My Mother-in-Law fell down a short series of steps in our house and shattered her ankle. She's in the hospital now. She's a good woman, and we are hoping for a quick recovery. The extended clowncar family is feeling a little worn down as of late.
The reason I bring it up: there was a small spot of blood at the base of the steps which the girls noticed before we did. We cleaned it up. The girls point it out - "that's where the blood was" - whenever they pass. They look to it solemnly, blank-faced but wide-eyed, as if they were passing a graveyard, or a holy place.
I recognize the look very well, from when I was in the hospital. It was the way they looked at me. In particular I remember the way they watched me when I took my first shaky walk down the hospital hallway, with folks on either arm to steady me. The look is a mixture of fear and confusion and reverence. Confronted with a sight they do not understand, unsure if they should be frightened or not. Like they are looking down the edge of a deep chasm, unable to see the bottom, fearful of what lies below.
Makes me want to sweep them up in my arms and protect them from the world, the unknown, the passage of time.
I can't do that, of course.
Wish my Mother-In-Law well.