A frantic voice calling hello on a voice mail; scared, and hurt. A stranger telling you from your husband’s phone that they were in an accident. They. The family. My family. Two little girls – my stepdaughters, my husband, and………my teenage daughter? Was she with them?
I can’t understand him. This stranger. This man with my husband’s phone. I start to panic. How will I know where they are, or what happened? I hear a hospital name. THAT I do know.
Shaking……..Shocked……..Shocking……..I leave. I don’t know what I’ll find, but I head to the hospital.
I text my daughter. TM: Were you with them?
She is always with them, but she had told me she might go to a friend’s house. Did she?
There was no reply.
They weren’t at the hospital. There are no ambulances in dock. No sirens. Nothing.
The silence is deafening. The unknown – terrifying – pressing and pressing its steely claws of fear.
My phone rings and it’s my husband’s name, but it’s not him. It is a paramedic telling me my two step-daughters are being transported to the children’s hospital in downtown. My husband, and sixteen-year old daughter to the hospital across the street from the children. This? Made it very real.
I left the wrong hospital. I still didn’t know if they were okay or not, but I knew it was very serious.
My husband’s brother is with me. He is calm. I feed off his calm. I need calm, because I so badly want to fall apart. But I can’t. Not now. Maybe? Not ever.
I use the phone. Shaking hands dial the number. I call the mom of my four, and seven-year old step daughters. I call her to tell her…….both of her children are on the way to a children’s hospital by ambulance.
And I don’t know. I don’t know anything.
It is the most helpless feeling in the world. I hear her pain, her panic, her raw emotion. I wish I could help her, comfort her, but I am numb.
I have to pick which hospital I go to. I have to choose a room, and a person. I can’t see all four. I can’t know all at once.
I need to pray……. but I can’t remember how to pray. I want to cry……..but I can’t remember to do that either.
All I can do is repeat the phrase going through my mind. I trust you, Lord. I trust you. I know you will keep my family safe. I know you won’t give me anything I can’t handle. I trust you, Lord. I do.
In the ER, in a tiny room off the red line. I see my daughter’s gray-blue eyes. They are just above the rim of her neck brace. She has blood streaks all over legs. A spot of dried blood on her forehead and in her ear. She cradles her right hand covered in a bloody gauze. But she is awake. She is aware. She knows I’m here.
I want to cry, but I can’t. They are taking her off the back board.
My husband is around the corner. I find him. I see blood. So much blood. He is in a neck brace too. They are cutting his clothes off. But I see his clear blue eyes. I hear him talk. I bend my face over him. I am here.
Tears well, but they do not fall.
The paramedics tell me the little girls are at the ER and in rooms. Sydney tells me they were okay when she was with them, just scared, but not hurt (I hope).
I try to make sense of what happened and how. I ask questions.
I hear different versions from traumatized accounts.
I try to piece it together. The back drivers side tire struck by a turning truck. The Jeep rolled and landed upright. Pieces all around.
I head across the street. I have to see the little girls. My husband, their dad, on a stretcher in the ER needs me to see the little girls. My eyes spot the littlest one first. She is so scared. I can see it in her lower lip quiver. I ask her if she can speak and she nods. She takes a deep breath and says, “Yes, I can.” Using her brave voice with no quiver. Breaks my heart. I touch her silky hair. Her little voice so small trying to be so big.
The oldest step-daughter, Molly, smiles when she sees me. Her smile is all I see beneath the hulking neck brace. I see all her teeth in her bright grin. I almost lose it.
These precious babies…….so brave……so scared………but alive and breathing. I hug them. I kiss them. I tell them I love them. Oh, how much I love them!
I witness…. a miracle.
My family survives a very tragic, and scary ordeal.
Six hours after their arrival, I drive Jason and Sydney home. The little girls released long before to their mother who hugged me when I saw her, because God knows we needed all the hugs we could get.
It was over. They would heal. Emotionally and physically, but they were all still with us by the grace of God. His hand on them. His protection over them. I trust you, Lord. I do.
I visit the wrecker service lot. I see the Jeep. I feel the impact of what my family went through. I finally cry.
Point of impact, back tire wheel.
Thick metal chunks were found through the entire car.
The spot where my sixteen-year old sat. Passenger side front.
