Saturday, September 27, 2008

When there are no words...

I don't even know how to start this one. It's been a jarring and difficult day here. The morning started off nice enough. I got to sleep past 8, which hasn't happened in several weeks with having house guests and our little hurricane fun.

We'd gone outside to work in the yard when a neighbor ran across the street to tell me the news. Our neighbor's son and his wife were in a very serious car accident and the son, who is friends with my son, was life lighted to the medical center.

As the story unfolded, it was even more frightening. The mom had been late for soccer practice and was at an intersection that has no light and it is on a two-laned country road. Apparently, she made a mistake in judgment and pulled out with an oncoming truck right upon them. They were hit in their minivan hard on the son's side by an F-250 pickup truck, which plowed them into the roadside ditch. Her son had head injuries, no word on how serious. The mom was bruised, certainly shaken, but fine.

And, I felt just sick inside. Sick because these are really wonderful new friends who are truly good people--salt of the earth kind of folks. Sick because we know this boy and he's pretty good friends with my son. Sick because he's very small for his age and I worried about internal injuries to his head.

The story has a somewhat happy ending. Our neighbor's son is going to be OK, pending a follow-up catscan in the morning. He has massive cuts and injuries to his face, but all are superficial and there was no internal damage to his brain. The injuries are serious, but he may be able to come home in a few days. The kids on our street have made posters to welcome him home and the moms have signed up to make the family meals. His sister spent the day with all of us, as neighborhood kids tried to take her mind off of the trauma and her fears by holding a popcorn/lemonade stand to raise money to get her brother something. The kids marvelled that no one was taking the popcorn or lemonade and they'd almost made $50--a real record.

After saying prayers of thankfulness and giving the mom a big hug the first chance I had to give her one, I was left still reeling from it all, as was everyone on our street. I can't even fathom what she must feel right now.

I'm left realizing how fleeting life is and how lucky we all are. I have sat at that very intersection, cursing under my breath because we were so late for a game before and wondering if I had time to turn. Elsewhere, I have made the mistake before of pulling out when I thought I had time, only to barely make it. And, then I took a deep breath and never gave it a second thought. Now I have the understanding of what might have happened if I did NOT make it and the anger with myself for dismissing it at the time.

I have a new friend on my street who will now have a very difficult time coping with this. Motherhood guilt is vicious even with everyday missteps--we blame ourselves for every character flaw, every failing in our kids. We tell ourselves it must have been something we did, something we forgot to do, something our children learned from us. This is a mom who loves her kids and who has a warm and caring heart and would probably give her own life for her kids in a heartbeat. And one quick mistaken decision almost took the life of her sweet son.

I am struck by how very easily something like this can happen. To anyone. Anywhere. And, aren't we all just lucky with each day that we tuck our kids in and say our goodnights?

I'm still feeling sick to my stomach tonight because I know that could have just as easily been my son in my car in the ditch...

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5 Comments:

Blogger Andrew said...

Scary story. I'm glad your friend and her boy are OK.

Ever since Bodhi has come along, I'm always nervous driving him in the car. He seems so vulnerable, even in his rearward-facing carseat. It's the only time I wish he would grow up faster.

11:48 PM, September 27, 2008  
Blogger Aunt Vanessa said...

Bless their hearts. Glad the little boy is going to be okay. Please keep us posted.

8:53 AM, September 28, 2008  
Anonymous Wickedly Scarlett said...

That is such a scary story. You're so right about the risks that we take every day without much of a second thought. Everything can change in a fraction of a second though. I really hope that the little boy is okay, and that his mother is able to forgive herself.

1:44 PM, September 28, 2008  
Blogger The Real Life Fairy Tale Princess said...

Hope everything turns out okay. Must have been one of those nights. At 10:16 I had to call 9-1-1 b/c my 1-yr-old wasn't breathing. She started breathing again and was fine by the time we took her to the ER. She had a Febril Seizure from a fever I thought was gone. She'd been fine all day, and it just spiked so fast I never knew.

No parent needs a scare like that. I hope your friends are as lucky as we were.

2:02 AM, September 29, 2008  
Blogger Williams at Home said...

I am late in reading this obviously, but I can say with complete understanding that I know how fleeting life is...and how Texas' roads can quickly take a life.

I wish I could share a solution that would prevent things like this from happening, but what I've had to come to grips with is that all we can do is to put safety first and make sure those around us know without a doubt how much we love them.

I hope your neighbor's heart heals with her son's wounds and that their story will save the life of another.

1:14 AM, October 15, 2008  

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