Dreams...Part 2 (The story continues...)
I don't think I have ever cried as many tears as I did sitting there in that grass watching the awful scene unfolding before my eyes on that warm July evening. One decision... one small insignificant decision about which way to drive home and a life lay in the balance... my faith is fracturing... fear is taking over... and two families may never be the same again.
My 6 yo son & I, in our big green pick up truck, just hit a 6 yo boy on his bicycle. Here comes the helicopter...this is bad. Really, really bad. I sit in the grass & weep...
I mindlessly pick up my cell phone & dial. Through tears that just won't stop... I don't remember who I try to call...but I need someone, don't I? Eventually my husband and my dear sweet sister friend end up on the scene. I don't really remember when they arrive.
Suddenly, a new reality breaks through my thoughts, Where is my son in all this mayhem? Where is MY 6 yo son?!!!? All thought of him had exited my mind when I sent him running to the house door to get help. How could I forget my own child? What an awful mother I must be.
Then I remember...a young lady had come from the house & shown my little boy a kitten. She took him a safe distance from all that was unfolding where grass & asphalt met. I look around... dazed... searching... wanting to be sure that MY son was truly safely.
He is and I smile, a tiny smile. Thank you Jesus for angels with kittens. He was happily sitting with a kitty in his lap, totally unaware of all the activity around him. A relieved sigh escapes my lungs... I am still breathing. I wasn't sure, I feel as though I've been holding my breath for days.
A police officer is in front of me, asking me what happened. And slowly, I try, to no avail, to dry my tears & recount what I remember. We were driving down the road and when we got to that fence row over there... I point... suddenly, he was right there! I... I... I tried to stop! But there was no time.
Do you know how fast you were going? Not exactly, but I know it wasn't fast because children play on this road & I've seen their ball roll into the street before. My voice trails off... Mrs. King, are you ok?
My biggest fear... you know that one you never ever give voice to because you just can't even fathom it would ever happen... that kind of fear... has just come to life before me. I. hurt. an. innocent. child. This is just a really bad dream, right? If I don't say it, it isn't real, right?
I have drifted away into my thoughts...thoughts of "What if...." What if we hadn't gone to the pool today? What if we just had gone home the 'normal' way? And darn it...why oh why was my husband NOT at our property? He is ALWAYS at our property.
Looking back, that was NOT a rational thought, because while we did spend alot of time at our new property, he was NOT always there. Unbeknownst to me in that moment, that lie was going to be one of many I battled in the months to come.
Coming back to reality & that scene that looks like something from a movie & the officer standing in front of me. Mrs King? Yes. The helicopter is revving up and my gaze is drawn to it. Mrs King, can you recount for me again what happened? I sigh.... Draw my gaze back from that blasted helicopter with it's revving engine. And recount what I remember... again.
Why do they keep asking me to tell them what happened? I don't want to voice it... it's not real! The more I talk about it the more real it becomes and I don't want it to be real.
The helicopter is taking off... The young boy inside... I overhear they are headed to our local trauma center. I flashback to a few years earlier, when my nephew also named Reggie was flown off to a hospital after an accident. My first experience with Life Flight. It means life-threatening injuries are involved. It means a life hanging in the balance. It means fast transportation is imperative to survival.
Our nephew, he was a BIG high school football player at the time of his accident & it was bad. This young boy was the same age as my sweet son. He is just a little boy. And he is in that big helicopter... life-threatening injuries... life hanging in the balance... fast transportation imperative to his survival.
So tiny.... so broken... and my green pick up truck is SO BIG! He is so much worse than I could imagine because I was secretly hoping they wouldn't put him in that helicopter. But.... They did... and the were taking off. Everything is blurry... so blurry... its those nonstop tears. They are like flood waters that just won't recede.
The scene is beginning to clear. The crowd is dispersing. The fire trucks have left. The EMT's are packing up. The family is gathering to leave. Something remarkable happens... his mom is walking toward me. I begin to shake. My mind races. Fear threatens to overcome all of my sense. And those tears... I frantically try to wipe them away... yet my cheeks remain wet.
She is in front of me. What will she say to me? I know what my reaction would be... and it doesn't sound or look pretty. She wraps me in her arms & holds me for along moment. Then she steps back, looks directly into my eyes and says words my brain just cannot comprehend.... "We don't blame you. It isn't your fault. It was an accident." My brain swirls with those thoughts as the battle against the self blame, the lies and the questions.
I think she is still talking, something about the Life Flight diverting to Philadelphia and the family heading there. Is someone coming for you? Yes, I called my husband. He should be here, where is he? He appears at my side. I crumble into his arms and that flood of tears turns into a hurricane. I didn't think I could sob so much or so hard for so long. Surely I can't have any tears left!
I try to recount to him what's happened but I just can't seem to clear my head. She doesn't blame me? How is that kind of compassion possible? Someone is to blame, right? I know it isn't Reggie's fault. Deep in my gut, I know he was just a kid riding his bike on his property along a quiet rural road.
Moments before...was it really just moments? How much time has past? It feels like hours, maybe days. I honestly don't know because time stopped the moment my big green pickup truck collided into that little 6yo boy on his bicycle.
And the questions began...questions that I could not stop... they swirled in my brain. Trying to sort the lies from the truth was becoming more difficult. Why? What if...? I'm a terrible mother. Horrible driver. You should have seen him. Is he to blame? How is compassion from his mom possible? Life flight means it's bad, and it's all your fault. God! HOW COULD YOU ALLOW THIS AWFUL THING TO HAPPEN? Where were you? Why didn't you STOP him from riding into the road? Just 20 seconds sooner or 20 seconds later... You hold the universe and time in Your hands... YOU COULD HAVE STOPPED THIS. Compassion... what is true? I don't know anymore.
Fear is taking over... how will this effect my future? I'm home again... life is happening around me & there is a knock at our door... it's the police.
to be continued...