Sunday, July 6, 2008

A Path Made Way

Looking back today, it's easy to see how the path was laid before me. How I was mentally braced for this day 1 year ago. I'd felt uneasy about the trip from the moment it was planned. Couldn't say why, couldn't tell him not to go. I just knew deep down inside that I didn't want him to go. All my friends remember me talking about that while he was gone. Then that night...I felt off. I just wanted him to walk through the door. I had been listening to church music while I scrapped and a song came round over and over and I felt like it was for me. It was a song asking the Lord to stay by your side through the hardest thing...i cried every time it came on.

So when that phone rang, I was ready for it. I knew it was bad before I even picked it up...the spirit had been whispering to me, bracing me. So when the nurse talked to me, I was calm. I took the information in and then hung up the phone and sat there as the tears started to pour.

My first instinct was to grab some stuff, wake my kids and throw them in the car...at 4 in the morning. But I couldn't. Samantha was sick and I had planned to get her into quick care the second they opened that morning. I was sure she had strep and couldn't leave without taking care of her first. She'd been suffering the whole night.

It was a Friday and most of our clothes were dirty. So I did laundry in the dark in between phone calls from Canada, Idaho, and Utah. I did laundry while my husband was being life flighted to Salt Lake. And I waited...for quick care to open. I remember standing in my closet at one point staring at my clothes, for like 10 minutes, unable to choose. I showered, all in the dark. I wanted my kids to sleep as long as possible. Then I had to wake them, and tell them. Try to tell them, without breaking down.

As the hours passed by I wondered how on earth I would be able to drive the 6 hours to Salt Lake. I didn't know what I was going to do. I thought that was too much a favor to ask someone, to take me. But I thought of one person I knew could do it...unfortunately when I got a hold of him he was still out of town. But unknown to me he started making calls. While I was at quick care for what I thought should only be an hour, my little world started looking for me. We got into quick care right away, we were the first ones there. But the crazy dr. didn't know what was wrong with her and ordered all kinds of extra testing, blood and urine from my 4 year old. Testing that took THREE hours! I was beside myself.

During those 3 hours I finally decided to turn my phone back on and I had a million messages. My family was looking for me. My sweet brothers were making plans to hit the road and meet me half way so I wouldn't have to drive the whole trip. Friends had left messages offering to take me. There were offers to keep my kids. There were so many offers, I was amazed.

As hard as it was to sit in quick care for 3 hours I knew when I got home that the Lord had prepared everything I needed in that time. That time was needed to get everything together on my behalf. By the way...they couldn't find anything wrong with Samantha.

When I pulled into my garage my bishop and his wife pulled in behind me. Ready...ready to drive me to Utah. Friends showed up behind them. They fed my kids a very late breakfast. Cleaned things up while I finished gathering what we needed. They packed my car, gassed it up and put my little family in the car.

The blessings were pouring in that day and the path was made way for me. As I sat there...riding for hours, my husband underwent surgery. I had to give consent over the phone. I spoke with triage, nurses, doctors, family. All these conversations took place in front of my children. There was no way to protect them from what was going on.

That was the LONGEST trip of my life. I seriously thought we would NEVER get there. As prepared as I had been for this day I was not prepared for the severity of his injuries nor the condition I would find him in.

It was 10:00 that night when I finally got to the hospital. Surrounded by family and friends was my husband whom I barely recognized. He was on a ventilator, covered in wounds. It was hard to know everything he had been through this day...without me by his side. Looking back now I think I must have been in shock for 2 days. There was just so much "to do", so many things to take care of and people to talk to. It wasn't until Sunday that I lost it. And i lost it HARD. The man I knew wasn't "there". And I worried whether or not I would get him back and what he would go through to recover. That day I felt more scared than I ever had in my entire life. Reality was sinking in.

For two weeks I got up early, dragged my poor kids to a relatives home and left them for the entire day. Over and over. Every few days I would tear myself from Doug and try to spend some time with them, to help them feel secure in their unsure little world. So much happened in that time and so many blessings were felt.

I often wondered if life would ever be the same for us again. I wanted it back so bad. It's amazing to look back now after one year, of everything that we have been through, and to know that we will never be the same. But that's ok. We have grown so much and experienced things we could never have otherwise. I have felt the Savior in my life in ways I never knew. I have been humbled beyond belief. Both Doug and I believe that miracles happened that day for us.

Hard doesn't even begin to describe what we have been through this last year but I am so grateful that today I feel whole again. Changed, with a new sense of happiness. So grateful for everything that we have and for everyday that we have together.


Cammie said...

Carol you are an amazing and strong person. I got emotional as I read that and am so glad you are feeling whole again.

We love you guys.

Lisa and Bill said...

Carol, what a sweet entry & tribute to the Savior's love for us. It sounds horrific what you went through yet a sweet testimony of strength, faith & trust in the Lord. Thank you for making me realize today that hard things can make us stronger.

So glad you are all okay & happy!

Kirsten said...

Wow! I'm speechless. Thank you for sharing your story. I feel humbled by your experience. I'm glad it turned out OK for your guys. You are so strong.

lisa said...

I can't believe it's been a year! I cried all over again reading your post. I am so happy that you feel whole and happy. You are so strong!

Jess said...

I can't imagine all you have gone through. Thank you for sharing your feelings and experience. I was very touched reading through your post.

Alida B. said...

I read this yesterday soon after you posted it and to be honest no words seemed sufficient enough to express what I felt after reading this...they still don't. All I know is that you are an incredible woman and I am glad to have you as a friend. You guys have been through so much but it has only made you stronger and more amazing. I am glad that you are feeling whole again...you deserve it!! :)

Leslie said...

I case I haven't said it yet, I am so proud of you and admire your strength. We're glad this marks the anniversary of a day Doug won a tough battle.

Stephanie said...

I remember that day all to well, being in Canada so far away and felling like we would never get to Doug, Jo, and Shannon. That was the longest car ride of my life. Ann and Pat crying and numb most of the way. I remember feeling helpless and so sad for the Monson family and the Fletchers. Coming from the funeral and knowing that we would be going to another. Thankful that the horrible day is over and thankful for the healing that has come. Some of us our mending well and so of us not. Time will only cure our hearts. I am thankful to our Heavenly Father and for the blessings he has poured out upon the 2 families. I think our lives would have been a lot different that day without the prayers and the powerful blessing that were given that day.

Linde said...

Wow, it's been a year! You are amazing and you made me get tears. Amazing how the Lord works. I'm glad that you are all doing great.

I love the picture of Kristen. Super cute!

Jason & Claire said...

You and your story are inspiring and amazing. I am so happy and impressed that you are whole again.

FrankNApril said...

Thanks for sharing!
We are blessed to have the knowledge of the gospel. It is a wonderful and sad story and it is your story. I am Happy things are much better this year than last! Keep on going! April

Heather said...

I have been hesitating to comment.
I appreciate your reflections on that day and happy that your whole family is here and complete and happy and healed. Amazing what the Lord can bless us with at the times that we need it the most. So glad you can see the blessings in the midst of the hardness of it all. And look at you, you are stronger because of it.