Into the Great Unknown…Part 2

We traveled as fast as we could safely, but I’m sure Mike wanted to speed. Hell, I wanted to go at Cyber speed or just somehow be Tele transported to Dallas! We stopped only for coffee and bathrooms. Big coffees! I thought the trip to Ruidoso was blah. This stretch of highway was ‘back roads’, going on and on into the blackness. My surroundings were matching my mood, terror, sheer terror. I was terrified for our daughter. I was terrified of the darkness. The only light, the eery glow from the car’s dashboard. Mike and I spoke very little, we just held hands. We were still numb from the news, still attempting to process those words…”Sarah was in a head on collision…”. The black sky I stared at offered no answers. I was dying inside wanting to call, but we were still out of range. Now I was staring at my phone, praying that damn ‘No Service’ icon would disappear. THREE hours in, the icon disappeared, then it hit me, ‘Do I really want to hear the possibility our daughter had passed’? Well, if that was what I heard, NO! My hands were trembling as I called her husband.

My call went to a message saying, ‘This mailbox is full and can accept messages’, I felt my stomach turn over, this wasn’t a good sign. I tried his parents, his mother answering immediately. “Margaret, how much longer until you’re here. She’s in bad shape. The doctors have performed emergency surgery…”, Iva said slowly. “What did they have to do? Why did they start before we’re there”? I asked through tears. I told you I wasn’t processing this, thus the stupid questions. They’d been working on her for hours already, just how long can she be under anesthesia? Iva began listing her injuries and they were truly massive. She had a severe Traumatic Brain Injury, Internal injuries, many badly broken bones in her left leg and right foot had been crushed…My mind honestly, immediately turned ‘Mom Mode’ on, after a year or so in hibernation. Both our children were married and Mike and I were off in a ‘new direction’, getting back to us, getting ME well!  Our calls went back and forth for hours. Twice, Iva told me, “They’re not sure she’ll make it”. Each time I asked Iva to ‘please tell her we love her and we’re coming’…I look back out my window and want to scream out loud, but don’t…ANSWER ME BLACKNESS! Oh God, save our baby. Don’t YOU know what’s happened?

It was 8 am when we pulled into Parkland Hospital.We had been without sleep at this point for over 24 hours! All the coffee we drank made us shake, or was it pure fear of what lay inside? Likely a combination, but now my gut just ached! Dizziness hadn’t even crossed my mind the whole way, but as we began the trek into the largest Hospital I’ve ever been in, I think it was well over 10 stories. I looked up, up, up, my eyes began ‘that’ feeling. I grabbed Mike and told him, I had to sit down. I didn’t think to say, “I’m dizzy”! (he’s supposed to know these things!). I didn’t wait for his answer. I did what I felt I had to. No place to stop and sit? No problem, just stop and squat down! As soon at the dizziness passed, we were off again, this time having to cross a glassed covered bridge. Seriously? What was I suppose to do? How will I do this, crawl?  The bridge was about 3-4 stories up, I am also scared of heights, it felt an impossible task. Mike was going to have to drag me across! He took my arm firmly in his and told me to close my eyes, he’d guide/drag me across. I had no choice we had to get to Sarah. This damn glass bridge wasn’t going to stop me! Although it was a sunny morning, I found myself back into blackness, eyes closed tight, but I did it! Little did I know, I would cross this bridge over 100 times in my near future…

As we entered the Hospital ER, chaos engulfed us. The lights, the sounds, the smells, people in various states of injuries…We asked where she was at the first Nurse’s Station we saw and told where to go. I’m absolutely overwhelmed, exhausted, and terrified of what awaited us as we walked further and further into the cavernous space. I felt ‘swallowed’ by it. Finally, at the end of a hallway, I saw Iva. The look on her face told me everything, it was bad. She hugged me tightly and said, “You can do this Margaret”. Do what, what was it I could do? Iva took me by the hand and walked me into Sarah’s room in ICU. My first thought, my honest first thought, ‘That’s not Sarah’…It couldn’t be! Sarah is beautiful, full of life…This poor soul was unrecognizable! I looked to Mike for confirmation. The tears pouring down his face gave me the answer my mind still wasn’t comprehending, that this poor, unrecognizable soul was indeed our Sarah…



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