An Unexpected Wedding Anniversary

The traditional gifts for a ninth wedding anniversary are pottery and willow. This week, when my husband and I celebrated our ninth anniversary, we went a different route: stitches and an emergency room visit.

Our anniversary started off like any other day: kisses goodbye to the kids, hectic commutes, and busy hours at work. We were supposed to meet up in the evening for a delicious dinner at the famed Hamersley’s Bistro, a terrific Boston restaurant that’s long been on my bucket list. The reservation was especially important because Hamersley’s is closing next month. We really wanted to get there before its lights went off for good and anniversary celebration was a perfect reason to trek its location in the South End.

There I was, at the office, trying to get a few things done before my husband arrived when the following text came in:


Yes, my husband, riding one of Boston’s Hubway bikes from his office in Cambridge to my office in Boston, was hit by a van. The driver of the van suddenly turned right across the bike lane, knocking my husband to the ground and driving over the bike.  Fortunately, the driver was going slowly, so my husband was lucky. An ambulance – after two fire trucks and the state police responded – took him to a hospital emergency room where I met him.

I ran all the way to the hospital, dramatically arriving through the hospital doors, calling out “My husband has been hit by a car! Where is he?” It was a scene out of a Hollywood movie. Of course, Hollywood movies don’t show you what really comes next: paperwork.

After signing my husband in and taking care of the insurance, I was escorted to the triage section of the ER where my husband sat in a wheelchair with his head wrapped up in a bandage. This is where I got a little weepy, I’ll admit. But, after being evaluated by a doctor and being seen by three nurses and a physician’s assistant, he was given the all clear. Just ten stitches above his right eyebrow (where his sunglasses jammed into his head), one tetanus shot, and two hours later, and we were out the door to our dinner.

Yes, we made our anniversary dinner. The credit there really belongs to the kind staff of Hamersley’s who pushed back our reservation to accommodate our unexpected hospital visit. We, despite the accident, really wanted to eat there! We even received a tableside visit from Gordon Hamersley himself, who came bearing pain reliever for my husband (which was helpful since he had not even gotten a Tylenol in the hospital) and thanks for making it to his eponymous establishment despite the crash.

And, what a meal we had! Hamersley’s is well known for a number of delicious dishes, including an I-can’t-stop-thinking-about-it roast chicken and a melt-in-your-mouth duck confit. I also loved the strawberry shortcake and mushroom and roasted garlic sandwich. My regret is that I hadn’t eaten there repeatedly over the years; it’s that special.

In the end, my husband and I had an unusual kind of anniversary, and one we likely will remember for some time (in fact, the scar he’ll have from those stitches will be a daily reminder). I’m always grateful on our wedding anniversary: my husband is my best love and a wonderful partner, father, and friend. This year, the accident reminded me just how deep my gratitude goes.

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