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Bon Voyage…NOT SO FAST!


By Harvey R. Heller 

So, there I was on December 6, my last night in New York City for some year-end business. I was coming back with my wife Ronna the following weekend to celebrate our grandson’s fourth birthday. Then, on January 3, we were going to leave for South America to embark on a cruise around Cape Horn — Chilean wineries, penguins, tango! We hadn’t been away on a “just us” vacation in nearly four years. 

I was at dinner with friends and having a great time. The phone rang. My wife had a bad accident and broke her upper leg in two spots. She was headed for surgery! It was too late to get a flight out of New York, so I took the first flight out the next morning. 

I arrived in time to find Ronna in the hospital recovery room. I’m told there is a 10-12” plate screwed into her femur and there is a very long set of stitches and staples running down her leg to verify this. While we entertained the idea of going on our trip anyway (she was drugged and I wasn’t thinking straight), the doctors advised against it, and frankly they were right. It’s been over a month and Ronna is still in rehab. She is working hard and we hope to reboot this vacation later in the year. 

I see her in the morning and at night. On weekends, I take her out for a bit to enjoy a meal, a movie or both. Our daily routine has been turned upside down. We miss dinner in front of the TV as we play along with Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy. I was on the verge of being the winner between us for 2018 — both shows! It’s just not as fun watching this stuff in a rehab facility, even though this one is quite nice. We had planned to do some partying and of course binge watching of “Handmaids Tale,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and catch up on all of the top movies over the holiday. Life got in the way. One day when she was not happy about something, she had the nerve to watch “Bird Box” without me. Some people just aren’t loyal! 

While visiting Ronna, I found our dear friends tending to a parent in the same facility. I found very dedicated people working hard on Christmas and New Year’s making sure all the patients were comfortable and getting their rehab. There have been many calls and visits from friends near and far. 

Life goes on. Everybody has a story like this and I hope all of yours end up with a positive ending. We look forward to Ronna coming home. She will overcome this challenge along with every other one that she has faced. In this story, “All the king’s horses and all the king’s men” are putting her back together again. My own lesson: Always be ready to juggle; practice makes perfect. 

And the dinner I was having in New York City with my friends? FANTASTIC, but I drank too much and seem to remember being in Grand Central Station that night with no apparent purpose. It is across from where I was staying, and I was in an Uber just before that. I will sort this out at a later date and report back if there is a good story behind it, embarrassing or not! 

Happy New Year!