To the editor:
This Thanksgiving we had a perspective check on our gratitude level. It’s easy to take the day to day for granted: phone calls for random questions, texts to say hi, holiday visits, emails asking about family recipes you’ve forgotten. When my sister called last week and said “Don’t freak out, everyone is OK” all I could think of were these things we take for granted. My mama, sitting in her new-ish little car and on her way to the vet after dropping her six-year-old granddaughter off, was waiting for oncoming traffic to clear so she could make a left hand turn and some guy slammed into her from behind traveling at more than 45mph.
Thankfully, her car went flying off the street instead of into oncoming traffic, and there was a witness that helped her out of her car.
Thankfully, the small town hospital chose to transfer her to Duke ICU when they found a subdural hematoma.
Thankfully, it didn’t grow much and she was out of the hospital within 48 hours. The ICU nurse wasn’t too familiar with discharge process because most people don’t get discharged out of the ICU.
Thankfully, she survived.
We think of ourselves, our friends, and our family as invincible. We walk around with the mentality that it won’t happen to us or our loved ones.
We get frustrated with idiosyncrasies and selfish with our time. It’s human nature and habit.
But this Thanksgiving, all I care about is that we have more Thanksgivings together, but until then I’m not taking my loved ones for granted because tomorrow is not promised.
Looking at my bruised mama and how lost I’d be without her, thinking about how I will never know her story well enough and how I want her grand baby and future other grand babies to know her and love her like I do, all I could think of was that the last time I saw her I didn’t hug her goodbye.
I thought of how when I lost my dad I had no idea that when he was five days post-op and recovering well that would actually be the last conversation I would ever have with him, and how I hope he didn’t feel alone for his last moments and I hope he knows how much I loved him. I thought about my two-month-old daughter, and even though I can’t protect her from how she will have to deal with tragedy eventually, I actually felt relief knowing that she’s taken care of if anything ever happens to me or [my husband]. He’s made sure of that. So if you’re reading this, don’t wait until tragedy or near tragedy to take care of your family.
Do it now, do it well, ask him for help if you need to, and go hug your family. Life is too dang short.
Editor’s note: The writer’s mother is a Person County resident who was injured in a car wreck that took place Nov. 26 on N.C. 49 at Gwen Crumpton Road in Person County.