Boyd’s Accident

Often I would drive the children to school. I would drop Carla at the Junior High and Cindy at Talawanda High and Boyd would go with me to the laboratory. After a cup of hot chocolate we would walk together from Upham Hall to McGuffy School. There was a crossing guard at the corner of Spring and Campus, but that was farther than we wanted to go. I would wait while he crossed Spring Street at the first cross walk.  We enjoyed spending time together on our regular morning walk.

This regime was interrupted on election day because Kathryn was working at the polls. On this hectic day, I let Boyd walk to school on his own.  Shortly after he left I got a phone call from my good friend, Mina Treick, the school nurse.  I recognized her voice and she told me not to worry.  I immediately new that I had to worry.  She stated that Boyd had been hit by a truck while crossing Spring Street and had been taken to the hospital.  I quickly went to the hospital to find out how he was.  I was told that he might need surgery as there seemed to be damage to his spleen. Since Kathryn was not able to leave her job at the polls, I had to make some difficult decisions without her counsel. As tests were being run, a uniformed policeman (probably the Chief of Police) came and talked to me.  After some small talk, he got down to business.  He stated that he had three witnesses that had observed the event. All three agreed that Boyd had run out in front of the truck without warning. The driver had no chance to stop! This really upset me and I wondered why he was telling me this at this particular time? He then said that he wanted me to understand how the driver felt and wanted me to meet him. I felt that he wanted me to console him.  I remember being really upset but humbled by the situation. I wanted to scream but could not.  Then the thought came to my mind that reacting angrily was the only thing I could do to hurt me and my family.  This feeling of peace came to me that Boyd would be OK. I remained calm and nonemotional. This was a tough meeting but one that I survived. After the votes were counted I was able to talk things over with Kate and the girls. 

We spent a lot of time getting Boyd through surgery and rehabilitation.  All I knew about spleen damage was that my friend, Glen Ray Spencer, had needed a lot of time to recover from surgery after his accident. Our doctor was really abrasive, and friction continued during Boyd’s recovery.  We were warned that a bump could cause great harm to his spleen, thus we had to keep him from being bumped - no rough sports etc. We took this very seriously because Boyd had had two serious accidents earlier that fall.  The first was when he tried to get some buck-eye fruits from a young sapling.  He climbed too high and fell on his back.  From this injury he had blood in his urine, which caused us to worry. Our family doctor explained that this was common for people getting hurt in football. He had us watch Boyd for a time, and then he seemed OK. We explained that climbing a sapling like that was not a wise thing to do, and he promised not to do it again.  I assume that he never fell from a tree again. 

The next accident occurred just after school started.  Some of the parents built a complex wooden playground structure that looked very exciting.  It was really a large undertaking and built with love and care.  There was only one problem, the bolts were sticking out of the nuts by about an inch.  Boyd slipped and fell on one of these bolts. The sharp edge gouged his leg  just below his knee cap.  He needed several stitches to close his wound.  We focused on getting the dangerous bolts cut to make the structure safer.  

After these three accidents, we recognized that we need to help Boyd modify his behavior. Kathryn was really dedicated to helping him change.  It seemed that everyplace we went he was still a rambunctious young boy.  At Christmas Carla’s class had a piñata party for their siblings.  We went to the party to support both Carla and Boyd.  They had numbered tickets so that they could have a drawing to choose who would hit the piñata. Boyd was chosen to take the first hits. He was blindfolded and given a stick to break the piñata. I was on edge with the fear that he could be injured by the excited children.  He made a big swing, and everyone run at him just as I had feared.  My heart couldn’t take any more! They drew another name, and it was Carla’s.  The class members had put their names in the pool but they had agreed that they would give it to their siblings.  I put my foot down and insisted Carla choose someone else. No more hits at the piñata for Boyd!

We got reports that classmates were punching him in school. To investigate this, Kathryn starting going to school to watch from the observation deck without Boyd’s knowledge. What she found is that Boyd went around the class punching people on the shoulder.  He was the one starting the punching.  It was in fun, but we had to work with him.  In hind sight, I don’t know how much Boyd changed his behavior but I know that we really changed our behavior. I feel that the Holy Spirit had prompted me against anger and that everything turned out better because I followed this prompting. In fact, our family became stronger as we worked together to help Boyd overcome his injuries.