On Monday night I got a call at about 11:30 p.m. from my mom that my brother was in a very serious car accident. He had hit a patch of ice and somehow was ejected from the vehicle (we assume his pickup rolled). He was in the hospital, had a fractured vertebrae and some significant facial issues as well. He was unconscious when the ambulance picked him up and we didn't even know anything had happened until a few hours after the accident. That was pretty much all she knew at that point. The weather was too bad (if you'll remember), or my folks would have driven out there to him that night. Luckily, my cousin lives near him, so he had someone with him in the hospital.
The next day (yesterday) my folks headed out there (he lives out of state). When they got there, he had just been released from the hospital. The fracture in his vertebrae is on the outside, so isn't close to the spinal column, and the doctor said it was stable. They didn't find any other internal injuries, and he was awake and alert. He went home with a neck brace, and is obviously extremely sore, but he's alive with no serious injuries!
All of the emotions that went along with this for me conjured up some not-so-distant memories of when my husband was in a rollover accident a few years ago.
It was a cold and windy March night, with some drizzle coming down. He was driving home from work and was super excited to get home to watch a basketball game (I honestly don't remember which one, though he could tell you). He was driving right along thinking about the game, not really noticing that the road was slick in some spots, and getting more so as he went...suddenly a big gust of wind caught the pickup and he was in one of those slick spots and lost complete control. He rolled several times and ended up in a nearby field. He has lost the 10 minutes or so right after the accident...still doesn't know exactly where he landed or how he got out of the cab...the pickup ended up on it's side. He called me about 10 minutes after the accident and was a little disoriented when he talked to me, but he was walking fine and was heading up the ditch to the road. Someone was just pulling up to help him.
As it turned out, he just had a cracked rib and no other internal injuries either.
Everyone who saw the pickup asked if the driver was alive. They were shocked to learn that he was ok with no serious injury whatsoever.
|Randall's pickup after he rolled|
As I was reminded in a very real way of the emotions I felt back in March of 2009, I was trying to describe them to my husband. Complete relief that he was ok (when I refer to "he" or "him", I mean both my hubby and brother, just at different times), nervousness/anxiousness that the docs would find something more serious, overwhelming and undeniable peace (the peace that passes all understanding that can only come from God), and every once in awhile a feeling of utter panic thinking about "what if.......".
When Randall had his accident, I think I kind of went into automatic mode because I had things I needed to take care of. Right after he called that first time was the only time I cried: I called my mom right away so she could come to Mitchell to watch Vienna and I could go be with Randall at the hospital, and I broke down as I was telling her about it - for the one and only time.........until I saw his vehicle a day or two later. When I saw the pile of twisted metal and glass that it actually was, I was overcome with tears and the emotion and thoughts of "oh, my word, how is he still even alive?", "I could be a widow today", and "Thank you Heavenly Father for sending your Guardian Angels to protect my love". I was all over the place emotionally.
Though it's been a little different because I'm not there with my brother, I haven't seen him or the vehicle he was driving, and obviously: he's my brother and not my life love and partner, many of the feelings are the same.
The most overwhelming feeling, though, is of gratitude for God's Guardian Angels whom have kept two men that I love very, very much here on earth with us. To God be all the glory.