Saturday, September 13, 2008


The call came at 3:30 AM. Four rings, and the answering machine clicked into action. It was the clicking that awoke me. Another wrong number, my groggy mind assumed, and I listened to the clicking of the answering machine, but no message.

I may as well go to the toilet while I’m awake, I thought, but walked by the answering machine to check it. The red light blinked in the darkness, indicating that the caller had left a message after all. Still assuming I’d hear a stranger’s voice on the machine, I wound the tape back and turned up the volume, which had been off.

It was my sister’s voice.

“Faith, pray. When you, George, wake up, pray. Greg had a very bad accident. They have to do surgery on his head and he has only 50% chance of surviving. He’s in Kansas City. A golf cart ran into him. Please pray. Pray.”

Greg is our younger brother. He was in Kansas City with his girlfriend at a motorcycle rally. Neither of us had known that, however. Greg realizes that none of us really understand his sudden obsession with his Harley Davidson, which he purchased after his divorce, a mid-life crisis sort of thing. He and his girlfriend had met in part because of that motorcycle.

Greg, always an optimist, has not had a charmed life. He and his wife had a severely disabled child. Then one morning his wife turned to him and said, “I don’t love you anymore.” And that was that. His marriage was over. Try as he did to patch up the relationship, she would have none of it. Her mind had been made up before she ever mentioned being unhappy. I got to hear the blow-by-blow account of my brother’s breakup, to be his shoulder in the time of crisis; I work for the same company and the same group as my brother. Our offices were a few aisles apart. We saw each other daily. He needed someone to listen, and I was that one.

He left the dream house on the lake and almost everything in it to his ex so she’d be better able to take care of their son, and started life anew.

The divorce was now many years ago, and things were looking up. Greg bought an engagement ring for Cindi and on Thursday at the rally was going to propose to her.

It never happened.

Greg was out walking. The golf cart was going too fast. It was raining. It put on its breaks and slid; Greg went flying from the impact and landed on his head.

He had a part of his skull removed to allow the brain to swell. These two days are critical. The life signs do not look good.

I am praying. George is praying. Our children and friends are praying.


1 comment:

tabrandt said...

What a horrific story, our prayers are with your bother and your family.

What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.”
— Albert Pike, Scottish Rite Freemason (1809-1891)