Some people have the dreaded phone call from a police officer, informing them that their loved one has been involved in an accident. Others might have the cops show up on their doorstep. I’ve never done anything according to plan so why would think this would be any different?!?! Instead, I just happened to drive through the accident on my way to work. No one should find out that way. Our family members have speculated on where the accident officially took place or what it must have looked like, but I’m the only one that went through it. One moment thinking everything is great and the next feeling like my body has been attacked and it quickly numbing to protect itself.
Our morning was an ordinary morning, even if it didn’t go as planned. I was supposed to get up and ride in to work with Kevin, since we had plans for after work. Christmas was right upon us and us being us, we hadn’t completed (or really even started) our shopping.
When Kevin tried waking me up, I begged for just some more sleep, even though that would inconvenience us later. For the past year I had been battling a reactivation of mono after I had developed pneumonia. On top of that, I’m a severe asthmatic so recovering from illnesses isn’t always easy. We had spent that past Christmas in the hospital and little did we know, we were about to spend another.
Kevin being Kevin, told me to rest and it would all work out in the end. He kissed me goodbye then proceeded to tell our very lazy pup goodbye as well. I can remember him saying, ” I love you Gypsy. Not as much as I love your mom because she gets jealous, but I still love you.” I had been giving him a “hard time” that he loves the dog more than me because her goodbyes were always longer. That morning I pointed out it was still longer even if he changed all the words. He laughed and when I asked him to make sure my keys were on the table, he told me he would put them where I could find them. Where the sun doesn’t shine. And then he was gone. For some, that kind of banter back and forth would seem unusual. For us, it is completely normal. This is how it goes when you marry your best friend of 20yrs. Seriousness is rare and almost every situation is met with a laugh.
As I was driving to work, my phone started buzzing with an incoming call from Facebook messenger. It was Kevin’s coworker. I tried to dismiss it, thinking it was one of their many pranks but it wouldn’t let me. Instead I let it time out and right after the word ACCIDENT flashed through my mind. I texted Kev asking what they wanted. No response. I called his phone but it went unanswered. Moments later I came upon the accident site. It wasn’t even on my side of the highway. There were officers standing in the grassy median and the 4runner was being flipped over to put on a tow truck. There was debris everywhere. That car was crushed. I flipped around, parked behind the emergency vehicles and ran up to the first man I saw. He told me the highway was closed and I shouldn’t be on it. I told him that that was my husband’s vehicle. His body looked like I had slapped him. He then turned to an officer and called him over. “Ma’am you shouldn’t be on the highway,” was cut off by the other gentleman saying, “this is her husband’s vehicle.” The officer had the same shocked response as the gentleman before and said, ” ma’am your husband has been involved in a very serious accident. He has been airlifted to Cottage Hospital. You need to get there now.”
I felt like world came down on me. I asked the only thing I could think of, “Is he still alive?” The officer replied, “he is very critical. You need to hurry.”
The nightmare had begun and I couldn’t scream myself awake from it.