I had a near-death experience a week ago.
After church on Father’s Day Sunday, I slipped in the bathroom and smashed right through the plantation shutters – with my head. I kind of just lay there for a few minutes, I think, because I might have blacked out.
Okay, I have gotten ahead of myself. Let me start from the beginning.
That weekend, I visited my family in Southaven to celebrate with Daddy. His birthday fell on Father’s Day this year, so we had double the reason for a get-together. My family celebrates EVERY holiday – Halloween, Labor Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day. We just need a reason no matter how insignificant.
Daddy’s birthday: very significant.
The problem is there is always some sort of holiday mishap. Case in point: My sister’s Thanksgiving night dog mauling. We ended up spending the entire evening at the emergency room – a private emergency room for “special” families (in other words, unruly-no-one-wants-to-deal-with-families.)
This Father’s Day, the curse struck again.
Now, my weekend was going really well up until I defied death. After getting a manicure and pedicure on Saturday morning, I met my sister, Deana, for a marathon shopping trip that took us from one side of Memphis to the other. I got back to Momma and Daddy’s with just enough time to get changed and drive back to Memphis for dinner with friends.
Dinner was wonderful as was the company, but I must say the success of the evening can be conjured in just two words – pecan tort. I made my first trip to the Cheese Cake Corner in the South Main district in downtown Memphis. It has been featured in Southern Living many times, and may I say, totally worth the trip!
Sunday morning began normally – Momma and me drinking coffee in the kitchen, Daddy wandering in with bed hair and complaining about being old. He proceeded to eat leftover pecan tort (too much for one or even two!), complained about eating the tort, and then rushed upstairs and got ready for church.
Deana and I met Momma and Daddy there, and I made a point to announce to everyone in the congregation that Daddy was celebrating his 29th birthday. For some reason over the years, I have outgrown him by four years. (Kind of hinky, but I never was any good at math.)
With a fantastic lunch to prepare, we headed back to Southaven. I dropped Deana at her house to change and drove back to Momma’s to do the same. Then I walked into the bathroom. Unaware of water on the marble, I slipped, flew into the air, and crashed.
My head broke my fall. My head and the wooden plantation shutters. Maybe the window.
The next thing I remember is hearing Momma and Daddy coming in the front door. They found me sprawled out on the floor.
A throbbing, grapefruit-sized knot rose at the nape of my neck. I thought I had died, and I almost had. A few more inches and I would have crashed through a triple-pane window.
My imagination ran away with me at that point, and I had a full-fledged panic attack. I could have died, and my parents would have found me. Daddy’s birthday would be ruined forever.
Then I started thinking about how I destroyed the plantation shutters. I figured Daddy would be furious. But no. I think Momma and Daddy were as freaked out as I was (Sextons have a way of overreacting).
Your mind does strange things when something traumatic happens. My first thought was to get back to Winona as quickly as possible just in case Daddy insisted I go to the emergency room (I know they still remember us!). Then I dwelled on ruining the party. I finally fixated on the fact that I would probably die a couple days later like that character I saw on CSI.
I managed to pull it together, eat lunch, and convince my parents to allow me to drive home.
Now that I know I don’t have a slow bleed on the brain, I realized something. As much as I make fun of my family members for their freakishly bad luck, I am now a character in one of my own stories. And I confess, it isn’t any fun being on the other side.