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  • Writer's pictureSheri McGuinn

Sometimes the plan changes

Updated: Dec 14, 2020

I set aside five weeks to go to India with a medical YATRA. I learned enough Hindi to say “I’m a teacher; I’m not a doctor.” I had two CPR kits and was practicing to teach villagers how to keep someone alive. I was going to leave for Phoenix on Jan. 15. Instead, I got to try my two Hindi phrases on the medical personnel at UC Davis, Sacramento.

The first weekend in January my son was in a car accident. He got out of the car, saw headlights coming, and apparently dove over the guardrail to get out of traffic. He was on a bridge, thirty feet in the air. He doesn’t remember much other than that and the other car was abandoned when police got there. Thank goodness they looked over the edge and saw him.

He got out of the hospital the day I was supposed to leave for India. By then the stitches where his back and arm had been operated on could get wet, but because of the broken arm, he needed help getting the back brace off and back on. Conveniently, I had a few weeks cleared so I could stay and help him–India will happen another day. I got to shop at an Indian grocery and eat at India House in Rancho Cordova while I was in Sacramento, so it was not a complete loss. The YATRA says they’re refunding the money I gave for food and lodging, but Air Canada and Travelocity have not been so kind. Air Canada hasn’t even responded to my complaint at the way their refusal was handled: The first person said to call and reschedule once I heard from the doctors how long I would be needed. As long as it was before my flight was scheduled she said there was no problem. When I called back to reschedule, I got a different woman who said I could not reschedule unless I was going to fly sooner, which of course was not an option. When I asked to speak to a supervisor, she said she was the supervisor and had worked there twenty years. Her tone was quite nasty.

Ah well. The funny thing is, I had a feeling something was going to go wrong. My daughter was flying to Colorado the same day on a small airline and I’d worried she might end up in a crash in the Rockies and I’d have to turn around as soon as I got to Mumbai. I never expected to see my oldest in the hospital.

He’s alive, walking, off all pain killers, and can lift a dinner plate. So he’s good. It’ll be a few more weeks before he knows if he can go back to work, but he’s ready to be flexible about his future–except for his back with the two metal rods in it, that won’t ever be flexible.

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