You know when the phone rings at my house early in the morning, it's rarely a good thing. Especially on a Saturday. This morning it was my Mom calling to tell me my Uncle had fallen last night and broke his hip. Luckily it was not a bad break, he's having replacement surgery now for the ball of the joint. From what I know this is better than when the pocket also needs replacement. He's a pretty healthy active 75 year old, so I'm hoping this is just a minor health setback.
These are the times I hate being 5 hours away from my Mom. While there may not be a lot I could do, if I were there, I'd be a little extra support. Instead of hearing that Mom, who was sleepless all night while they were in ER, was driving back to hospital to sit while he had surgery, I would be there to drive her or split the duties. Instead of hearing that the back lawn needs mowing and rain is expected, I could be there mowing. Instead of hearing that he may be in hospital and/or rehabilitation for a while, I could be there helping with shopping, shuttling, chores, and hospital visits.
Of course there are more family members in town - including my Uncle's daughter and son, and numerous teenage and adult grandchildren. One of them can mow the lawn, help with hospital visits, run an errand. But it doesn't make me feel any better about being so far away.
Post Script: Mom just called and Uncle Al is doing very well. Surgery fine. I mentioned coming up and she pooh poohed it, but I know (and I know you are reading this mom) that being there would be a relief. The choices that life puts in your path. The pull of one responsibility to another. The need to be independent and dependent at the same time. The phone ringing at 8AM didn't wake me up, but it remains a bit of a wake up call, all the same.