A. Marie Silver

A. Marie Silver

The Pack Has Been Mobilized

I write letters to Ellen DeGeneres. No particular reason. Just because I can.

Dear Ellen,

This blog post is a continuation from yesterday

The morning after the motor vehicle collision, I was sitting at the kitchen table, micromanaging my kids while they ate their breakfast. I called the insurance company to file a claim. My husband’s truck was towed to a tow yard not far from where I lived. The insurance company instructed me to go there and remove all of my husband’s personal belongings as well as fill out some paperwork giving the tow yard the legal right to release the truck to the insurance company.

I knew from speaking with the doctor the night before that the fire department had to cut the door of his truck off in order to get to him. Obviously the truck was not in good shape and probably totaled. But I didn’t expect to see this.


An employee at the tow yard helped me remove the license plate and gave me a box to gather up my husband’s things. Fortunately my husband is a minimalist when it comes to what he keeps in his car. If it had been my car it would’ve taken a moving truck to collect all the crap we have inside of it.

I gathered up his belongings and headed for the hospital.

His chief was already there. In the event that Chris woke up confused/disoriented, his chief wanted to make sure that someone he knew was there with him to help him make sense of what happened. Fortunately, Chris did not wake up confused but it was still incredible that his chief came over early that morning to be there with him until my arrival.

I was only in the hospital room for about twenty minutes when my best friend called and I’ll never forget what she said.

My husband is the Boy Scout Den leader for our son’s den.

My best friend wears many hats for the Boy Scout Pack, one of which includes treasurer. After staying at my house until I returned around 1:30 in the morning, she got on the phone the next morning and started making phone calls.

“The pack has been mobilized,” she said. “A meal train has been set up which will also have slots for a lawn mowing service. You guys are loved and we’ve got you.”

Throughout the day, I received notifications from the meal train website each time someone signed up. People signed up to help mow our lawn, to call and see if we needed groceries, and to bring us dinner. Every other day for the past month, we were blessed to receive a hot meal. I will never be able to say thank you enough to everyone who helped us during this time.

Over the next two days, my husband struggled as his doctors tried to figure out how best to manage his pain.

We celebrated his birthday at this hospital….sort of. The night before his birthday, I took my daughters to the store to buy decorations for Daddy. Halloween is one of his favorite holidays so I told my five-year old we could buy Daddy some Halloween decorations in addition to birthday decorations. The five-year-old selected a tombstone to give Daddy. On the one hand, I’m a super, dark & twisty person. I thought her choice was funny. On the other hand, I also didn’t feel it was appropriate to bring a RIP tombstone into an ICU. I made her choose something else. She picked up a skull. I gave in and let her have that.



The next morning, I brought eight “Happy Birthday,” balloons, a skull, and back-scratcher (because it was there at the checkout line so why not?) to the hospital and set everything up for my husband while he cringed in extreme pain and discomfort. There is nothing worse than watching someone you love suffer and knowing you can’t do anything worse for them. Although, for the record, my husband had it worse than I did.

I wish I could tell things rapidly improved for my husband, but 24 hours later, things got worse. He’s still okay. But there was a terrifying discussion regarding a chest tube.

Part 4 continues here.

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A. Marie Smith

Your short bio telling the story of why you are a writer and the things that you think are important.