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Dreams... Part 1
I'm home again... life is happening around me & there is a knock at our door... it's the police.
I need to back up, share with you how I got home...
The thoughts that were swirling in my brain were coming so fast and furiously that I barely had time to finish one before the next began. The scene in front of me was empty now... Everything and everyone is gone now... except our family of 3. My husband had arrived on scene and a friend who lived nearby. When did they get here? I'm not exactly sure. I don't even remember calling my friend.
And my big green pick up truck was still sitting in the middle of the empty road. A car comes flying around the corner.
Please forgive me, from this point forward everything is fuzzy. Details outside of my own head are hard to remember. My thoughts and emotions were overwhelming at times. So much so that I lost all track of time & space for awhile, and yet some events are so vivid still.
Who is this person approaching me from across the yard? I thought everyone had left. I was attempting to process all that had just happened...in a flash, a blink of an eye. One decision...one small insignificant decision and lives are changed, shattered, broken, bruised, perhaps beyond repair.
I am shattered, broken, and bruised...I hope I can be repaired. But who cares about me, my life isn't hanging in the balance...not like his. He is fighting for life somewhere in the air above on his way to a hospital in Philadelphia. I am alive, I can walk, I can talk, I can breath on my own. I don't need anyone or anything to keep me alive.
My problems seems so insignificant, it's all in my head. No big deal. Get a grip. He has it so much worse than you. Or does he?
His battle is a physical battle...a difficult physical battle involving helicopters, hospitals, doctors & nurses. Mine is a spiritual battle...a difficult spiritual battle that is only just beginning involving lies and self doubt, questions without answers, self condemnation and blame.
This young woman approaches me from across the yard and wraps me in a hug...it is the little boy's older sister...the one who brought the kitten and took care of MY son when I forgot he was there. Thank you Jesus, for angels with kittens. WHY IS SHE HUGGING ME??????? Her little brother is in a helicopter flying to a hospital his body looking whole on the outside but broken into pieces on the inside...literally. And I am the one responsible for that. It is my fault. Yet here she is hugging me...I think she is talking to me.
I can't wrap my mind around what she is saying. I can't seem to slow the torrent of thoughts, they are coming so fast. Please God help me focus on what she is saying, I sense her words are terribly important! The thoughts slow, God is so faithful, even when we don't realize it!
"We don't blame you. This was not your fault. Please don't blame yourself." I am speechless.
The moments ahead seem to drag by. The tears continue to flow. I wish I could stop them. I need to be home, yet I can't seem to bring myself to leave the scene. And I definitely don't ever want to drive again. Fear is taking root.
There is no way I will get behind the wheel of a car again. My worst nightmare has become my reality...I have hurt a child, perhaps even taken the life of an innocent child. Everyone who has ever known me knows how much I adore kids!
My heart shatters into a million tiny pieces. And I try to pray.
My words they jumble, they make no sense. While my mind races with questions, I cannot seem to string a sensible thought together to pray. Where do I start? What do I say? I don't know. So I stop trying...for now. How am I going to get home? I look up and there is my big green pick up truck still sitting in the road. We now have 2 vehicles here that need to get home...and I AM NOT driving one-EVER!
My husband to the rescue...don't worry about it. I will figure that out, for now let's just get you home. I called the church before coming over and asked them to pray.
I want nothing more than to crawl up into a ball and forget this has ever happened. My dreams are dying. My faith is faltering. A little boy is lying in a hospital somewhere... is he even at the hospital yet? Either way...a little boy is lying somewhere-a hospital, a helicopter-fighting for his life. How can I just go on. How can I? How? I am the reason this happened. My one small insignificant choice...has changed 2 families...forever.
Then I see my little boy, my sweet 6 yo son who was just playing with a kitten in the midst of this chaos and I realize that HE is my reason to go on...at least in this moment. He needs me. I wrap him in a hug and just hold him on my lap for a few minutes while I attempt once again to control my tears. They seem to be slowing down some as holding MY son soothes my soul... a little.
