Two days from now, will mark six years, six years that I got that life altering phone call and pray no one else ever has to get but it does make you appreciate exactly how precious life is.
Imagine this: you’ve just got home from a long day at work, you have just sat down put your feet up for a moment to catch that second wind before getting your evening tasks done. In perfect relaxation mode, eyes closed and your phone rings and startles you up.
You pause for a second to make sure you aren’t dreaming to realize you are not, it’s only home calling you. Expecting the weekly chat with my parents, I hesitated answering thinking I’d call them back after my quick nap but decided to answer instead. Answering it I didn’t realize at the time so much of my world was going to come crashing down around me. Little did I know it was a nightmare becoming reality.
Through the years I had heard many people tell their heartbreaking stories and every single story always ended with; ‘I never thought it would happen to us’. No one ever thinks that, deep down we all like to believe we are immune to danger. But truth be told we aren’t.
My dad was on the other end of the line and I could tell by the tone, the news wasn’t good. Mom and dad had received word a few minutes before that my youngest brother was in the hospital in the ICU down in Louisville, KY, far cry from Moorhead, MN where he lived, it wasn’t known if he’d make it through the night…and odds didn’t look good.
How do you explain that feeling? Over the course of the next few weeks and months I did my best to do just that but I don’t know if I ever can do it justice. In my line of work I’ve had to ask that question so many times, I never realized until then how hard that question really is…but like those who have had to answer before me, I will do my best…
It’s a million feelings all at once, followed by a dozen more and backed by so many questions that may forever go unanswered.
-It’s that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach times a thousand.
-It’s the feeling of you heart jumping into your throat, pounding into your chest and dropping down into the depths of your body.
-You shake…convulse, you stand shocked for a second and then drop or collapse to your knees without evening knowing.
-You feel unfortunately, anger
-You feel scared
-You are in disbelief…denial
-Then when it really sinks in…you lose it and just sob, or if you’re the strong silent type you keep your composure but are screaming inside
-You’ll find sometimes it’s okay to let it all out
Once the strongest emotions pass over, the questions begin…
How did this happen? Where was he? What was he doing? Who was he with? Why is this happening? Was there something I could have done to prevent this? How do I get there now? Will he make it? And if he doesn’t what will I do?
And finally you ask WHY? Why, why, why, why….why them? Yeah you ask that one a lot, I find myself still asking that question now and again. And lastly you pray, with all your being.
Through the days, weeks, months and for some years answers will come, but be prepared for the questions that won’t be and may never be answered.
The pain is like one you never want anyone to feel and pray they never will and my heart goes to all those who have had to answer that question for can you ever really explain it?
It took three months to bring my brother out of a coma but he survived and I thank God everyday that he’s still here. My parents strength, especially that of my mother, who was by my brothers side the entire time, still amazes me to this day. The doctors call him a miracle and share his story to this day and our family was so blessed to have them. Prayers, faith, belief and Incredible people in Kentucky brought my little brother back to my family and there will never be enough love and thank you’s in the world for that, ever.
Yes during this time of the year as December 16th draws closer I get a little more emotional, more so than I already am (ask anyone who knows me), but I count my blessings and remind myself how lucky I am…how lucky and blessed my brother is and thankful he’s here and alive and well.