Start the story here: Dreams, Part 1
I am fragile. I am frail. I am stronger than I know possible.
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.
Night time comes and darkness falls both in the outside world and inside my head and my heart. The condemnation and the shame are trying so hard to snuff out that little spark of hope that rose inside earlier. Will I sleep tonight? Should I sleep tonight? After all, there is a family... a mother, a father, siblings and more...who will not sleep tonight.
A young son who may never wake again. How can I even dream of sleeping when I have caused so much pain to so many? Where has my flickering hope gone? Has the darkness snuffed it out for good? God are you here? I can't seem to see you...or feel you...or hear you.
I feel so alone. And yet my husband and son are right here with me. They hug me and their presence is meant to reassure me that I am not alone. And yet, inside...I feel this deep sense of isolation. No one will understand. Everyone will judge.
Sleep...please come and take me away from all this heartache. Jesus, I don't know if you can hear me or not. I don't know where you are right now in my life, but please Jesus-don't abandon that little boy that I hit with my big green pick up truck. Please God, I beg through tears...I honestly thought I had none left, where did these come from? Please God, be with him. Be with them. Don't let him die. I don't think I am strong enough to bear that blame, that agony of knowing I took the life of a child.
I close my eyes as I lay down on my pillow. The scene plays out again in my mind. All of it. I think the image that haunts me in this moment is seeing his brown hair stuck in the piece surrounding the headlight. I just can't seem to move past that...his little 6 yo old was hit so hard by my big green pick up truck that his hair was embedded into the headlight.
How can he survive such a hard hit? I think of MY little 6 yo son. The vibrant energy that follows him everywhere her goes. The sparkle in his eyes when he looks at me. The sound of his laughter filling our home. I see him dancing in the living room and playing with our dogs. I hear him a beginning reader and thrill at the worlds that is opening up to him as he reads aloud.
And I wonder...what will change in the other home. The home my one small insignificant choice has changed. Will there be vibrant energy or emptiness? The sound of laughter or tears? Will there be dancing or mourning? Playing or crying? New beginnings or an end?
So many questions continue to swirl in my head as ever so slowly the images fade and sleep takes over. I don't remember dreaming that night. I wouldn't call my sleep rejuvenating. But more an unconsciousness that was void of all thought. And that felt good. Until the morning...
When reality came crashing down upon me once more. I woke, thinking surely the events of the day before were just a very bad dream...a nightmare. And then I began to remember that it indeed had happened. It was my reality now. I had hit a young boy while driving. I can never change that, take it back or get a do over. Did he survive the night? Will he survive today? I searched for my tiny flicker of hope, not sure it would be any where I could see. Because as bright as the sun was shining that morning, my heart and my mind felt like the dead of night...so dark and empty of all light.
And then, life went on as normal. My son, my dear sweet son, he needed to eat. He needed me and that tiny blown out match tip of hope surfaced...way off in the distance. I chose to keep my focus on that tiny speck of light knowing, hoping, no that's not it, wishing, yeah that's probably it....I chose to keep my focus on that tiny speck of light wishing it would move closer, because I had no energy to move toward it.
Everything that continued as normal in our home, brought with it wondering thoughts about the family whose life I changed. They weren't waking up and making breakfast in the kitchen after sleeping in their own beds. They were most likely tired and worn out having spent the night in a hospital waiting room. Every normal moment brought dark thoughts of self blame, condemnation and lies. Every normal moment was a fight to keep that tiny speck of light that seemed miles away from going out.
I knew if that light went out, I was a goner. I was fragile. I was frail. I was stronger than I knew. And that strength was about to be tested.
My son reminded me that he had swimming lessons, and that reminder came just a bit too late to ask for help. Any mother knows in their head, that when tragedy strikes you want to try to keep your young child's life as normal as possible. Yet my entire being was screaming at me....I don't want to drive EVER again. I NEVER want to sit behind the wheel of a car and especially not my big green pick up truck.
And yet there stands my handsome son with his sparkling blue eyes looking expectantly at me, wondering why we hadn't left yet. Lord, I. can. NOT. do. this. I don't think HE (the big guy upstairs) understands just how broken I am inside. And yet I find myself gathering up our pool bag, my purse, the keys...and walking out the door.
I somehow find myself behind the wheel...trying to be brave in front of my son hoping I can protect him from just how big yesterday was. I don't want him to know just how shaken his mommy is...shaken to her very core. Her faith so fractured, she is afraid it might not survive. So with a very deep breath, I start the truck.
And a thought strikes me, WHAT IF he saw my big green truck coming as he was hit? That kind of sub-conscious torment would be awful. I shook. My head laying on the steering wheel, while the truck idled, struggling to remember that tiny detail in all I had seen. To no avail...try as I might I could not remember where he was looking when we collided.
I sat there. Frozen. Fear taking hold again. I reach for the key, I reach for the gearshift...which one will I choose. I am fragile. I am frail. Was I really stronger than I knew?
to be continued...