A terrible accident.
One that they had no business walking away from.
I got the call when I was in a kitchen filled with laughter and lightness, at the house of friend. The look on my face told them all that something was very wrong. I rounded up the kids and said we had to go. We had to go now. Some of my friends hugged me, I think.
Held back tears the whole way home. Whispered to my husband, come here.
The words they flipped the truck barely made it out of my mouth. I was shaking.
They hit a patch of black ice, fishtailed and rolled into the median.
I knew that they were all being brought in to the hospital and that I had to go. He told me that I needed to tell the kids, who assumed we left the party early because their cousins were here. They'd been on a countdown for weeks.
Fortunately, my kids are all too familiar with the just-before-Christmas car accident, as it happened to us three years ago. Our accident was an inconvenience, but one that gifted us time we wouldn't have had with my dying father had it not happened. This was worse. Much worse.
I had to go.
I paced in the waiting room, waiting for the ambulance to pull in. Started to get text messages from the people who were at the party and knew something was very wrong.
They called me back.
In one room was my sister in law, with my niece, still strapped into her car seat. I hugged her and said I'll be right back.
When I saw my brother, his head covered in blood, it took everything in me not to let the tears out. Beside him, my nephew. I scooped him up in my arms and he immediately started singing Frosty the Snowman.
Then the tears.
They were all alive. I just needed to see them with my own eyes. The kids didn't have a scratch on them. My husband came and picked them up and took them home.
Xrays and CT scans and lots of poking and prodding. They were both hurt, but nothing was too serious. We could go.
The following morning, my husband and brother went to collect what was salvageable from the wreck. The pictures they brought back told me that we're all lucky they made it.
Underneath the row in the truck, between the car seats the kids were in, a rosary that no one recognizes.
I don't ask questions anymore. I just close my eyes and say thank you.
Yesterday, in the shower, I had an epiphany. My father's car, the one we drove back after his death, the one that we have hardly used, the one that we haven't been able to get rid of, the one that we kept all this time without a good reason.
They're taking it home.
There was a reason all along.
This Christmas, we are together. We shouldn't be.
Our parents aren't with us anymore, but they're letting us know they are still here.
Merry Christmas to all of you. xoxo
|me, Dad, Mom and my brother|