where is my family?:
my dad calling the hospital made the nightmare begin to feel real. i realized "this is happening." the nurse on the other end of the phone with my dad wouldn't tell us anything. she kept saying, "you have to come down here and identify the children, but the ones that have been admitted are in stable condition." how crazy is it that my family was in a car accident hours ago and i still couldn't get any answers. i was beginning to have this out of body experience and unable to think clearly about what our next step should be. this couldn't be happening to me. i kept thinking please don't let anything happen to my babies. i must have assumed joshuawas fine. as an adult he could withstand more trauma and surely had better odds then two small children. dad kept repeating, "the kids that were admitted are in stable condition." he kept saying this because at this point, he knew joshua hadn't made it, and wanted me to keep thinking about hannah rae and george. as i was getting sick in the bathroom, dad was knocking on the door telling me to get in the car, that we had to go to the hospital.
i had no idea my mom was taken to the hospital by the chaplain from the scene of the accident. to my knowledge, as dad and i were driving to the hospital, she was still trying to get information. dad kept getting phone calls on the way in the car. he was talking to craig(joshua's cousin) and then michael. something wasn't right. dad was giving short answers and had a different tone to his voice. he knew something. he knew more then me. my mind still hadn't let me think joshua could be dead. why wasn't anybody filling me in?
i don't know if my dad even brought the car to a complete stop before i jumped out and ran into the children's emergency entrance. as i ran into the lobby, the nurses were giving me this weird look. they knew why i was there. they knew who i was. they were waiting for me. i still didn't know anything. the receptionist picked up the phone and called back to the trauma area and then asked me to wait by the door. a nurse would be coming to escort me down the hall to the rooms where the "unknown" children were already being cared for. i didn't wait by the door. i opened it, went through and began looking. the nurse found me and guided me in the right direction. she knew who i was looking for. i turned a corner and saw hannah rae, my almost 2 year old, on a bed with a neck brace. she seemed scared and abandoned. i went in and realized, she wasn't alone. my mom was by her side. how did mom get there before me? how did she know hannah rae was there? hannah rae cried for me as soon as she saw me. i told her she was going to be ok, that mommy was there now. i noticed her clothes she wore that day were in one of those plastic hospital bags. as i got closer, i realized she had horrible burns on her shoulders from the car seat straps. i hated seeing her in so much pain and to be so scared.
i was still expecting joshuato come around the corner at this point, saying, "sorry i couldn't call, i'mso glad you are here!"
dad came back into hannah rae's room and said, "george is here too, he's next door!" it was obvious he wanted to put my mind at ease about my children's health and off of joshua for the time being. they had me leave hannah rae'sroom to officially identify george as my son. the doctor's told me he was sleepy when the ems found him and they were happy to be hearing him cry. i later found out they were saying, "sleepy" because he was unconscious with a concussion and they couldn't find his pulse at the scene of the accident. when i saw him for the first time, there was blood in his mouth and his small 6 week body seemed to be in so much pain. they wouldn't let me nurse him, which is so hard not to do as a mother, knowing it would comfort him. they said he was hooked up to an iv and that would be enough for now.
when my mom was walking up folly road she was hearing speculations of what took place. just like the game telephone, by the time the information got to my mom bystanders were saying an infant had died. we now know they were talking about george. it's hard to find a pulse on babies. they did finally find a pulse on george, but by the time my mom got there, the ambulances had already left with the kids. because the officers were not able to confirm anything yet, my mom wasn't sure if george had survived the wreck. .
as i went back and forth between the two rooms, i would periodically ask people where my husband was. initially, i didn't think much of it that nobody would answer such an important question. they would act busy or as if they didn't hear me. some would say they didn't know and my mom just said "i don't know hunny." as i left george's room to check on hannah rae again, i passed by my parents in the hallway engaged in a huddle with officials. i realized they knew something i didn't know and the nightmare wasn't over. they saw me notice them. they caught my eye and looked as if they had been caught. they did not want me to know what they were talking about. i continued into hannah rae'sroom.
something made me cut the nurse off as she was talking to me. "excuse me, i'msorry, but i have to find my husband." i squeezed around her and walked back out to the hallway. they were gone. i looked to the left and now saw them all down the hall behind two big closed doors. i charged down the hallway and slammed into the doors pushing them open and screaming "where is my husband! he's dead isn't he? is he dead? tell me! stop staring at me. somebody answer me. tell me. where's my husband? is he dead? he's dead isn't he?" nobody would say anything. they just stared at me and allowed me to scream in their faces. i hadn't thought about joshua actually being killed until then. i thought maybe he's paralyzed. maybe he lost a limb. i went to the extreme by asking if he had been killed and by the look on everyones face said it was the worst case scenario. the look on my mom's face is forever engraved in my brain. she broke the silence.
"i'm sorry. he didn't make it."
my legs gave out then a groan i've never heard come from me before shook the hallways as i screamed, "no!" i immediately said "i'm going to throw up." i ended up in a chair. i was unresponsive. my mom apologized to the officials for telling me before the coroner got there. protocol wanted the coroner to tell me, as if i'd rather hear my husband had been killed from a coroner then my own mom. soon my friend susannah came to my side. then joey, our pastor, and his wife pricilla came through the doors. i saw them, but just stared in shock. trying to process what just happened.