She was eating an ice cream cone…with sprinkles.
The crushed windshield from the roll.
My step-daughter Bridget always holds this phone and plays music on it. She was holding it when the accident happened.
My step-daughters visit the day after the accident. They look amazing, and more beautiful than ever.
Their faces are so happy. So full of life. So overwhelmingly gorgeous.
We try out the new booster seats for my car. Ones that have the high-back like they had in Dad’s Jeep. But this time…they have a protective head rest too.
New high-back booster with head rest.
The youngest in the car ready to head home.
The new car seats are pink. Of course….
These fractured moments bring me clarity. They breathe new appreciation for our most precious cargo – family. My Sydney survived a horrific accident in the front of a badly crushed vehicle. I will never forget the moment I saw her side of the vehicle. My husband got to hold his children again and tell them he loved them after losing sight of them at the scene and not knowing for many hours how they were and not seeing them for more than 24 hours. I get to appreciate life in a whole new way.
One second. One moment……can change everything.
I know many of you prayed from Facebook. I can’t thank you enough. I believe God heard our cries.
I trust you, Lord. I do.
47 thoughts on “Fractured Moments”
The spirits of your loved ones and the Spirit that watched over them were stronger than mere steel.
Again, so glad everyone is ok! I can’t believe their injuries were so minor compared to the damange to the car…but I guess that’s the point of the car…to take the bigger hit so we don’t.
I have no idea how you handled that so well. I don’t know if I would have been as calm.
It is a blessing that everyone is ok. You can always replace things. You can never replace people.
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I can’t imagine how scared you were. Thank goodness all are ok. Deep breath, Hugs and smiles for blessings.
Having been in a high-speed crash in February, this is good news that all are okay. Take care of them! Healing thoughts your way.
Oh honey. Thank goodness. My heart sank the minute you got the call. Sending you all warm healing hugs.
Angelia and family,
I’m so, so happy everyone is okay. And moments like this…they make us more fully realize how precious life is…
Much love and many prayers,
That is terrifying! I’m so glad everyone is alright. Truly, what a blessing.
How scary! I teared up when I read this post. I’m glad everyone was ok!
So glad for the outcome. Blessings on you all. That you were willing to face and accept any outcome is a testament to your faith.
I was terrified reading this post – how awful to have experienced it. I am so happy and grateful that everyone is OK. Truly.
Oh my Goodness Angelia! So, so happy your family is safe and sound! Just looking at that jeep sent shivers down my spine. I just know a whole slew of angels were watching over and protecting them at that time!
My sister was in a terrible car accident in 2004 – your words brought all of that to life and I found myself nearly in tears. I ‘m so glad that everyone is okay. HUGS!
Oh, Angelia–how my heart goes out to you. The fact that this post was so well done really doesn’t seem to mean anything in light of all you’ve just been through. God bless you and grant you time to get closer to Him through all of this.
So glad to hear everyones okay! That call is the one we all dread. Well done for keeping it together. They all deserve a lot of ice cream now!
Oh Angelia–my heart and love and thoughts are with you. I think this is everyone’s nightmare. I’m SO happy and thankful your family is okay and alive. You are incredibly strong and in the midst of this crazy moment, you find time to still write beautifully. The pictures make me cringe and I can only imagine what you feel. Much love and healing thoughts to you. ❤
That must have been terrifying for all of you! I am so glad God held them in his hands and they could walk away from it all.
Tears, of shock, of sadness, of the unknown, for the hurt, for the hand that GOD had and for the lesson of life learned and appreciated. God Bless!
I praise His name that all are OK and nothing too serious.
As I read this, I’m sobbing. I knew I would. I know the horror and disbelief and the holding it together and then the eventual letting go. And then seeing the vehicle and being so completely amazed that your loved one survived. And the absolute relief that you will get to spend more time making sure they know how much you love them. I was so distraught for you when you posted the message they’d been in an accident. But I kept thinking that you were too good, too giving for them to be taken away. I’m so glad the universe agreed with me.
Take care and hug them tight for me.
Oh Angelia- this makes me cry. What a truly horrible accident- with miraculous outcome. The pictures of the jeep send shivers down my spine! Hugs to you all!
Thank goodness the universe was looking after your family. That’s what this all powerful being (call it by any name you choose) is for. It/he/she will look after our families when we can’t.
