with all the twists and turns, for hummingbirds and raucous jays, for bees on the bird feeder and a clean refrigerator, for a Sweet Mama whose pulverized face makes me want to cry and for brothers and sisters who help to bear the burden, for traffic tickets on busy streets in small towns (embarrassing!) and butterflies on verbena flowers.
For all of these . . . and more!
My heart gives grateful praise