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Old 14th December 2015
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Old 17th December 2015
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Parsley sage rosemary and thyme....it reminds me about that keltic folk song scarborough Fair...my favourite english song that too the sarah brightman version..
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Old 24th December 2015
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Old 25th December 2015
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Update 21

None of us had, so she excused herself for a minute and called the number and spoke for just a few minutes before hanging up and joining us in the dining room, where we were seated around the table. She and Rosemary poured us each a drink, and then we sat down to discuss what steps to take legally to be certain she was taken care of, as well as Susie. Grandpa took a look at the police report and then asked some questions and took notes of what Steph said had happened. He also told us of calling the hospital in the guise of the family's legal counsel, and the report he got from them.

Susie had multiple lacerations to the face and head, a concussion, a broken clavicle, her right arm was broken in two places, four broken ribs and a punctured lung, a broken hip and a broken femur. Her right ankle had been crushed and was pinned in the wreckage. The Fire Department had to cut it out with the 'Jaws of Life'.

Besides that her spleen had been badly damaged, and had to be removed. She had been given several pints of blood because she had nearly bled out before they were able to stop the bleeding. There was no sign of brain trauma beyond the concussion, and no swelling of the brain, which was very good news. Stephanie and Rosemary were both in tears by the time Grandpa finished telling of the injuries.

"The hospital has upgraded her condition report to 'Satisfactory', although there is concern about the ankle. Reconstructive surgery cannot be attempted yet until swelling goes down and it can be assessed further. One surgeon wanted to amputate last night, but the other thought there was a chance to save it. All in all, she is one sick girl, but it looks like she will make it. She will be in a body cast for five to six weeks, and then will face months of therapy."

As Grandpa was finishing the report I saw a Cadillac Escalade pull into the drive. My first thought was an ambulance chaser was trying to make his pitch in person, but the young man got out of the driver's door and removed a large vase of roses from the second seat. As he made his way toward the front door I said, "Looks like the flower business must be pretty good!" Steph was in no condition to answer the door, so I made my way to the front entrance and opened it before he had a chance to ring the doorbell.

"Hi, I'm Michael. Is Stephanie Winters available?"

"She's kind of indisposed at the moment. She just received the report on a friend of hers who was very badly injured in an accident. I can take those for her."

"Thank you, but it is very important I speak with her for just a moment. I'm not a delivery driver, as such."

"I didn't really think so, driving an Escalade," I said dryly. "My grandfather is representing her, so if you are just another ambulance chaser trying a new way to get a foot in the door you may as well take your flowers and beat it."

"I'm sorry, Sir, but you misunderstand me. My name is Michael Borden, and I'm the one who hit her car, and I want to apologize and see what I need to do to make things right."

I stood and looked at him for a minute or two, restraining the urge to slug him and lay him out on the front sidewalk, but I managed to restrain myself sufficiently to say, "Please wait here, and I'll see if Stephanie wants to speak with you or not."

Leaving him on the front step I closed the door in his face and walked back to the dining room. When everyone looked up to see what it was I said, "Steph, a Michael Borden is at the door. He said he needs to speak with you, to apologize for hitting your car and to see what he can do to make things right. Do you wish to speak with him, or shall I send him away?"

Steph looked over at Grandpa, as if asking his advice. "I would say I don't think it would hurt for him to apologize. I don't see where that would put him at any advantage. It's very clear he is responsible, and the law will hold him so. I'd say it is up to you. If you would like me to I'll go to the door and see if I think he's being forthright. I must say I've never seen this happen before."

"Please." Stephanie huddled in her chair like a little girl.

I walked back to the front door with Grandpa and opened the door. "Mr. Borden? How can I help you?"

"Yes, sir. As I told your grandson, is it? I need to speak with Stephanie and apologize for hitting her car and injuring her and her friend." I could see his eyes welling up, and started to get a sense this guy was for real. "May I have just a few minutes of her time, and then I will get out of your way. I assure you I am not trying to avoid responsibility for what happened. In fact I wanted to see what I can do to make things right as best I can."

