Two Years ago today, mid afternoon, I was laying in bed taking a short nap before going out to meet some good friends for a dinner and "girl time". My phone rang and I thought, "I'll call them back in a few..." Then Britt's phone rang. And then mine again. I rushed to answer it seeing that it was my mom. Before I even answered the phone I had a gut wrenching feeling that something was not right.
To my horror when I answered I knew instantly. Something was not right at all! As my mom tried to talk stumbling over her words through fear and a lot of tears she began to tell me that dad and Justin were in a horrible car accident. She said that as far as she knew Justin was stable and she 'thought' dad was breathing but wasn't sure. Those are not words that you want to hear.
As I listened to her talk, trying to tell her it was going to be okay and feeling at the same time that nothing was okay, I stumbled around the apartment moving as quickly as possible trying to get out the door. I have never felt so weak at the knees like I might pass out. I grabbed my purse and for whatever reason actually thought, "I should grab a jacket, hospitals are cold." Why or how I thought of that I will never know.
Of course all of this time Britt is looking at me wondering what is going on. I just said, "Get ready fast. Dad. Justin. Hospital." In the blink of an eye we were in the car. I picked up my phone to call one of the friends I was meeting to tell her I would not be there. The moment she picked up and I tried to start to talk and tell her the tears fell in full force. I had not really said out loud what had happened. It was like until the moment of saying it out loud it had not happened yet.
We made it to OU Medical center in record time from Norman. I was fearful that we would not get to say goodbye if the Lord chose to take one of them. If possible, I would not miss that chance. Once we arrived I ran into the emergency room entrance. My mom was there. I hugged her and she just cried. It was awful.
More family arrived and we were put in a small waiting room. More and more people began to arrive and we were moved to a large area. I don't remember the exact number, it is written down somewhere, but in the ballpark of 200-300 people came through that night alone. It is overwhelming to see how loved we are.
We were able to go back and see Justin. He was beat up with a broken ankle and shoulder. He also lost the tips of some fingers and he had a TON of scratches and bruises as well as very blood shot eyes. He was honestly better than I had prepared myself for which was good. We even joked a bit about some money he thought he lost in the accident. I told him the paramedics probably stole it. :) Mom said, "Oh, you guys stop, Justin I will give you the $20." He soon followed with saying, "Will you put it in my hand right now?" :) Our world felt like it was falling apart but in that moment I smiled and laughed and man did I need it.
At this point we still did not know much about dad. We knew he was still alive but the wait to see him or hear was agonizing. Finally a Dr. called my older brother Brandon, my younger brother Jon, my mom and myself back to talk. My heart was racing. He began to list off dad's injuries that they were aware of. The list was ridiculously long and scary. My mom frantically signed papers that would allow emergency surgery to remove a bleeding/busted organ, inflate his lungs and anything else needed. Injuries I remember:
Most if not all ribs broken
Shattered pelvic bone
Possible other broken bones
Possible Trauma to the Head
There were more. I just can't remember them all. The Dr. said they were doing everything that they could and we should pray he would make it through the night. He told us it was bad, really bad.
We waited and waited and waited. It was close to 11 that evening I believe before we were FINALLY able to go and see him. It was scary. They believed their was bleeding in the brain and they induced a coma medically to help him rest. That first night he was VERY restless. We would tell him what happened. That he was hurt but they were taking care of him. That Justin was okay. He would calm down for a bit. He looked bad but so much of what was wrong we couldn't see. We just knew it was there.
After that restless night he became still. So still it was scary. They decided to wing him off the medicine to see if he would wake up. After several days of nothing it was determined that the coma they thought was only medically induced was not. He was in a coma and there was no way to know if or when he would wake up and in what state he would wake up.
It was a little over a month before I saw him awake. Longer than that before I talked to him. Over two months before he even began to remember things.
While he was sleeping so many things happened. They repaired, to the best of their ability his pelvic bone, lungs and other things. It was by God's mercy he was not awake for it. It saved him severe pain.
When he woke up he was able to talk and after a while he knew who we were. That was by God's mercy as well. We saw, ever so slightly, improvement. Some days a lot and some says it felt like none. But God was working.
The questions rang in our head, "God why?" I looked at my mom and thought "God why?" I cried myself to sleep too many nights thinking "God why? What is your plan in this?" I just could not see it. A lot of people told me a LOT of things but I remember two very specific things said by two people.
"God NEVER gives us more than we can carry even though it may feel like to much to bare."
"Sometimes God calms the storm, and sometimes God calms the child."
I have said these two things to myself many times. I still remind myself of them to this day.
The road was long. It is still a long road. Our life is more different then we could ever imagine. However, my God is the same! He was the same on April 10, 2010 and He is the same today April 10, 2012. Twenty years form now He will still be the same. So who is He you ask?
He is sustainer
He is enough
He is healer
He is provider
He is good
He is aba father
He is faithful
He is mercy
He is all that I need.
I knew these things before that awful day. But I never knew them in the way that I know them now. My ability to relate with others suffering is so much greater. My ability to rely on God in times of utter confusion and defeat is greater. My faith has increased. I could have walked away bitter. Things are still different. They will never be the same. But I find myself loving and praising God all the more.
I can say with all my heart that He is good!