Monday, February 22, 2010

Life interrupted

Call it mother's intuition. Or call me a worry-wart, a mother hen, I don't care. But I have been really unsettled about where my son has been working the past month or so. See, he took a job with a local chemical company and well, let's just say I am a little nervous about those kind of places. OK, a lot nervous!

Two weeks ago, he encountered a minor incident where a small amount of the toxic chemical strangely leaked out of a hose and sprayed droplets on his lip and face. Nothing really to be alarmed about unless you are me...his mother. When I saw him, I urged him to look for another job and in the meantime make sure he wore all the protective gear, etc. He rolled his eyes and said "I do wear it...and Moma, I am not a kid anymore, quit worrying!"

Last Wednesday morning began as usual. Husband left for work. Daughter and I talked about her plans for after school and later that evening to celebrate her 18th birthday with her boyfriend...then she left. I was digging through a box of some old photos of the kids when the phone rang. My husband in an attempt to stay calm on the phone asked, "Are you up and dressed?"
I immediately knew something was wrong.

It was Griff. He had been hurt at work. I dropped the phone and quickly dressed into something that was laying on the bathroom floor. The drive to the hospital was a complete blur. After I got to the hospital I learned more specifics of the accident.
Griff was processing 30,000 lbs of Sodium Hydroxide, at 170 degrees F, from a holding tank through the mix equipment. When he opened the valve to allow the chemical to flow through the strainer/filter, unfortunately the lid had not been tightened by the previous shift. The pressure created by gravity and the weight of 30,000 lbs. through the strainer/filter caused the lid to lift, blowing off Griff's protective face mask and helmet. The chemical sprayed all over him since he was standing only 3 feet from the leak. Griff quickly removed his clothes, all the while moving to the shower to wash himself off. He stayed under the shower, cold water and outside the building at 5 a.m., for better than a half hour attempting to rid himself of the chemicals which already were attacking his head, his neck, his face, his eyes and other parts of his body. 

After four days in the hospital, this mom can finally breathe a small sigh of relief. And at this point, thankfully, there doesn't seem to be any permanent damage done to his eyes. In time, the burns on his ear and neck will fade. Some scarring may linger. But, oh how grateful I am that it was not any worse. 

Not exactly what I expected last week to be like.

Not what anyone would wish for.

Interruptions can be like that.

Screeching halt. Brakes on life. Sudden stops that turn our world upside down or right side up, if needed. Looking to Him. Remembering what really matters. 


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