Grandpa glanced at me and saw my small nod. "Come on ahead, then young man. I appreciate you coming by this way. In over forty years of legal practice I've never experienced this. I certainly hope you are legitimate, for otherwise I assure you, you will be digging a mighty deep hole for yourself."

"Thank you, Sir. I assure you I am."

He followed us into the house, and it was obvious from the bruising on her face which girl was Stephanie. Carrying the flowers before him he walked directly to her chair and knelt before her and said, "I want to apologize for hitting you, and for being in the condition I was. I came personally because I owed you an apology and an explanation, not an excuse for what happened. I take full responsibility, and I've instructed both my insurance agent and my attorney to lay no obstacles in your way. Beyond that, I am prepared to cover anything insurance does not and to do whatever it takes to make things right. Why I am here is to ask for your forgiveness."

Stephanie looked at him, and at the two dozen roses, and just nodded. Grandpa took the flowers from him and set them on the table carefully. Steph finally managed to say, "The roses are beautiful. Thank you." Michael just nodded gravely at her.

Grandpa pulled another chair to the table and offered it to him, and said, "You said you had an explanation? What can we get you to drink? Coke, another soft drink?"

"A glass of water would be nice, thank you." Rosemary jumped up to get it for him as Michael sat down in the offered chair. "Please don't take this as an excuse, I make none. I was driving under the influence, and I will plead guilty to doing so and take the consequences although I was at a .07, which is under the legal limit, I was still under the influence. I don't drink. My religion does not permit stimulants of any kind, even caffeine, and no alcohol of any sort. I said I don't drink, so why did I blow a .07? I was invited to a party by a young lady I had a couple of classes with, and although there was beer there I had only a couple of glasses of what I was told was a fruit punch, but without my knowledge, or hers either I'm convinced, someone spiked the punch rather heavily. This is under investigation, and will be prosecuted if possible. I'm also only 19, so I'm underage, with which also I have been charged."

"I was feeling a little light headed, and my stomach was upset, so I made my excuses and was trying to get home, not understanding the problem. When I got to the intersection I was hurrying, and honestly didn't see the light until Just before I hit you, but then it was too late. I went by the hospital, but they told me Susan is in ICU and is not able to receive visitors. I have been praying almost without stopping since then that she will not die." By this time tears were streaming down his face and dripping onto his shirt. He pulled his wallet from his pocket and removed two business cards, one each of which he gave to Grandpa and to Stephanie. "Here are my numbers. Please feel free to call on me at any time. I want to make this right, and to know I have your forgiveness for my wrongdoing."

I've never seen a grown man cry the way I saw Michael cry that evening. It was obvious it was real, and it was from the heart. Steph was crying as well, and Grandpa sat there looking totally perplexed. Finally he rose and walked around the table and extended a hand to Michael. "Son, I want you to know I've never seen another man do what you have done tonight. That took real guts, and you have laid yourself out in a very precarious position by doing this. I am not an unreasonable man, and I am doing this as a favor to friends of the family as I'm retired, so I have no financial stake in this." He handed Michael a couple of his own business cards. "Give one to your attorney. I know him well, and we can work together amicably. I cannot forgive you; that is up to Stephanie, but I want you to know you have my utmost respect for coming here tonight like this. I know the judge who will be handling your case, and if you would like, I would be most happy to appear in court on your behalf and tell him how you have handled yourself tonight. Obviously, there are legal issues here, and you will have to face them. I will do all for you that I can."

Michael stood to leave, and Stephanie stood with him. Grasping his arms she pulled him toward her and kissed him gently on the cheek. "I forgive you. Thank you for coming." Michael just nodded, afraid to trust his voice and made his way to the door, where I let him out. Impulsively, I reached out a hand and shook his.

"What you just did took guts. I don't know that I could have done the same. Thank you."

"I couldn't have lived with myself if I hadn't. Besides, it was the right thing to do."

"When you go to the hospital to see Susie, don't call her Susan. She will never forgive you for that." A faint wry smile tugged at his lips. I was glad I could lighten a very small portion of the load he was under.

