Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Story, part 1?

My life right now is so complicated.  Logistically and emotionally.  Carting around 5 kids and keeping track of homework, birthday parties, dentist appointments.  It's alot.  But what really adds to the complication are the emotions surrounding everything.  My own grief.  Dealing with two traumatized children.  Dealing with my own children who have their own issues with the addition of two new children.  Dealing with my parents who are helpful but have become overly intrusive into our family life and overly focused on JUST the girls.  Dealing with my sisters and their spouses and how we navigate this new reality.  But I guess the best way to explain it all is to start with the beginning...

It was a normal Saturday night.  K had to work in the office and was coming home soon.  I had just ordered Chinese food for me and the boys.  The phone rang.  It was my dad telling me there was an accident and that Jeanne and Mike were at the hospital with the girls.  He didn't have any other information but that I had to get there as soon as possible.  I called K.  He said he'd be home as soon as possible (turns out he was hours getting home because of the stopped traffic from the accident).  After I just couldn't wait any longer, I ran across the street crying and asked our neighbor to come over and watch the kids.

As I drove to the hospital, I called our close friends Geoff and Kathleen who were also good friends with my sister.  We talked for a bit and they assured me everything was going to be okay and they'd meet me there.  I began to recite the Hail Mary interspersed with lots of "F" bombs as I got closer to the hospital.  I think at some point one of my sisters called to make sure I was coming and that I be careful driving.  I could tell by her voice something was wrong.  After I parked, I ran to the emergency room.  My dad and three sisters approached me and told me they were gone.  I fell to the floor, screaming.  But my sisters quickly told me to stop because E our eldest niece and her sisters were inside and they didn't know about their parents.  The mom in me took over and I went into the pediatric emergency ward.  We divided ourselves up and I ended up sitting with MG and KT (ages 3 and 1 at the time) and pulling out the glass from their hair and calming K who had a broken leg.  The rest is a blur.  E, MG, and KT were in the car with their parents, but M (aged 9 at the time) was with her soccer coach.  I remember her coming in.  I remember telling E and M about their mom and dad.  I vaguely remember driving home.  I remember sobbing in K's arms.

I'm still not totally sure what happened during the accident.  Jeanne and Mike and the girls were coming home from picking up pizza for dinner.  It had rained earlier.  An exchange student from Bangledesh lost control of her car, hitting them from behind, sending them across the median where their car was hit head on by a truck.  They were killed instantly...or so the death certificates say. MG was fine, KT broke her leg and E, who was trapped under her mom's seat for 45 minutes, broke her tibia, heel bone, tore a tendon in her ankle and tore her ACL.  It was horrific.  Our only blessing is that we didn't lose any of the girls.

I think about the accident every day.  Each time I focus on a different aspect.  My ride to the hospital.  What they must have seen or thought as the car went out of control.  What E saw and remembers.  The image of M when we told her that her parents were dead.  My sister C and her husband on the floor of the hospital crying.  Part of me wants me to stop remembering.  But part of me doesn't want it to go away.  This profound thing happened and I don't want to forget.  I don't want to forget them.

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