Today. 3.1.02. Was the day of the car accident eight years ago. I am so grateful to have had eight more years with my family and friends. I received a second chance. Not many people get that. Here is the story of that day and a few days that follow. Just so you can’t say I didn’t warn you. . . . .WARNING:You may not want to read this post. (that was for Dan, mom, and my sister)
The kids had been working so hard to stop arguing. If they could try to get along for just 30 horrible days of tolerating their sibling, Dan and I had promised them a movie and dinner out. They did it. I knew they would. Friday afternoon we all piled into the car. Shellie was 12, Jon 9, and Katie 2. We drove to the movie. Monsters Inc. We were standing in line to purchase tickets and laughing and having fun. Wow, this goal setting really works. I was so proud of my kids for treating each other better. Then, Katie farted. If you know her at all you know that it was not quiet. It was long and loud and very surprising coming from a 2-year-old. (she is her father’s daughter) then she giggled and we all started giggling. I tried to apologize to the other people in line while laughing. A lady in line smiled and said ” its fine. Its funny and she is so cute.” Soon the whole crowd was laughing. That set the mood for the whole evening. We had so much fun. After the movie we headed for pizza. Afterward we climbed into the car and Katie said “Daddy do you have your seat belt on?” he answered “yes” then it was my turn. “Mommy do you have your seat belt on?” then Shellie’s turn and then Jon’s. We all had our seat belts on and were ready to go home. Thanks Katie.
The next thing I remember was feeling like I was waking up from a very deep sleep. Confused. I didn’t want to wake up but somehow knew I needed to. I struggled to consciousness and heard myself telling Dan that I couldn’t breathe. I heard the kids start screaming. Dan tried to calm them by telling them that if I was talking then I could breathe. I slipped back into unconsciousness. The moon light was shining so bright. The kids and Dan could see the blood all over my face. A man, the one who lived on the corner with the bushes that hid oncoming cars, came and told Dan that an ambulance was on the way. He was practiced at calling the ambulance for this intersection. My sweet little kids started praying for their mommy. A lady came to Shellie’s window and told her everything will be OK. No one else ever saw or heard this woman. An Angel I think. The ambulance came and took me away. Dan and the kids rode in a another ambulance later. My mom told me that Shellie and Jon wouldn’t even unfold their praying hands at the hospital. The doctor summoned Dan out of Shellie’s hospital room and was told to come tell me goodbye. They didn’t think I would make it through surgery. I had a closed head injury, bleeding and swelling in the brain, my right lung was collapsed, Internal bleeding, broken ribs, broken pelvis, liver and spleen lacerations, my liver went through my diaphragm and pushed my stomach and heart out of place, and the right side of my face was fractured badly.
I seized and quit living. They placed a pick line straight to my heart and brought me back to life.
I never actually saw God that night. I didn’t see a bright light either. We didn’t speak to each other, God and I. We didn’t have too. But I knew He was there because He was holding me. A thought came to me “I’m dead! I’m dead and with God.” But I want dead.
You will never convince me that there is not a God. Because I know there is. Without a doubt. If I had any doubts before in my life, they were now gone. I could feel his arms softly, yet very strongly cradling me and I also felt an incredible warmth on my right side. I found out later that is where my injuries were. All I felt was love, warmth, and healing flowing from Him. I suddenly knew then what had happened. My whole family was in a car accident. I also knew I was going to be OK. God told me, without words. Just knowing. It was the most incredible and beautiful thing I have ever experienced in my life. I will never, ever forget it. He let go and sent me back.
I wanted to wake up but I couldn’t. I just had to ask of my family was ok. If Shellie was OK. She was sitting right behind me in the car. Where is Dan? My son Jon? My baby Katie? Where were they? Are they alive? Come on! Wake up! I have to know if they are OK! What about Where are they? I need to know if they made it. If something has happened to them then I don’t want to wake up. I’m so frustrated but can do nothing about it. I can’t talk, or anything else. I can’t even feel my body. Damn! Sleeping again. Just darkness.
Later, I struggle again to wake up. This sleep is so deep. I want to ask somebody, anybody, if my family is OK. I can’t. I can’t wake up enough to ask. I can’t see and I can’t talk. Just trying to think when I wake up is too much. Enough. Time is up. Exhausted. Consumed by darkness again.
