My apologies; it has been more than a month since my last entry. Truth be told, even tonight, I have procrastinated sitting down and finally doing it.
Writing this book has plummeted me in to dealing with an enormous amount of significant events that for most of my life I had dismissed instead of confronting. The events that prevailed after South Dakota were not just life changing, they started a spiral of information into an entirely altered identity of my mother and by proxy, myself.
In other words, it has been hard to ready myself to tell this part of my story. Not to mention, knowing where to begin? I thought about continuing chronologically, but then I don’t want to bore you with the details before we get to the good parts either.
After much deliberation, I have decided to start with the first piece I wrote that inspired me to want to tell my story (Please keep in mind, I was a sophomore in high school).
1991- The Accident
I heard sirens screaming as I tried to focus. Eventually, I was able to make out red flashing lights bouncing in what was left of the passenger window. I was surrounded by fire trucks and ambulances. I remember trying to move my body or make a sound, but there was nothing. As I restored focus on the flashing red lights everything went dark.
In the next moment of consciousness, my head had slumped over and all I was able to make out was the blood that marked my body. I was immediately flooded with an overwhelming sense of fear and the lines between dream and reality began to blur. I could hear a loud screeching sound to my right, but was unable to move to see what it was. I knew something was happening next to me, but my vision was still too blurry to make out what it was. I could somewhat feel my body now, but only enough to realize that I was being moved?!
As the paramedic pulled me from the crumpled car, I kept focus on the place I had been pinned just several moments before and then I noticed it! The slipper I had been wearing at the time of the crash. All I could see was the eye, but I knew what it was. ‘My grandma gave me those’, I thought, as I rested my head on the shoulder of my hero. He carried me to the ambulance and laid me onto the stretcher. My mother and god mother came aboard behind me and sat down next to my left side. My mother was hysterical and rightfully so. I tried to move my left arm in her direction, but nothing happened. I looked over to see my arm lying limp next to me as my shoulder joint moved slightly. Able to move my own head now, I anxiously looked down at my legs. Both of them were covered in blood and on the right one, I could see the bone. The pain set in and I began to shake.
“It is ok sweetie”, the paramedic said to me as he pushed my head down and looked into my eyes. “We are going to fix you right up!”
Just then, two other paramedics jumped into the vehicle and began cutting my nightgown! I screamed! To them it was just a piece of clothing, but to someone in my situation, it was a familiarity I needed to lean on. My mother was hysterical and I was terrified, I needed something.
Thankfully, the paramedic who lifted me from the vehicle came to the rescue again. He had retrieved a very important stuffed animal from our crushed car. When my mother and I left my stepfather, Kerry, in South Dakota, I took with me a stuffed cat he had given to me. The paramedic handed it over to me and I clung tight for dear life.
“I thought he would make you feel better”, he said as I clutched it with my still working, right arm. This was enough and I no longer objected to the slicing apart of my favorite night gown.
All I remember of the trip to the hospital is the pain. Every bump intensified the excruciating throbs from my right leg. Eventually, it was just too much and I passed out.
I woke up in the emergency room as my god mother, was removing my earrings and my mother was placing my rescue cat, now equipped with a hospital id card, next to my side.
“He is going into surgery with you too sweetie” she said.
They both whispered “I love you” and I was wheeled away.
Hours later, I woke up screaming! I was hoping it was all a dream and all I wanted was my mom. She jumped up to my rescue from a cot they had placed next to my bed and held me so tightly I could hardly breathe.
“Its ok baby, you’re ok. I am here and everything is going to be ok. Get some sleep.”
The next morning my mother awoke me to say she was going back to the apartment to take a shower, but that she would come back that evening.
I was supposed to be in the hospital for a very long time and boy did it seem like it. Thankfully, my right leg was still there, only a compound fracture. I could still use my right hand for writing, although it was a little annoying with the IV sticking out of my hand. They couldn’t put it in my left arm because my collar bone had been broken from the force of the blow to the passengers’ side door and was now in a sling. Apparently, at the time of the crash, my left arm was wedged between the seats when the two cars hit. My right leg had been between the seat and the door, hence most of the damage was there. I had a cast up to my knee with a little window that opened up to clean the wound. That always grossed me out, but I just looked away when they changed the dressings. It was weird.
My hospital sentence was one month and my god parents promised to visit as often as they could. My Step dad Kerry even flew in from South Dakota and brought me a huge teddy bear! I had not seen my God parents, for a long time before the crash. Mother and I had moved away shortly after she married Kerry and we had little contact with them for about a year or so. There was a letter here and there from us to them, but they were never very informative.
Then, just a few days before the accident, we showed up at their house for Trick-or-Treating. Needless to say, they were very surprised! I remember feeling glad to see them and their children, who also came to keep me company during my hospital stay. We all played games, watched movies and talked.
Funny thing though… My mother never came back.
I asked everyone where she was and they said she was sick too and had a room in another hospital. She was getting better, just like I was.
The day finally came for me to go home! I was so excited. The doctor said I would still be in a wheelchair for some time, but that eventually the cast would come off and my arm would be out of the sling. I was told that my mother was still in the hospital, so in the meantime, I would go to live with my godparents. I was going to share a room with their daughter, who I now whole heartedly consider my sister, until my mom was able to come and take me home.