Precious Time

Yesterday on the dreaded FaceBook I saw a post asking all of us to pray for two young adults who were seriously injured in an accident. Angelica and Dustin M***** were airlifted to USMC in Jackson, Ms and are still in critical condition. Both are on life support and it doesn't look good. Angelica is a freshman in high school and has been announced brain dead. Their family is holding strong to their faith and the hope that a miracle will happen. God does perform miracles, we just need to trust in him and trust him to hold us.

This kind of incident causes every loving parent to consider the possibility. The possibility of this happening to our beautiful loved children, our hearts, the reasons we get up in the morning, the reasons we don't give up when the world seems to fall around us, the reasons we breathe and live. The truth is this could happen to any one of us, but the absolute truth is it is happening right now to parents of two loved children (yes they are young adults but to their parents they are their babies, always.)

While none of us ever want to put ourselves in their place so to speak, we often just won't think about it so we don't feel that instant panic of "what if it was me". That is a horribly scary feeling to have. You're throat clogs up and drops to the pit of your stomach. You're heart races and beats so hard it feels as if it's in your throat. Yes that feeling. We run from it. The feeling of panic and desperation is almost unbearable and downright hurts! It is painful. More painful than a breakup, divorce, or fight with your best friend could ever be!

The thought of losing a child literally makes me break out in cold sweats and I cry, boy do I cry! Buckets. There's never been a time when I haven't had a panic attack thought about my children and I haven't boohoo'd. It is the most gut wrenching feeling ever.

When Nathan was almost two and Cate was four I got a phone call that made this strong mother regress into a helpless child like state. Like a chicken with it's head cut off (as my grandmother says), I felt like I was bumping into walls. Caitlin and Nathan were staying on the coast with my mother and grandmother (mamaw ;)..) for a night about 2 1/2 hours away from me. I was reluctant to let them go but in the end I figured it was just one night so it was ok. The next morning around 1 I got a phone call from my grandmother, who was at work at the time. She said "Audrey, your need to get to the coast now! Your mother can't wake up Nathan." I felt like I was dying. It was instant. The feeling of loss and suffering and literal heartbreak was instant. Devastation set in and I started screaming. I ran to the room where Josh was sleeping (he had worked the night before) and he woke up and I screamed at him what I was told and he jumped up and was dressed in less than a minute. The panic on his face was something I vaguely recall.

The whole way to the coast I was in a daze yet the tears never stopped flowing. Every once in a while I would break into uncontrollable sobs. I just knew my baby was gone, dead. Along the way we had a blowout and had to stop and was picked up by family. Although we made it to the coast in an hour and a half it was by far one of the longest car rides of my life. When we got to the hospital I was informed Nathan had had a febral seizure. He had been breathing the whole time but was exhausted from the effort and that is why they couldn't wake him up. Had I known before hand that was what happened I could have calmed myself down a lot better. Seizures are still dangerous and sometimes life threatening but my mother has had them all her life so I could have been more prepared...actually I don't know if that's true. I probably wouldn't have been prepared at all.

He's had several other seizures since then and while I am by his side I am always calm because of having to bring my mother out of them since I was six. It still hurts to watch him go through that. I still cry like a baby when it happens, but during the moment I have to stay calm and watch it happen to my baby.

We also had a scare of similar fashion when Gina, Angel, Kara, and Rae were in a car accident on their way to a Dr. appt. Gina had a blow out and hit the bridge. Angel slammed into the middle console and was air lifted to Jackson, Ms to the USMC. Again I was home when a police officer my husband worked with came to the door to tell us. Josh, myself and the kids were taking a nap. When he told me what happened I got dizzy and I thought I was going to pass out. I had to sit in the hall with my head between my legs to keep from doing so while I just sobbed and waited for Josh to get ready. Once again we were on the road for what seemed like forever just trying to get there.

She looked so pitiful all hooked up to those machines. One side of her face swollen and bruised. I remember telling Gina on the phone (the hospital wouldn't let her go until she was cleared) "I'm glad you aren't here right now. You don't need to see her like this. Be happy you aren't seeing her like this." I'm Angels step mom and if I felt like my heart was being ripped out of my chest looking at her like that I couldn't imagine what her heart would feel like if she were to look at her baby hooked up to a breathing machine. My heart was breaking for both of them.

But boy was she fighting! At one point she had 7 nurses, Dr.'s, her daddy and myself holding her down! While she had sleeping medicine in her! Wow! Not to mention the time when she had just as many Dr.s, nurses, her daddy and stepdaddy Shawn (both Marines!!!) holding her down while she fought them tooth and nail to get up and take out her tubes! That gave us so much hope as funny as that sounds. Finally she was taken out of ICU and off the breathing machine...funny how natural breathing is we never think about it until the ability is taken away... anyways,. And we all spent 7 days (4 in the hospital and 3 out) trying to get her to do something we had spent years trying to get her to stop doing so much of...TALK!!! lol :)

She's recovered beautifully. There's still a hint of a bruise under her left eye when she's tired we've noticed. For some reason it seems, to me, to show up then. It may never go away but she's here, she's alive, and she's talking... :)

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