Friday afternoon I answered a call. From a number I didn’t recognize.
It was a man whose name I neither knew or recognized.
He asked my name. I said yes, I was she.
He asked if my daughter’s name was Miss A. I said yes, it was.
He began to speak.
My heart stopped.
My breath caught in my throat.
The earth stood still.
I listened carefully.
Then I began to move.
I gathered my things and ran for the door and my car. Phone still pressed to my ear.
Listening to the man I didn’t know and will never meet describe my second-worst nightmare.
Miss A had been in an accident. She was being transported to the hospital.
The extent of her injuries was unknown.
And she was 2&1/2 hours away.
I called TWH. When he answered, I yelled “I’m going to Jackson!!”
He didn’t even need to ask. He told me to come to his office.
I told him to meet me at the house, I was already on the interstate.
Then I went into crisis mode.
I work well there.
I plan. I organize.
20 minutes later, I’d pulled into my driveway and I had a plan of action.
Pack clothes. TB with friends. Dogs to groomers.
30 minutes later, we were on the road and my phone was busy.
I spoke with police officers.
I spoke with EMT’s.
I spoke with my child.
We both cried.
I finally get to Jackson.
I walk in to the trauma room and see Miss A.
On a gurney with an oxygen mask, a cervical collar, and covered in blood.
Worse than I thought.
So much worse.
The earth paused again.
I take it all in.
Then I move.
I kiss my child.
I hold her hand.
I ask questions.
I start to clean off the blood.
It’s not as bad as it looks.
But it’s bad enough.
She is bruised and broken.
But she is alive.
And she needs me.
She asks me not to leave her.
I promise I won’t.
And she sleeps.
Just for a minute.
She wakes up and calls for me.
“I’m here Baby. I’ll always be here.”
She is alive. She is whole. She will heal.
I see pictures of the car later.
I realize what a miracle this is.
And I weep.
I weep because she is alive.
I weep because she is whole.
I weep because she will heal.
I weep because she came so very close to not.
I weep because my world will continue as it was.
With both my children to hold and love.
But I will ALWAYS remember the day the earth stood still.
And I will pray it never happens again.