My lip hurts. I struggle to wake up. All I see is black. I am trying to tell somebody about the pain. I can’t talk. I can’t move. I realize slowly, that the loud wheezing noise I hear is the ventilator that is breathing for me. A large tube is stuck in my mouth and down my throat. The reason I can’t talk. It’s pushing air into my lungs, raising my chest, then lowering it. Strange mechanical motion. Gross. Where the tube goes into my mouth it is pinching my lip. I can feel with my tongue that my lip is folded over with tape. It really hurts. With all my other injuries that hurt, this one sticks out the most right now. Maybe because its unnecessary. It makes me very mad. I sense somebody, my sister, is in the room with me. The room I can’t see. I can’t see her either. Somehow I get her attention. She knows I need something. I don’t know how but she understands and puts a pencil and paper in my hand. Bless her! I scribble, as good as I can in the dark. “Fix my lip damn it!”Guess what? The nurse quickly fixed my lip. Then I am sucked into deepness again.
The only thing I hang onto is God. Because he held me. And I know it will be OK. Because he told me.
I am hearing a voice ask me if I know what day it is. I don’t know. I have no idea. I tell the voice, “no”. The voice asks me what time it is. I don’t know that either. The voice asks me the year. That one I know. It’s a nurse I decide, even though I am still in the dark. Why can’t I see? The nurse asks me if I know what happened. I do. I have had a lot of time to think about it. I know what happened. I just don’t know how bad I am hurt or even if I can walk or not, or if there are pieces missing or not working I am only in and out of this darkness. I try to fight it but it comes anyway. Pulling me again into the deepest sleep. I sink into the darkness again.
Somehow I figure out that my dad is holding my hand. He is crying. I wake up enough to tell him that I am going to be OK. I know I’m going to be OK, because God told me. So I want to tell him. So he won’t worry and will stop crying. Then that damn dark consuming sleep comes again.
I wake up and I’m upright. Someone is holding onto me and encouraging me to take one more step. I had no idea I had already taken one. My feet feel so heavy. I tell them to move but they won’t listen. Finally I take one more step. Then they help me to bed. OK, I can walk. Thank God. I can also see a little bit. It’s fuzzy, kind of dream-like, but I saw the floor when I was walking. Because I couldn’t hold up my head.
I am awake! I open my eyes. So awake! I can see! It’s Wednesday. The accident was on Friday. I look around and I see I’m in a hospital room, then I see Dan. Oh Dan! He’s alive! I’m so happy. I call him. He comes to me. He is afraid to touch me. I am so relieved he is OK. I though he was dead. He’s not. I was wondering where he was. He was with me. He never left me. He was beside me the whole time. He wouldn’t leave even when the nurses told him too. He slept on the floor by my hospital bed. We talk a little about what happened. I don’t really want to know. Not ready yet. The kids are OK. That’s enough. Darkness swallows me again.
Awake again. I begin checking my self out. Am I all here? Does everything work? I am swollen every where. I can’t move. Pain consumes me. I have tubes sticking out of me and some are full of blood. I have huge black bruises everywhere. My face feels swollen. My head throbbes. I reach up to touch it. Blood and glass fall from my hair. I am afraid to look in the mirror. But I do. Is that me?
Visitors come and go and so do I. In and out of that damn darkness. My room is so full of flowers that the nurse tells me she can smell them clear down the hall. She has never seen so many flowers for one person before. That makes me feel better.
I find out that everybody is OK. At least we will be. We have a long road ahead of us. But we will make it. All the pieces are still here.
At the end of Monsters Inc., the movie we saw the night of the accident, Sulley is very sad because he misses his little friend “Boo” and wants to see her. The door to get to her and see her has been shredded. Sulley’s best friend Mike gathered all the pieces and tried to glue it back together again. But it was missing one single piece. So the door wouldn’t work. Mike gave the door to Sulley and sadly told him he tried but “It won’t work with out all the pieces” But Sulley had found and saved a piece of the door to remember Boo with. He pulled it out of his pocket and placed it where it belonged and the door worked! He got to visit Boo whenever he wanted. He was able to be with her as she grew to an adult.
And so……. we lived…….. happily ever after.