Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My Miracle

I almost lost my mom.

It has been 30 years since we were hit by a car. I have not written down the events that happened that day and I want to record it. We were on our way to the dentist one afternoon. I was 3 and my sister was 5. Usually I sit on the right side with my sister in the middle in the back seat. This arrangement worked well so that we both could see my mom. That morning my seat belt was not working so I was moved to the other side.

On the way to the dentist I fell asleep with my head resting on the left side door panel. My sister was sooo excited, reading a HUGE Snoopy book that had just arrived in the mail that day, signed by Charles Schulz himself (a friend of my dad's). My mom stopped at an intersection with a stop sign. There was a glass company truck on her right side. She turned her head to the left and did not see a car coming, then proceeded to move forward to go over the intersection. At that moment a car had come up from the hill (invisible from my mom's position when she looked) and rammed right into my mom's side. My sister said she felt a shook, put her book down to find my mom's seat twisted around facing us. The book had shielded my sister from the flying glass. She saw me waking up and getting out of my seat to crawl onto my mom's lap. I kept rocking in her lap and not wanting her to drift away. It was horrible.

The police arrived quickly as did the ambulance. They put my mom on a stretcher. When we got to the ER, my mom was not in a good shape. The doctor told Hope that they had to take out a "fly" from her head (not to scare her) but it was a piece of glass that got stuck. Hope luckily escaped the accident with minor injuries and stayed at the hospital for an overnight. I was badly hurt. The left side of my face was broken. I could not open my left eye for a month. It could have been worse. I could have lost my legs if my seat belt was working that morning. The impact from our car onto the glass truck had scattered glass all over the right side of the back seat. The police concluded that if I had sat there my legs would have been severely damaged to the point where they would have to be cut off. I felt God was watching us that day.

My mom went into coma.  She was put on a ventilator because she was unable to breathe on her own. The doctors' main concern was trauma to her brain. I stayed at the hospital for three weeks. What I remember the most was the last day of my stay. I remember my sister gently waking me up. When I woke up I saw all of my teachers and friends in my room. They all were cheering for me that I had made it through. I remember my dad staying with me some nights with a murphy bed right next to my bed. I remember wheeling out a shopping cart from the hospital into the parking lot while standing on the rim with my dad behind me pushing the cart. I remember talking to a tape recorder at home saying "I love you mommy", "Please, please, please don't leave us", and some prayers. Our neighbor, Gwen, was a nurse at the same floor where my mom was. Gwen took the recorder into my mom's room and played the tape over and over, as many times as she could. My mom was in coma for three months. When she woke up she said she heard us talking and that kept her alive. The doctors said that she had pretty severe trauma to the brain and that she would never be able to walk again. As strong as my mom is, she fought the unthinkable and learned how to walk, write, drive, eat, and cook. The simple things we take granted for. To see your own mom struggling with something as basic as walking, is hard. I will never forget the many, many people that sent us their love, that kept us in their prayers and were so, so kind.

My mom is my miracle. She is in our lives. It wasn't her time to go. It just wasn't. I got to be her daughter for 30 years and more. For this gift, I will be forever grateful.