Grandma, who had remained silent during the entire conversation, looked at me and said, "You take a lesson from that young man, Justin. He not only has intestinal fortitude, but he also has strength from his convictions. He could easily have excused what happened by blaming someone else, and he would have been correct, but he accepted responsibility for his own actions. He will go far in life, Good Lord willing."

Monday morning I rode to school with Rosemary and Steph. Stephanie had a Technicolor face from the all of the bruising, and two black eyes caused by the air bag accented the yellows, greens and blues. Mom offered to let her stay home, but she insisted she couldn't afford to miss classes. She was already struggling in physics, one of my strongest subjects, although I took it last year as an honors class. I didn't know it gave her trouble, so I made an appointment with her for the evening to work on it together. Spend more time with Steph? I would force myself, although keeping our attentions focused on the coursework was going to be difficult.

I made it a point to drop by and see Mr. Hulvey during one of my study halls, and set up an appointment to start fishing cables in the evenings, starting on Wednesday. That part of his order had come in early on last Friday, so it was going to work out nicely. I had been afraid I wouldn't get them for another two weeks, which would definitely put a damper on our plans for the house. Good guy that he is, he gave me the access code to his garage door opener so that I could go directly from school and would not have to wait until he or his wife could get home. Also, having access to the garage made it a lot easier to schlep my gear down to the basement without having to go through the house. Such trust was an honor to me, and something I was always careful to not abuse.

Just as soon as school was over, the three of us hurried over to Grandma's house. Although she had closed down her interior decorating business she still had accounts at several paint and decorating stores, and we were going to start picking out some of the necessary supplies and paint. We probably could have worked out a volume discount up in Scottsdale, but we knew we couldn't match what they would give Grandma, so we were going to go ahead and place the orders locally and because of the size order we knew they would be willing to deliver it for us. After all, we were going to be buying enough paint to paint a mid-sized hotel. It wasn't just your run of the mill house. Also, by combining carpet with the paint we could trim the price on flooring as well.

Grandma's Cadillac was a lot more comfortable than Rosemary's Bug, and I was very happy to get out of that back seat. We had to hurry, because we were planning to visit Susie just as soon as we had our orders placed. Grandpa stopped us before we were able to get away with Grandma. He had just returned from seeing Susie, and getting her OK for him to represent her. It was a formality, but it had to be carried out. He quietly warned us not to react when we went into the room, because we would not recognize her at first glance. Her condition was still satisfactory, and they were slowly weaning her of some of the painkillers, but she was still on oxygen, and had a chest tube because of the collapsed lung.

We spent two hours at the paint and carpet shop. I had thought we would go to one of the big building supply houses, but not with Grandma! "Those stores are good for some things, like lumber and structural goods, but when you are doing something like what we are working on you are much better off buying quality. In the long run it is less expensive, because it will look good longer, and it will last better, especially in a high use environment like your house. We are not making a flop-house, but a high class alternative to dorms. We don't want to create a snobbish atmosphere, but at the same time we want it to be a cut above, to draw the better class tenants. That will accomplish two things. One, it will allow for a higher rental, and two, it will allow for a more affluent client so you don't have to chase the rent every month. If you are going to get involved in property management you have to think through these things."

Another thing I was to learn from this project, although it came about later, was the higher quality products are actually much easier to apply! Grandma taught me the biggest difference between the amateur and the professional, other than experience, is in the quality of their tools and materials. They make it as easy on themselves as possible.

When we arrived at the hospital, the three of us made our way quietly to Susie's room. I was surprised to find Michael sitting in a recliner. He held a finger to his lips and waved to step out of the room, and he followed us into the hallway. "Hi, guys. She's sleeping right now, and it would be better to not wake her if we can help it. She comes and goes, but it isn't anything wrong; it's the pain meds. Sometimes she's a little loopy from them, but others she can talk with you."

"How long have you been here?" I asked.

"Since eleven this morning. They had her in a double room this morning, but I had her moved to a private one. I didn't think she would be able to rest with all the commotion going on in there. Why don't we go get a cup of coffee or something? She just went to sleep, and I don't think she will awaken for half an hour or so."

