Ok, while I am on my woeful journey I thought I would share another story I wrote about my daughter....It happened one Memorial Day Weekend. I have actually got this one in the works for publishing....so I am going to do it in parts. Todays segment....is the beginning of a long road back. Sit back and relax. You are in for a long haul.
The telephone rang in the car and Dale answered it, "Ronnie, it's Eric, for you," he called out in his thick New Jersey accent. I felt a cold chill grab at my heart. Ronnie came in with a twisted look on his face and told me to get my purse and go for a ride with him. I did as I was told. I knew better than to argue. His face told me that this was not going to be a pleasure ride. The car flew past the familiar and I finally asked the question I did not want the answer to. "How bad is it?" My shakey voice was deliberate, yet emotion-filled and then he replied, "there was an explosion." "Are they alive?" My husbands response to my question caused me to grasp for my next breaths...."I don't know."
I closed my eyes as we crossed the river bridge and began praying for strength, grace, and a miracle. We squealed into the Emergency Room parking lot and my son Eric, met me, held me, and told me to be strong. I was confused yet drew strength from my son's arms and tears. I entered the ER Treatment Room and felt my knees buckle when confronted by the sight and smell that met me. My youngest daughter, Kathryn, had taken the full impact of the explosion. My child, my heart, lay face down on an emergency room table and her legs......her beautiful legs grotesquely stared at me as I entered the door. The smell of burnt flesh and hair penetrated my brain and the nurse softly shoved me past the legs to the face of a terrified little girl. I had seen this face before when storms had awakened her in the middle of the night and she would seek refuge in the comfort of our bed. I smiled a watery smile into the eyes of this being that I had brought into this world nearly fourteen years ago. She knew it was bad. I knew it was bad. We knew we would have to trust each other.
Leaning down close to her ear I whispered an emotional, "I love you Munchkin" and then the nurse told me I would have to leave so they could work. Outside, in the hallway I searched for my son, his fiancee, my niece, and the two of her friends that were on the boat with Kathryn. They were all hurt. Ugly blisters and angry red patches popped up everywhere and terror filled each little face. We all clung together and waited for news of Kathryn. My pain-filled prayers went up with every breath I took and finally a pleasant numbness clouded my mind.
Everyone I knew was out of town for Memorial Day and I needed prayer power fast, so mustering up what little sanity I had left I called my deacon, David Patterson. The conversation between us was short, and incoherent on my part, yet relieved that prayers had begun, I hung up the reciever. David called the pastor after we ended our call, and both men raced against time to get to the ER.
The nurse came out and told me that Kathryn was asking for me and I could go in and be with her, but I had to be strong. I entered the putrid smelling room once again, rushed straight to Kathryn's head, and began praying over her silently. She reached out and grabbed my hand. I brushed twigs from her hair with my hands. The nurse and doctor worked on. We both grieved in silence.
The nurse and doctor told us what we could expect, equipped us with bandages, medication, and ointments, and with wrapped legs, sent us home with orders to return the next morning. The next 16 hours would be critical for us all, but especially for Kathryn. She would have to be completely bed-bound for the next sixteen hours or swelling could set in and cause the healing process to be hindered. "She might not walk again." the last words the doctor said to me would play over and over in my head all night long.
Rev. Stoner and David helped us transport the six injured ones home. Food and medications were picked up by church members who appeared out of nowhere. The congregation of Wayside Baptist definitely showed us the definition of stewardship and Christian love. People popped in and out all evening and five of the six relived the tale several times, called out-of-state parents, and cried. We all cried - outwardly. Kathryn, bless her heart, slept. Her crying was done in the form of moans that escaped from her morphine-induced nightmares.
Stay tuned for Part II
To Joey, With Love....WINNER!
6 months ago