"never never never give up"
2003 Canon del Rio, Jemez Springs
There’s a small drink of water a few hundred feet off of Highway 4 in the area known as Valles Grande. This patch of liquid provides moisture to the grazing cattle, elk and occasional coyote and small wildlife. In the center, a clump of soil and tall luscious grass, the deep blue water reflects sky and clouds. Most of the surroundings are parched and dry. Precipitation has been minimal and non-existent from Albuquerque to Los Alamos. The ‘puddle’ dismisses my sagging spirits; it is my own oasis to call upon when mood and pain overwhelm me.
May 19th was the ten year anniversary of my car accident. It was supposed to be a celebration. Instead I was back in rehab unable to dress, bathe on my own, or walk except in water!
A vacation visit to the Grand Canyon became a tragedy. While turning my new, 3 wheeled electric scooter, on a short breadth, I fell over (with it) and could not stand on my right leg... Park employees carried me by stretcher to an ambulance and then to a nearby clinic. X-rays showed a fracture near the hip on the right side. A wish to see the canyon via helicopter became a reality. I looked through the clear door and the chopper followed the massive rocks in a parallel course.
We landed at the front doors of the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Scottsdale, Arizona. It was a lucky ‘break.’ Certainly one of the best facilities in the US. A week there and a month in rehab. Trumpet vines, bougainvillea, palm trees and a covered patio surrounded the new building. Therapy in and out of the pool. Lonely for family and friends, Dagna and family drove down; visiting friends on business to Phoenix surprised me also. Bouquets and cards.
One week later and I’m in a skilled nursing center. Fractured my right ulna by slipping through the bathroom grab bars and hanging there. Obviously not ready to live on my own again.
Back in my apartment; the absurdity of it all becomes apparent…I’m feeling sorry for myself…people are filing into the restaurant across the dirt street (Mission St.), a convertible drives by, the driver’s handsome grey hair blowing in the wind, as one of the dozen swarming, battling hummingbirds whirls around my head attacking the nearby air. Another, seemingly still, hovers just in front of my eyes. I’m wearing a bright pink shirt. Once upon a time, in New York, I wished my garden would attract them!
Another car, this time a rusty red, 80’s something large sedan parks in the parking lot in front of my doorway. A young dark-haired man, hairless chest exposed to an excessively large gold cross steps out and walks toward me.
“Excuse me ma’am, perhaps you could help me. Where can I buy some liquor?”
Children and a woman in the car.
“We don’t have a package store here. Just a bar.”
After some more of the same he heads in the direction away from the bar and his campground.
“Don’t drink and drive. A lot of people have died here recently.”
“Thank you, ma’am.”
I wonder if I saved anyone’s life today.