Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My Life With Comic Books: Part #166

The current cast of characters:
Paul Howley: age 46
Mal Howley: age 46
Adam Howley: my son, age 21
Cassy Howley: my daughter, age 16


Winter in the “Lakes Region” of New Hampshire is always harsh. For five months there is lots of snow and cold. The winter of 2000-2001 was even worse than normal. The snow started in November and piled up so fast that we had to hire a company to come and truck it away because there was no more room along our driveway. But, on Tuesday, January 9th, 2001, it was a clear and snow-free day. Adam called me at 7:45 am to tell me, “I’m up and ready to get in my car so I’ll be home in time for my car inspection.” I didn’t ask him how his trip to Newport, Rhode Island went. He had a list of important things he needed to get done so he’d be able to start taking classes at the University of Rhode Island in mid-January but I didn’t ask him about these. I’d ask him when he got home.

Mal spent most of the morning preparing for a party she was hosting that night. It was her turn to have the group of women over for the monthly “Pokeno” game so she was baking up a bunch of pastries and cakes.

As it neared 11:45 a.m.we were surprised that Adam hadn’t gotten home yet. If he left when he had said he was going to leave he should have already gotten home in time for his scheduled car inspection. I called Belknap Tire and asked if I could take Adam’s allotted inspection time since it appeared as if he was going to be late. I drove to Belknap Tire and visited with my friend, Jim Foote, while my car was being inspected.

While Jim and I were talking, he got a phone call from our friend Liz who asked to speak to me. Liz told me that Mal was on her way there and I needed to be ready to go with her right away. Mal arrived a few minutes later and as I got into the car she told me that shortly after I had left the house, a state police officer had knocked on our door to tell us that Adam had been involved in a serious car accident. The policeman offered to drive Mal directly to the local hospital where Adam was being brought by ambulance but Mal knew it would be better for her to drive our car so she could pick me up to go with her to the hospital. That way, we’d have our car there so we wouldn’t have to call someone to come pick us up later on.

The policeman was unable to give Mal any details about the accident so we had no idea of the nature of Adam’s injuries. Even though we were only a few minutes away from the Lakes Region General Hospital, it seemed to take a long time to get there. We tried to prepare ourselves for the worst. We both hoped Adam’s legs were not hurt. We knew how much he loved to dance. A cassette tape in the car played “Help Me God,” by Kathy Trocolli.

Next Chapter: The hospital

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