Not every adventure you embark on is one you seek out; sometimes, your adventures find you.
Such was the case for my mother and me yesterday.
We had planned to make a quick trip to Rocky Mount, North Carolina, to check on my cousin, David.
In addition to the schizophrenia which has afflicted him all of his adult life, last December he was diagnosed with lung cancer, and while he has responded well to the modest treatments that he is able to tolerate, he has, throughout the course of the disease, experienced episodes of low-sodium which make life interesting and sometimes require hospitalization.
It was as a result of one such episode that my mother and I found ourselves on the road to Rocky Mount yesterday to check on him, and except for one wrong turn on my part once we exited the freeway, the drive had gone well.
I went down the road a bit, and following all applicable traffic laws, made a u-turn and headed back toward the hospital.
Normally, my mother and I would go in, she would chat with the nurses and any other available staff involved in my cousin’s care, I would serve David any of the various treats we had brought for him to eat, and that would be the end of the story.
But yesterday was not a normal day.
Just as I got through the last intersection before a bridge that would take us to the hospital, the van I was driving stopped responding to my efforts to accelerate. I brought the van to a stop, my mother turned on the hazard lights, and I tried to get the transmission to engage one last time so I could bring the van limping into the hospital parking lot, but that was not to be. Instead, we found ourselves parked on a busy throughway, and while a few rude people honked for us to move, for the most part, people were very polite as they drove around the van, and while my mother was on the phone to AAA, a police officer pulled up behind us, set his lights on, and came over to see if we were all right and offered to stay while we arranged to have the van towed.
One advantage of breaking down on a busy street is that you very quickly move up the queue to be towed, and in short order, the van was on its way to Durham for repairs, a friend of my mother’s had come to pick us up and take us to the hospital to visit my cousin, and there was a rental car that would ready for us to pick up in a couple of hours so that we could make our way back home.
We were safe and while the episode as inconvenient, as breakdowns on the side of the road go (or in the this case, the middle of it), it was rather unremarkable except for all of the people along the way who helped smooth out the edges of a difficult day so that when it was all over, we were tired, but not defeated.
And even through all of that, I had managed to weave in a few ends on the crochet long-stemmed tumblers, and this afternoon, I finished work on all but the last round of each of them:
With that out of the way, my head cleared a bit, and I was able to see a way forward to square off the circles that will form the four corners of this year’s state fair project, and I managed to finish work on two of them before sunset:
Yesterday was a reminder to me that life does not always consist of the things you plan for, but where possible, the best choice is to enjoy them anyway.