I destroyed all three of my kids in one go. I knew what I was doing and yet I didn’t stop it. I knew that they would never be the same again. They would look at the world in a different way and would probably never recover fully from what I was about to do. As a mother you want to protect your kids and try to make sure they are always okay. Sometimes though, you have to decide which hurt they will receive when the only options are horrific. So that’s what I did. I chose to destroy them in the least possible way.
We were on day two of being at the hospital and Kevin had made it through the night. Barely. He gave us a scare when his brain pressure skyrocketed but luckely it turned out to be a faulty monitor and he needed to go back into surgery. At this time we were learning that Kevin had had two strokes on his left side of his brain, in addition to the horrible head injury on the right side where the car decided to get a little close and personal with him.
The child life advocate and also the social workers met with me and said it was time for the kids to come in before Kevin’s surgery to be able to see him, accept what had happened and to be able to have some closure if it didn’t work out in our favor. To bring them in would kill them. To see their step dad’s head bandaged and swollen beyond recognition would leave images they would never be able to forget. To leave it meant they might never see him alive again. The team of specialties decided that giving them the option to decide for themselves would be best. We would sit them down and explain briefly what happened and what they could expect to see. Not to overwhelm them with too much information and to answer the questions as they asked.
The kids arrived and being 15, 13, and 11, they handled it very differently from each other. Our youngest was extremely close to Kev and we thought she would run, scream or cry. We had our very good friend Mike, ready to take any of the kids away from the hospital if needed.
Our two oldest decided they couldn’t see Kev at that moment. They had already looked up the picture of the accident from the internet and knew it would be bad. Taylor, our youngest braved the dreaded ICU room. There she met one of our favorite nurses who had also flown in on the helicopter with Kev. He had covered some of the many tubes that decorated Kevin’s body. He gently answered each of Taylor’s questions and guided her through this new world.
After about 5 minutes she started to get hot and a little pale so she was escorted back to the waiting room where our friend was ready to take the kids down for ice cream. I lagged behind and thanked the nurse for his help. I took a deep breath and said,” they’ll never be the same again.”
Shortly after Taylor went to the waiting room, various nurses rushed in and started to prepare Kevin for the trip to the OR. Our nurse went to the waiting room to tell our family and friends that Kevin was going back to surgery but there wouldn’t be time to individually see him but they could wait in the hall as Kevin is wheeled by. Since Kevin was on life support, once they are ready to move, they move very quickly. They rushed him down the hall, past our loved ones, and through the double doors of the OR. As he was going by, our son walked out of the waiting room and caught a glimpse of his step dad, covered in machines, surrounded by nurses and doctors being ran down the hall as fast as possible. That was the worst way for him to see the man he had looked up to for so long.
The hospital moved our family into a private waiting room to wait out the surgery. I realized this is the room they use when outcomes are not good and they need privacy to help the family. I didn’t want to be in this room. I wanted to go back to Kevin loving on the dog and joking about my keys. I wanted to go back where our biggest challenge was getting the kids out the door on time. To go back to a time where homework struggles are real and struggling to stay alive was unheard of.