Dr. Ryder Finnegan
English 1013 Composition 1
September 16, 2010
My Broken Heart
I have a lot of wonderful memories from my childhood. Some of the best memories were the times I spent with my dad. He was a wonderful man, a gentle giant. His hands were strong and calloused, but his touch was as soft as his heart. He was the brightest star in the center of my universe. The day he died was the day my heart soul were irreparably broken. The bright star burned out for eternity, leaving my universe dark and depressing. I remember it was a weekend morning early in December 1998. I was at work. I remember being called to the office for a phone call. It was my grandma and she told me that my dad had been in an accident. Dad was in an accident at least once a month. He was always getting rear-ended. He had told me, “April, the next time I’m rear-ended, I’m gonna fall out of the truck and start twitching on the ground.” The mental image was too hilarious for words. You see, dad was six foot five inches tall and weighed well over 300 pounds! Yes he had a bit of a belly, but his muscle tone was quite remarkable. He was a diesel mechanic and was usually covered in grease. I’m sure the muscles came from years of working with the diesel engines and enormous tools. The next words out of my mouth were, “Is he okay?” My grandma replied “I don’t know. They took him by ambulance to the hospital.” I knew right away something was very wrong. My dad was a super hero. He never went to a doctor or an emergency room. He would never ride in an ambulance Reed 2
I made a quick exit at work and hysterically drove to the Springdale ER. Needless to say, I beat the ambulance to the hospital. I waited outside for what seemed like an eternity. Finally, an ambulance! As they opened the doors, all I could see were feet sticking out from under a sheet. I recognized these feet right away. My dad had a very badly discolored, misshapen nail on the left great toe caused from an unfortunate accident with a diesel alternator. I looked at the paramedic and asked, “Is that my dad, Vance Harp?” The paramedic scowled at me and said, “You need to step back now!” I did as I was told. He said, “You can just go inside to the information desk and they will help you in there.” About that time, my mom appeared. She looked at me. I was a mess. She said “This is why I didn’t want your grandma to say anything. You need to get a hold of yourself or you won’t get to see your dad.” I thought those words were harsh and more like a slap across the face.
After waiting for what seemed like an eternity, I was able to go back and see him. I walked slowly down the dreary halls to the trauma room in the far right corner. I peeked around the corner not knowing what to expect. I saw nurses and doctors buzzing around. One injury was obvious. On almost any given day dad would drive with the window down and his arm sticking out the window. This day had been no different. He had a very large laceration on his left arm. One thing I knew for certain, dad was not a super hero. He was human, and that thought was crushing. He must have noticed me and my red, puffy eyes. He said, “Hey don’t worry about me. I’m fine. How are you?” I remember thinking to myself, “My god! He really is MY super hero.”
The doctor informed us that my dad had several injuries: a bruised heart, several broken ribs on the left side, left hip was broken, left knee was crushed, and a laceration on the left arm. The doctors decided dad should go to St. John’s Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma due to the extent of his injuries. Once there, the doctors had to wait for his heart to stabilize before performing any necessary surgeries. After the heart was better, Dad got a brand new left hip and was strapped with an external fixator on the left knee. The arm had previously been stitched. After the extended hospital stay, rehabilitation was necessary. That was also done in Tulsa. Once dad finally...