I just can’t imagine the horror of those few hours and what you went through. I sobbed when I read the post and gave thanks that all are well. How amazing that they all walked away (metaphorically) from that ghastly crash. The damage to the jeep is beyond belief.
Wow, huh? That vehicle . . . . . wow. God does still perform miracles.
I am so happy everyone is basically ok.
Hugs all around.
Oh my goodness, I don’t even know what to say. My heart is in my throat. I am so very glad everyone is okay! xoxo
Wow, Ange. You have an amazing gift with your words. You paint such a picture. I am SO thankful that your precious and beautiful family is ok. I am truly sorry of all that you had to go through…glad about you having your brother in law with you, but so hard. BIG HUGS, my sweet friend. So glad your family is ok. 🙂
Oh my goodness but this touched me and thank heavens for the good outcome. Very dramatic and very dramatically told. Absolutely awful subject but great post none the less!
What a life altering experience! How terrifying! I’m so glad everyone is ok. I lost it when I saw the ice cream cone picture (audible gasp, sob, tears – the whole works). Through your eloquent writing and wonderful pictures you’ve help remind me of what is important.
As a step mom to young ones I feel your connection and your anxiety about needing to find them and find them safe. Kudos on the hug. I KNOW that’s not easy. I imagine that at times like this past conflicts, misgivings, slights and animosity fall by the wayside. And you are a bigger person than most to be able to reach out and/or make that kind of connection. You will only have a stronger family for the experience.
Oh my gosh. I am crying after reading this. Had I known in the moment/on FB I would have said prayers as well. How horrifying. Such a blessing they are all still with you.
Your post put us all in the moment…wow. When I saw the ice cream cone it took my breath away…it really showed that one moment to the next can change everything…
Oh my goodness! What a terrifying time for you and your family! Thankful you are all ok. Since I became a mother, I have many things to do. My children need me for their very survival, for all their care and needs. I knew they would. What I didn’t realize before I had children, is how much I would need THEM to breath. The thought of anything bad happening to my family is my biggest fear. I can’t even begin to imagine the emotions and fear you went through.
I have tears in my eyes. Knowing how scared you must have been, and how relieved you were to find your family okay. I am so happy for you guys they are safe.
Just read this. Can’t imagine how you felt. Praising God everyone was OK!
Oh sweetie. I just don’t know what to say but thank You God for taking care of these angels.
Love ya girlie.
Thank you, Lord!
You have survived what I am sure is one of the things each and every one of us pushes to the back of our minds, hoping to never see a day like this, and yes, trusting, in Him, Who is able to keep us. Praising Him for keeping safe all those dear to you. Hugs, and more hugs! Thank you for sharing, helping us to believe there is always hope.
Oh my goodness, Angelia, this brought tears to my eyes. I am SO grateful that they are all going to heal. I cannot even begin to imagine what you all have been through over the last several days. Praise God all are alive and well! Much love!
Oh girl, I was so scared reading through this post… I can only imagine how scared you were in the actual moment. I’m so sorry that you all went through this, but I’m seriously grateful that you are all okay. Goodness, I just can’t imagine getting that phone call.
It sounds like He was really watching over your family that day…. praise Him!
God is watching us and glad that he actually did… I believe I would have felt the same way as you did. *Warm big Hugs*
So happy that everyone is ok!!! God is great! Life can change in an instant and so something like this can make you step back and see just what you have, and just how much it means to you! I know that very well as well!
Oh my goodness, how scary. I am SO glad your family is going to be OK. And I hope that everyone heals well.
I am glad everyone is fine after the accident. It is scary how one moment can change things in our life so drastically. How another person’s mistake (even a little one) can cause us such suffering. After my accident, it was extremely hard to relax behind the wheel and drive without fear … and maybe that is a good thing.
Thanks for sharing your scary event with us … it is a good reminder to all of us to be careful and let those we love know we do.
it must have been so scary…..
I am really glad that you all are well..
Thank you for sharing that amazing post. I’m so sorry your family went through all of that, and I’m so glad for you that they were all ok. Sending a big hug your way!
Wiping unfallen tears from my eyes right now. I’m so happy that everyone is safe and back home. They had an angel watching over them in the Jeep that day!!
I am so glad your family is okay!
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