There aren’t that many moments in my life that I would give ANYTHING to change, but looking back to Sunday afternoon, 3:00 pm, I can’t help but think “If only I had stopped to put on my watch, if only I hadn’t taken a pee, if only I had taken a longer pee, if only we hadn’t made the light for the left-hand turn onto Highway 36 towards Lyons, if only I had been riding faster, if only we had been riding slower, if only, if only, if only”. I could take those thoughts back further, tracing them back through the day, the weekend, even the months. Not that it matters, because you can’t accumulate enough to do anything but drive yourself crazy.
The short story – Michael is both unlucky and lucky. A car hit him while we were riding. He is going to be okay, but it will be a very long and slow recovery, and, to be honest, we have no idea what the full impact or implications of this will be on him, on us, on our life. The good news – yes, he is concussed, but thankfully the helmet did its job (and is now ready for the trash bin) and neurologically he is stable. He has fractures, but they will heal with time. It is going to be a long, slow process, and we are both going to need patience with each other and with… everything.
I don’t know how to articulate what I’m feeling – relief, gratitude, frustration, anger, worry, fear. We’ve always recognized that biking is a risky pursuit, but knowing that an accident or crash is probable versus experiencing it, like this one in particular, there is a vast chasm that separates that knowledge vs. experience. I’m not sure that anything could or would have prepared us for dealing with something like this.
I’d like to end on a hopeful note – our bike ride last Saturday to Carter Lake. It was a gorgeous day, the first weekend without snow or rain in weeks, and we were both happy to be out there. He’ll get back on a bike (not this one), and we’ll share that experience again.
Be safe out there.