They Done Broke Our Grandson

A dog attack, a trip to the ER, and the legacy of Marty’s wisdom

by Larry Kinard

Our oldest and only grandson was bitten by a dog a few weeks ago and when I say bitten, I mean attacked. I know the phrase “attacked by a dog” sounds pretty harsh but if it is your son, daughter or grandson that’s been attacked, and then it’s dead-on accurate.

Apparently said grandson, age six, was running the neighborhood with his posse when they went into his pal’s backyard and startled the mutt, the mutt who had never bitten anyone, and mutt being the breed. The dog grabbed the arm and then moved to the face. The first our son, our grandson’s father, knew of the attack was when the neighbor came running down the alley with a bloody, crying child.

Grandson went to the emergency room which, thanks or no thanks to Marty’s numerous trips, our family understands. We know how to do the ER. He was examined, cleaned up and dismissed with orders to report back later in the week to have the wounds closed surgically. Grandson had the gluing and stitching done a few days later. He came through like the tough little kid he is and looks a little bit like he’s been in a fist fight.

I went to the hospital in Dallas to offer what moral support I could to Grandson and his parents. When I told Marty I was going she said, in no uncertain terms, “Get him a toy.” She still knows not to go to the hospital empty-handed.

Situations like this always drive home how much I and my whole family really miss having the large and in-charge Marty. The large and in-charge part could be a bit overpowering at times but I really miss her intellect, her problem solving, her knowledge of the medical process, her questions, her answers and her passion. I miss it, so do our kids, and so do our grandkids whether they know it or not. And I can state unequivocally, I missed it when it was her in the hospital and I was the one in charge.

But, in a sense Marty was there.

She taught me and her kids how to do what needs to be done. Marty’s influence was with my daughter when she called me and told me that Grandson was in bad shape and I needed get myself to Dallas. Marty’s experience was there when my son and daughter-in-law drove Grandson to the ER, and Marty was with them when they talked to the nurse and the doctor until they had a thorough understanding of the care and treatment of the post-surgical grandkid.

Marty, through her life, through her illness, taught us how to do the crises in our lives. She modeled the caring, compassionate, in-charge behaviors for our children enough that maybe, just maybe, her presence was felt through the whole incident from bite to stitch.

Marty didn’t get to drive to Dallas the Saturday the attack occurred, and believe me when I say that nothing would have held back the old Marty. Marty didn’t get to actually sit in the hospital while a six-year-old baby was being put back together. Maybe it doesn’t matter that she wasn’t in the room; maybe the most important things, her influence and her guidance and her confidence, were there through her family. I can’t tell you how good that makes me feel.

And then … my granddaughter’s cat died. Marty would have been all over that, too.

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