Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The mystery of the blood trail

With our daughter now in England, we look forward to weekly phone calls. While she and her fiancé were here in the U.S. they used Vonage as their phone carrier. When they moved to London, they continued that service and kept a U.S. based number. Consequently, she can call for the same cost as a regular land-based call here. What a difference in the advances in technology.

Anyway, during the last phone call, she remarked that she prefers my stories about school—but, I thought, I have sooooo many fun little stories from her and our son’s childhood. (Insert here a slightly nasty little chuckle.)

This story features three characters—a mother, a father and a tiny baby girl. After our daughter was born, and was about six weeks old, I decided I just HAD to get a haircut. Our son was in grade school, so taking care of him was not an issue. However, as a tiny baby, our daughter could not be left alone, so my husband arranged his work schedule so he could come home early one day. I gleefully made a hair appointment.

It was great to leave the house without having to bundle up a new baby, and just drive off to be pampered a little bit. After an hour, I returned home. Thinking I was coming in to greet my husband and daughter—I called out “hello.” Nothing. Hello, again—NOTHING. Nothing but silence. Complete total silence.

So I started walking around. Still nothing—no sign of my husband, no sign of our daughter. I went upstairs to the bedrooms—the baby’s room first. Nothing. Our bedroom, our son’s bedroom—nothing, nothing.

Then I went to the kitchen—and saw a small spot on the floor—hmmm—looks dark red. Here’s another spot, and another. I followed a tiny trail of spots, all the way down to the basement. There was a whole bunch of spots, and they were clearly blood.

By now, I am verging on panic. It might help you to understand that I have a mind that jumps INSTANTLY to conclusions. Never mind gathering evidence, my mind races to the furthest point in the possible journey. So, I conjectured that our daughter had been kidnapped, my husband had been injured in protecting her, and that he too had been dragged away. I mean, what else could explain this mysterious trail of blood and no husband or baby in the house.

I went outside to pursue these attackers, whoever they might be, or even wherever they might be. Just as I began walking around the house, my next-door-neighbor Janie came out. Oh, hi, she said, your daughter is over here. Whew! HUGE sigh of relief. But, where was my husband, Oh, he’s at the local hospital emergency room. Overactive imagination leaping into action again. . . .no, no, she said, he accidentally hurt himself while doing something with tools in the basement. He grabbed the baby, took her next door and drove himself to the hospital. Whew, again.

Since it was obvious that our daughter was safe, I asked my neighbor if she minded watching the baby a few minutes more, and I drove to the hospital. There sat my husband in the emergency room, hand in a bowl of Betadine. He had been drilling into a metal electrical box, and the WOOD drill bit he was using spun off and bit into the fleshy space between his thumb and index finger. Luckily, if one can think of drilling one’s hand as lucky, he missed all vital tendons. Of course, it hurt and needed tending, but it resulted in no long term damage. The Betadine bath was intended to remove any contamination that may have been driven into the flesh.

So the blood trail? Since our daughter had sweetly gone to sleep, my husband decided to do a few house chores, and he was in the basement working when he had his drill accident. Of course, he started bleeding. First he went upstairs, dripping blood, then from somewhere quickly grabbed paper towels which he wrapped around his hand and secured with an ACE bandage. (Since he had worked as a trainer with athletic teams during college, he did a particularly good job, so that the bowl of Betadine was about all the hospital needed to do.)

He scooped up the sleeping baby, took her next door where he knew our neighbor would be, as she too had recently had a baby. He then drove directly to the hospital, figuring he would get the care he needed, and return home to clean up. Our neighbor was supposed to have intercepted me before I got inside.

Instead, I came home to the empty house and the blood trail. Mystery solved. Now you see why my daughter (and no doubt my husband) prefer me to stick to the school stories!


Mary said...

While I totally love your school stories, Donna, this one is worth posting. I don't think it's odd for "mothers" to jump to the worst conclusions with fear and dread.

It reminds me of the time that my daughter's diaper was loaded with blood-red... I panicked, rushed her to the pediatrician to find out she drank too much red koolaid. Whew.

Pam said...

I think it's just natural for mothers to jump to the worst possible conclusion when husbands, but especially babies, are missing -- add a blood trail and yowza!

Lynne said...

It must be a Mom thing. My husband says I've always jumped to the most exciting or tragic conclusions where my family is concerned.

Jean said...

Cute story but not at the time for you!

Climenheise said...

I remember stories of Vaughn and Nevin. One from Vaughn: I was taking care of him when he was in the crawling staage, and he crawled across the top step of our second floor hallway, lost his balance and rolled down to the main floor. Carpet all the way, but scary, and he yelled his head off. Lois was furious, but Vaughn was unhurt. A month or so later I got a call. Lois had been home with Vaughn, while I went to a neighbouring church. Same scenario, from top to bottom. Same result too, except that she was no longer so upset with me.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Donna,
I'm sure it was quite terrifying at the time, but I'm glad you can see the humor in this story now. I know I would jump to a similar horrible conclusion seeing a trail of blood drops anywhere in my house!

mon@rch said...

how scary to have found the blood drop! But the school stories seem safer!

cat59 said...

What a story. That really would have been quite scary! With all of the crime dramas I watch, I would have jumped to an equally dramatic conclusion!