I stand up. I walk to the truck. I get in the passenger side. And my husband drives me home. Other thoughts are finally starting to make their way through the torrent of self-blame, the lies & the questions. Our youth group, many of whom we know quite well, are flying off on their summer mission trip tomorrow. We were supposed to be there. This was an exciting night for us all. I can barely keep it together as we drive home. There is NO WAY I can get back in the truck later.
Honey, those kids are leaving on a trip that requires all of their attention. By the time they meet for prayer they will know what has happened. I don't want them to worry about me. (So many of these kids I've known for years...I've invested in their lives. We are family.) They need to focus on their "job" while on the trip. You have to go.
He doesn't want to leave me alone and with good reason. I truly am a wreck. I can barely stop crying. My breathing is ragged. I'm pretty sure my eyes are swollen. And our 6 yo son needs dinner, well, we all do...but I have no appetite nor a desire to cook. I just want to curl up in a ball or better yet rewind the clock to earlier. So I could change that one small insignificant decision that has threaten to tear my life apart and take the life of a child.
This is where my memory starts to get really fuzzy on what happened when...phone calls were made-I think my caring husband made most of them for me and had me talk to the most important people-my parents, his parents, you know. Those people we love and adore the most and who love us back. I was in a daze. I think shock had set in. How is it possible to feel completely numb and a deep throbbing pain at the same time?
My husband really didn't want to leave me and yet I somehow was able to convince him he NEEDED to go to the mission trip send off. A friend comes to keep me company...more like keep an eye on me, I'm sure.
I'm home again... life is happening around me & there is a knock at our door... it's the police.
In that instant my heart stops, my dreams die, and that fracture in my faith widens. I hope no one can see how broken I am inside.
I am certain they are here to tell me it IS completely my fault. You were driving that big green pick up truck when it collided with the little boy on his bicycle and he has died. I will be arrested for oh crap...what do they call it? Involuntary Vehicular Manslaughter. Yup, this is it. The awful thoughts are consuming me. My dreams come crashing down around me...in my head. My family will be broken...again.
My husband & I, we worked so hard to find our way back to each other too. Granted there was still a lot of work ahead of us changing our default settings...but we were moving in the right direction. We had actually started "liking" each other again...we never truly stopped loving one another...not way down deep. We just didn't like each other much at all. (But that is another chapter for another day. I did mention I had more than one hard moment in my 45 years.)
I don't recall who answered the door...myself or my friend.
The movie that in reality is my life now slows down to a crawl and I am sitting at the kitchen table, recounting the details about what happened AGAIN to another officer! If I have to tell this story one more time to one more police officer I think my head might explode. This isn't real. Why do they keep making me talk about it? I am so lost right now.
Life feels like it is swirling out of control around me. My life has become a hurricane of events, emotions and thoughts. I cannot see God in the midst of this storm. It is too big. I feel like a tiny leaf in the middle of the storm of the century...completely at the mercy of the winds. Where will I land? Will I weather this storm still intact OR will I be obliterated by the next gust of wind? And WHERE IS GOD in the midst of this?
I am so lost right now. My faith fracturing with no hope of stopping it,...alone. The storm is so big, the cloud cover so thick...I cannot find a sign of God anywhere. He is completely obliterated by this darkness that is swallowing me up.
I will never be the same again...my life is crumbling before my eyes and there is nothing I can do to stop it...or is there? My friend is praying for me. She must be, because...
Somewhere from the farthest corner of my mind, the words of a mother and a sister break through the darkness that threatens to engulf me..."We don't blame you. This wasn't your fault. Please don't blame yourself." And like that...one tiny flicker of hope not much bigger than the tip of blown out match... but it's there.
What will I choose to do in this moment? This one seemingly small significant decision that could change the life of one person...one shattered, broken, bruised person with a faith that seems broken beyond repair.
I'm holding my breath as I look across the kitchen table, hearing the clock tick slowly. I look into the police officer's eyes, they are kind. His questions are gentle not accusatory. I answer each one the best that I can, feeling wet cheeks once again. Thank you Mrs. King, we just want to be sure your story is consistent. We will be in touch.
I breath again. Trying so hard to hang on to that blown out match tip that is my hope, clinging to the memory of those words...will it be enough to start to repair the gaping wound that once was my faith?
to be continued...