A Bad Break

Standing in a security line at Reagan National before boarding a business flight to Chicago this morning, I retrieved voicemail from my father I’d ignored by some hours. Bad move, that.

Dad was skating his weekly game with the GeriHatricks out in Laurel. Nearing 70, he’s a bit of an elder statesman in the skate, but certainly not the oldest.

It hasn’t been a good year for blueliners in D.C. On the injury front, and Dad,a rearguard, rang me to inform that he’d broken his leg quite near the end of the morning skate. Badly. His tibia and shin bone are fractured cleanly. The good news is that two of Dad’s teammates are still practicing surgeons, and another is an EMT. He got excellent care from them in the locker room before the ambulance arrived. He sounded good when I rang him back this afternoon. He goes to see an orthopedist tomorrow.

Needless to say, going forward, I won’t be treating voicemail from my father, or any other member of my family, as a task to get to just as soon as I’ve fulfilled professional obligations. With one email back to the office I could get out of this trip and in my car and down to Dad in three hours’ time, but he’d have none of that. He was Purple Heart in Vietnam, and on the phone today joking about how he’ll see more playoff puck on TV this spring in his recovery.

We’ll talk about his pans for next season when I get back.

Update (4/6): Firstly, here and elsewhere, especially in social media, I’ve benefited greatly from the well-wishing of the OFB family of readers. It is deeply appreciated. Dad today is in a hard cast from the base of his toes almost up to his hip. In about two weeks’ time he’ll be re-examined and, assuming the healing process is proceeding, transitioned to another, more modest-sized cast. No surgery is envisioned, which is a gigantic relief. Some of his teammates on the bench during the skate claimed they actually heard the break from some 100 feet away. That gives me shivers. But the old dog has his spirits, and watching very winning Capitals’ hockey is surely helping.

This entry was posted in Hockey fathers and sons, Hockey hearts, Hockey Heroes, Hockey injuries, Washington Capitals. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to A Bad Break

  1. chanuck says:

    Hope all is well with your dad. You guys are in our thoughts.

  2. MaryRWise says:

    Wishing your dad a speedy recovery and a quick return to the rink!

  3. NS2NOVA says:

    It’s moments like this that remind us that we need to reset our priorities, and family should be first. I got my reminder just over 2 years ago when my Dad was hospitalized with chest pains. Fortunately they caught it early, put in some stents and relieved some blockages and all is well. Due to immigration processing We hadn’t been home to Canada in over 2 years (although the parents visited us here several times in the same period), and it brought home the fact that we needed to make time to come home more often.

    Hope your Dad makes out OK and is lacing up his skates soon enough.

  4. Dezlboy says:

    Best Wishes to your Dad.

  5. Oh, wow. I hope he’s back on the ice again soon!


    My wishes for a full and speedy recovery.

  7. mokentoff says:

    Nice post… good reminder : )

  8. Dave H says:

    Hope your dad has a quick and full recovery! It’s hard to keep that generation down for very long, I’m sure he’ll be out doing line rushes in no time.

  9. penguin pete says:

    wishing your dad a speedy recovery…

  10. Right Winger says:

    As someone whose given both ankles (dislocated the right one and fractured in 3 places) to the sport of hockey, best wishes to your dad. Also–he’ll be back on the ice in 6 months because, like me, hockey is an addiction that one never truly kicks, no matter the pain it causes us.

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