Tuesday, June 26, 2012

What Matters Most

When you've faced tragedies like we have, you cling a bit tighter to those you love.  We treasure the moments, even simple every day ones, perhaps a little more than the average person.  Saying "I love you" isn't just a habit said at the end of a conversation, it's important and included throughout our days.

Most of the time.

Surviving loss as we have didn't make us super-human.  We still make mistakes.  We still get caught up in the busyness of life.  We still, sometimes, forget how preciously short this life is.

Friday night was a scary reminder.

Despite us happily postponing any anniversary plans to care for Tina's foot this weekend, my sister (and kiddos) insisted we have some couple time.  More than anything, I think the kids just wanted to hang with cool Aunt Raven.  After them showering us with a clean sweep of the house and promises not to forget medicine and foot soaks, we hesitantly agreed.  They joyfully trotted off for a night of junk food, no bedtimes and babies and we planned a mini date.

After our sweet dinner and shopping date, I settled in at the house in comfy pjs and prepped for the movie portion.  Though we had planned to go to an actual theatre, none of the movies were impressive enough to cause us to throw away large amounts of cash for overpriced tickets and popcorn.  Instead we opted to call it a night early, picked up a few rentals at the video store, and chose to slave over the microwave for our buttery movie snack. 

Smiling from the memories made thus far, I turned to see Tim come in the house from watering the plants.  His urgency shook me to the core.  The mood changed.

"Everybody's ok.....Raven and the kids have been in an accident...."  everything said afterwards is a complete blur.  Though my heart was pounding, hands shaking and tears streaming down my face, I managed to put myself in auto-pilot and redress, find my shoes and grab my purse to meet him back in the truck within moments.  Half of my heart was breaking, remembering our last drive to an accident...forcing myself to reality, the other half was focused on Noah.  In prayer, and simultaneously making calls, I tried to calm the panicked mess of a mom I was.  Tim was insisting Noah was ok but my hands needed to be wrapped around him to be sure.  Over and over again I replayed the last moments I'd had with the kids earlier that day.  Did we hug goodbye?  Did I say "I love you?"

When we arrived on scene, lights flashing-blaring breaks in the night sky-forcing my eyes to squint and adjust, Tina was the first face I saw.  I grabbed her up and scanned her body, my mind making note of every part and piece.  Hugging her, I asked if she was ok and then I heard and felt Noah behind me.  For several long minutes, I held him in the tightest hug possible without hurting him, part of it to say 'I love you,' part to control myself.  Pulling him away my eyes scanned him.  His poor little face was red, bruised, swollen and his one teary eye and quivering lip made it additionally hard for me to not break down.

Hearing the sadness in my sister's voice as she apologized to Tim, as if she could control a deer jumping out in front of them, the rest of my frenzied self calmed.  I put on a smiling face to check out the babies, who were waiting in what remained of the truck.  Fifty fingers and fifty toes counted later, my sister sore and Noah's right eye the only known damage (a result of air bags), I said thankful prayers and loaded my two up for a trip to the ER.

The rest of the weekend was a juggling of doctor visits, eye drops, foot soaks, dozens of hugs and lots of family time.  While waiting for the results in the emergency room I verified that we, in fact, had not hugged before they left with my sister.  They were excited and ran to truck, me playfully yelling out "I love you too!" at the result of them not really saying good-bye.  Something so simple but, had the wreck been worse, a moment I would've never forgiven.

What was a minor accident (although Noah's eye abrasion and my sister's fractured ribs would disagree), was a chance for me to reaffirm my feelings for my family - to my family.  They are what matters most to me in this world.  And I will never, ever grow tired of telling them so.


Anna See said...

wow! Thank God they are ok!

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