He led the way toward the elevator, and we descended to the basement and the cafeteria. "This will be better, I think. She has been rather restless whenever activity is going on in the room. I think she needs to sleep as much as possible to let the body heal itself."

"Have you been able to talk with her? Is she lucid?" Steph asked, nearly crying.

"Some of the time. Like I said upstairs, she comes and goes, but that is because she is on some pretty heavy pain meds. We were able to talk for ten to fifteen minutes a couple of times, and then she would drift off, but yes, we were able to talk about the accident and stuff."

Rosemary piped in, "So why have you been here all day? Don't you have work or school, or something?"

Michael just gave her a little smile. "I don't work, so I have the time available. I just feel responsible, and with her family out of the country, she doesn't have anyone to be there with her. There isn't much worse than being alone in the hospital, especially when you are in pain. I just felt it was the least I could do." I just nodded my head. There was a lot more going with this guy than appeared on the surface. I was beginning to think I could really get to like him.

"I thought maybe I could fill you in on her situation a bit, and that it would be easier to do so down here. A lot of times people who are unconscious actually can hear what is going on. That's why you never talk about anything bad in their condition. I'm not sure if they can hear and understand when they are out from meds, but I know it's the case with coma. I just thought it would be better to be safe. Besides, I don't like being talked about if I can't defend myself." Stephanie was sitting quietly, almost as if she was trying to sink into the chair. Her eyes were scared and tear-filled. I reached over and took her hand and gave it a gentle squeeze. Rosemary was being uncharacteristically quiet and withdrawn, but she had not been in the accident with Susie like Stephie had.

"I spoke with your grandfather," he nodded at Rosemary and at me. "Did he give you any word on her condition?" All three of us nodded. "You know, I really like that gentleman. He has a lot of character, and principles. I'd hate to be opposing him in court! Anyway, he told me Susie's parents asked him to represent them, but there is going to be no need for any legal actions. I've already made arrangements with the hospital to send me all bills the insurance company doesn't cover, but I have premium insurance. Like I said, I had her moved to a private room. She will get the best care possible."

"Most of her injuries are not serious in the long run. I was a little concerned about the punctured lung, but it seems to be doing well today. They had to remove her spleen, but one can live without it. It's better to have, obviously, but not life threatening. None of the broken bones are serious except for the right ankle." His eyes clouded, and thought he was going to cry, but he blinked a couple of times and swallowed hard before continuing in a whisper. "They were going to amputate it last night, but one of the Dr's prevailed to try and save it. I asked them to consult with Dr. Hepburn from over at Mayo's in Scottsdale. He's one of the best Orthopedic Dr's in the country. They still aren't sure if it can be saved. It was crushed pretty badly, and pinned, in the wreck. It will be some time before they can even do surgery to put the bones together if it can be saved."

He sat with his head down for a couple of minutes, and we remained silent, allowing him to get control of his emotions. "I've been praying all day her foot can be saved," he whispered. His chin dropped to his chest as he clasped his hands together on top of the table. He squeezed his hands until they turned white, and I saw tears drop from his eyes. His anguish over the situation was plain to see.

Stephanie slipped from her seat and put an arm around Michael's shoulders, then laid her head on top of his head. I couldn't hear what she said to him, but I saw his shoulders shudder as he fought to maintain his composure. Rosemary reached a hand across and covered Michael's hands and she began stroking gently until he finally lifted his head. I handed him a couple of napkins, and he wiped his eyes and blew his nose softly before looking at each of us. "Thanks. You who have every right to hate me have shown compassion. I don't deserve it, but I thank you."

Stephanie, bless her heart, hugged him to her and said softly, "It is you who came to us and asked our forgiveness. It was you, who had the character necessary to try to make things right. How can we hold something that was not your fault against you?" She kissed his cheek gently, then she sat back down to allow him to get himself back together.

Last edited by prince charles : 25th December 2015 at 11:53 AM.

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Old 25th December 2015
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Parsley sage rosemary and thyme....it reminds me about that keltic folk song Scarborough Fair...my favorite English song that too the Sarah bright-man version..
thanks dear.

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Old 25th December 2015
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update posted.

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