This is the 2nd guest post my Mum has kindly agreed to write for me (and of course, also for you!); in case you missed the first one, it is here.
Again, I have not altered much except for a very few spelling or grammar errors my Mum asked me to correct for her (keep in mind that her English lessons took place in the 1950s, and I think it is amazing how good her grasp of the language is - she reads almost as many English books as I do, and is never shy to speak English when the situation requires it).
All pictures are, of course, my Mum's property and were chosen by her.
And now, without further ado, here it is - "Another Angel Story", in my Mum's own words:
Another Angel Story- or how an Accident could change your Life
I promised to write another guest blog, and here I am:
12 years ago, on Easter-Monday, my personal guardian-angel (or maybe 2 of them...) had to work hard for me.
We spent lovely Easter-holidays in southern France, in a mountain region called "Cevennes". We were staying at a former silkworm-farm, called "mangnanerie", in an old stone-cottage, at a very remote and beautiful site. There were eight of us, my elder daughter, my husband, friends of us (also the owners of the cottage) and me.
We decided to go for a long hike through the mountains and woods, with big backpacks, containing our drinks and meals, supposed to be on tour for the whole day. The weather was fine, sunny, not too hot (at least in the forest).
It was in the year 2000, when mobile phones were starting, and I was quite proud to have gotten one from my mother, to be always reached by her, because she was blind and needed help very often.
So I let pass all the others in front of me and phoned Meike (the librarian with secrets ;-) to hear what's up at home and if Grandma is well. We chatted on, but suddenly I stumbled over a root, and I couldn't get my balance again, so I came to fall and fall and fall. I just could cry out to Meike: "Help, I am falling down", then the call was cut off.
And now the work of my guardian-angel began, and I must say, he did a very good job: The mountain was rather high, I dropped head over heels down, I could have broken my neck, but fortunately I came to a stop on a bush, over a big rock (my backpack was rather heavy, that pressed me down also). I heard my elbow cracking and felt pain, but I had to call my friends for help.
They rushed to me, helped me up, and at first I asked them to call my poor daughter and tell her, I am still alive, some more blessures (nose, knee etc.) were not grave, because I could imagine her fright, mum's crying: I am falling.
One friend gave me his T-shirt to make a sling for my arm out of it, and we climbed down to the very next little village (about 1 hour away). The path up into the mountain was so narrow, no car could reach it.
There I sat in the shade of the cemetery wall, my husband and a friend went back to our cottage as fast as they could, fetched the car and then took me to a small policlinic nearby. They x-rayed, then shook their heads: This fracture ist too complicate for us, we will call another doc.
It was a holiday, Easter, and the doc arrived in a black leather-suit on a big BMW-motorbike, not very amused, he came directly from a barbecue. But anyway he looked at me and gave me what he called "a little plaster", that meant a plaster from fingertips to shoulder. And the next day, I had to go to the University Hospital in the City of Montpellier. And that was good luck again, because he was a very famous Doctor, his operations were always successful, even people from Paris go down to him. I had to dig out all my school-French again, but it worked rather well.
So he fixed my elbow, the OP took 4 1/4 hours, afterwards he said: It was like a jigsaw puzzle, many little bits were to be set together, also many screws, nails, silver and steel were worked in.
They gave me morphine against the pain, but this was really a horror-trip for me, I will never understand how people could take this drug voluntarily. I had bad dreams, but no pain at least. After a few days they cut off the morphine and after one week I went home to Germany with my family.
It was a bit too early, the threads had not been pulled from the stitches yet, but I wanted to go home. From my room in the hospital I could see the seagulls fly and heard their cries, and I knew: out there is the Mediterranean, and I am stuck here.
And why did this event change my life?
Well, before, I always worked, rushed around, was always and for everybody available, never thought of myself, neither in my job (librarian, what else...) nor in my private life. Suddenly I had a lot of time to think things over, and to learn that some things are going also well without me or my intervention.
I could not work in my job for a few months, because I had to have another surgery a few weeks later, to remove some of the steel bits inside my elbow. I had to do a lot of (very painful) physio therapy and was not able to do all my housework the way I had been used to.
So my husband reduced his working-hours as well (he always worked up to 12 hours a day), and he also learned that it was alright and the world did not stop turning when he was not at work. He helped me a lot.
And then, when I went back to work at the library, I reduced my hours, so I had more time for myself and for things to do I wanted to. Still I had to look after my blind mother, but while I had the plaster, we employed a cleaning-woman for her, and we kept her, that was a great help for me.
So I made the best of this accident.
And now, I wish everyone a healthy, happy and accident-free Easter!
And now, I wish everyone a healthy, happy and accident-free Easter!
- - - End - - -
I do remember that fateful phone call so well! Can you imagine what it was like, one moment I was talking to my Mum about her lovely Easter holiday and how things were going back home, the next moment I heard her cry out "Help, help, I am falling!" and then - silence...! I must have been sitting there, holding the phone in my hand, staring at it with huge eyes, saying "Mama? Mama??!!" several times, until finally one of the friends rang back to tell me that she was "alright" (little did I know then that she had managed to split her elbow into a thousand pieces, and that this event was to change a lot in all our lives).
And when my Mum says she had to undergo all this physio therapy and couldn't work for months - well, I don't think I know anyone braver and more courageous than her! She went to this therapy every day, putting all her strength and effort into it, knowing full well she was in for another few hours of excruciating pain. And the result is that, today, if you don't know about the accident and do not happen to see the long scar on her left arm, you won't suspect that this is the same woman who, for quite some time, was not even able to lift her arm high enough in order to comb her hair.