These past 48 hours have done a number on me.
On Sunday night, my mom called me with horrible news. Being a mom, she immediately prefaced her horrible news with, “He’s okay, but…”
My little brother, who was just released from an 11-day stay in the hospital in January after being treated for serious blood clots, was in a car accident.
He was taken to the hospital where they stitched up the gashes in his arms from the broken glass and got him in for a CAT scan where they discovered that he had a C2 fracture. For reference, the higher up in the vertebral column you get, the more fatal the injury, and C1 and C2 are the topmost parts of the human spine.
But miraculously, my little brother had and still has full range of movement. He could have been killed, but he wasn’t. Then he could have been paralyzed, but he wasn’t. He will have to wear a neck brace for three months and he’ll have surgery later on in his life when his neck starts to bother him…. but he is alive.
I have been struggling so much to gather my thoughts and feelings these past 48 hours.
Sunday evening I was supposed to drive up to meet with my parents and older sister and little brother for dinner. Because I was exhausted and had been doing homework all day and didn’t feel like making the hour drive, I opted out. And then, hours later, I got the call from my mom.
What if that dinner could have been the last time I could have seen my brother?
I sobbed this to my boyfriend Sunday night after I heard the news, and he immediately told me I couldn’t think like that. I had no way of knowing. “Should have”s and “could have”s are meaningless. But I still thought it.
It was such a close call and it shook me up and woke me up and terrified me.
This afternoon I took my little sister to the mall so my mom could be there when they discharged him from the hospital. We’re back and I’m writing this from her house now, sitting on the couch listening to my little brother watch a TV show from bed in his room.
I could be hearing silence.
I could be hearing my family sobbing.
It’s meaningless to think these things but I can’t help it. I just can’t.
I’m just grateful from the depths of my soul that my little brother is okay. The neck brace sucks, he has to get some more button down shirts since that’s all he can wear for three months, and he’s on pain meds that are taking away his appetite, but he is alive.
Everything happens for a reason. I have to trust in that, even when I don’t know those reasons.