It's not about the house.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

So… How Was YOUR Christmas?

My mom (whom some of you might know as Su) got herself a dog.

Not on Christmas, not even for Christmas, but he came into her life just a couple weeks ago and so he was kind of the Star of the Holiday – even more so than my Football Buddy, if you can imagine. His name is Charlie, and he is a Good Dog.

In the wee hours of Christmas morning, while we were nestled all snug in our beds, Mom took Charlie out for a walk. As she passed a certain house about a quarter-mile down the road, the dog inside started barking, and so they let him out. Without a leash. In the scuffle that ensued, Mom got knocked over backwards and she cracked her skull and split her head open on the pavement.

The dog-owning family called 911 and somebody in town, somebody who knows my parents, heard the alert go out on her police scanner and called the house. It was 7:10 a.m. I was asleep in the basement with earplugs in because of Mr. Snores-a-lot, so I didn’t hear the phone ring. Snores-a-lot might have heard it, but if he did, he probably figured it was none of his beeswax, it being not his house and everything.

My dad got the call, put on his shoes and shot out of the house to find her. But, having woken from a sound sleep, he didn’t quite understand what was going on. He thought she was at the house of the person who was calling, so he headed off in what turned out to be the wrong direction. My brother, also woken by the telephone, thought she couldn’t possibly have walked Charlie all the way up to where Dad was heading, so he got in his own car and went off in the other direction.

Johnny and I, meanwhile, dreamt of sugarplums.

The police got to her before my brother did. He stopped where he saw the cruisers and sure enough, there was my mom, lying in the street in a pool of her own blood, saying over and over to anyone who’d listen, “He’s a good dog. It wasn’t Charlie’s fault.”

My brother left his car there and rode in the ambulance with her to the hospital. He didn’t think she was going to make it. There was so much blood.

For about a half an hour, then, my brother was calling the house from the scene and from the ambulance with updates, and my dad was calling from his car trying to find out where the hell she was, and my poor sister-in-law – my poor, six-months-pregnant, not-familiar-with-this-neighborhood sister-in-law – was trying to relay information and help everybody find each other.

Somewhere around here is where I woke up.

I came upstairs to brush my teeth (because, you know, that’s loud; I didn’t want to risk waking up Snoresy) and found Sister-in-law in the kitchen on the phone, saying something about the dog, and then sounding relieved to be saying “Oh, Erin’s up now. I’ll ask her to come with me.”

I did try to impress upon her the notion that she could have waked me sooner, but everyone was just too frazzled to be thinking straight.

The latest news from the ambulance was that Mom was going to be fine. She’d never lost consciousness, she hadn’t even lost all that much blood – it just looks like a lot more all spread out on the street like that. They were taking her in for stitches and a catscan, just to make absolutely sure, but then she’d be coming home. Dad had been set straight and was meeting them at the hospital. Our job was to retrieve the dog and, while we were at it, my brother’s car, then bring Mom some clothes to come home in, because they’d had to cut hers off her in the ambulance.

Except that Sister-in-law and I were going on my dad’s directions, and my dad was still under the impression that she’d been on Main Street somewhere. We drove up and down Main Street until Sister-in-law suggested that we ask in at the police station. They told us where it happened – six houses down from ours – and we went back, retrieved dog and car, and took them home.

Poor Charlie. He’d only just come to Mom from another family who’d decided they didn’t want him anymore. He thought she had dumped him at yet another stranger’s house and, after causing all of this commotion by letting their own dog out to say hello, these people hadn’t even let Charlie inside to keep warm. He was shivering by the time we found him, and whimpering and scared. We took him home, left him with Johnny, left Johnny with instructions to answer the phone if it rang and to tell whomever might be calling what was going on. I ran upstairs to grab some clothes for Mom, and Sister-in-law and I were off to UMASS Memorial.

We got there, she was fine. Not Fine-with-a-capital-F, but the crisis was over and she was just waiting for her turn at the brain-scanning machine. My poor brother was completely wiped. He’s not a morning person, anyway, and this had been a hell of a how-de-do. But he’d pulled through in the crisis, which we all agreed bodes well for his prospects in the delivery room at the end of March.

Turns out, however, that the clothes I’d grabbed for Mom were from her skinny stash. She checked the labels when I handed them to her and said “Ooh, they’re twelves. They won’t fit. But thank you, honey.” Mom, it seems, hovers around a fourteen except in very good months, just like me.

Just like me.

So I took off my jeans and sweatshirt and put on the too-small clothes I’d brought her, and Dad sent us “kids” home to get the Christmas breakfast ready while they waited for the headscan and the discharge. They rolled in by one o’clock or so, by which time we had quiche and meatballs and cinnamon buns all hot and waiting. Charlie, who had been pacing around the house and whimpering all morning, took a good sniff of his finally-back-home mom and went to sleep.

Mom didn’t eat much, but she had a Bloody Mary – which the doctor said would be okay, and which seemed like the appropriate beverage of choice, considering.

Mom didn’t open many presents, either. She has by now, I would imagine. I know we were all looking for a cool old copy of this book to give her before all of this happened, and I don’t know for sure if anybody found it. If they didn’t, I think that it’s imperative somebody find it now.

Merry Christmas Concussion, Mommie Dearest!

And sweet dreams, Charlie.

Good dog.


Nate and Jen said...

Wow! Quite a time!

I see This Old Crack House had a broken leg there!

Fortunately, my wife got stitches the week BEFORE, so we didn't have any ER trips during Christmas this year.

Glad your Mom will be OK!

jen said...

This is what irriatates me beyond belief about dog owners. If you dont have an effing fence, dont let your effing dog out of the house. Effing effers.
Im very angry with those people.
I hope your mom gets better quickly.
No one should have a Christmas morning like that.

Robert said...

Our Christmas was uneventful in the extreme, compared to yours. Best wishes to your mom!

su said...

aside from a very sore head and staples in it and a very strange feeling whenI move my head, I am ok. 7 - 10 days and the staples come out. Then I will be my usual weird self. TG

EGE said...

Thanks, everyone, for your good wishes (and your effing effs).

Hey, Mom, the blow appears to have knocked your spelling bone into place -- not a single word wrong there! Huzzah!

Not--a-Good-Dog-Charlie said...

I am so glad everyone is alright! Poor Mom! Poor Charlie!
I hope your new year is better. said...

Ouch! Super Ouch!

The part about the Bloody Mary cheered me to no end. :)

Charlie's a cutie.

Stephanie said...

Oh no! Poor MomSu!

The neighbors sound like morons :(

Ladyscot said...

What an exciting Christmas! Glad you're feeling better Su! Charlie really is a cutie!

cuz donna said...

Three words...WTF

The rest I'll save for private email...

su said...

I fell on my head
while the kids were in bed
The neighbor slash dog owner
Commited a boner
Releasing their pet
With no safety net.
An owie ensued
needing staples not glue
Santa will hear
and not see them next year!

Charlie's Old Mom said...

I'm so so so sorry to hear about this! Poor you, Su, and your family -how scary for you all...and my boy, I imagine he was soooo cold and worried about you also. Stupid people without leashes!! I hope that Charlie learned a lesson and will behave himself better from now on -

su said...

I love Charlie!