Monday, July 4, 2011

Tragedy Strikes a Turkey

Why is life so exciting? Just for a few months I'd like to be overwhelmed by sheer boredom and complain in my blog that I have absolutely nothing occurring in my life.

Alas, such is not the case.

Yesterday four (yes, FOUR) of my family members were involved in a head-on collision very close to where I live. I could stand on my porch and hear the sirens loud and clear. By the time I had found someone to take my daughter so I could try to help at the scene, the road was blocked by a nice, but very firm policeman. (My brother and I wondered if the policeman could jump in his car fast enough and catch us by the time we arrived at the scene anyway...but we didn't do it.)

My grandfather, his wife, and my aunt and uncle were traveling in their white Scion when an idiot in the other lane decided he wanted to pass everyone. Unfortunately, my family was in the way and there was no where for them to go since that area has no shoulder. Grandpa turned the wheel slightly so that the two vehicles did not slam completely head-on (for that would have instantly killed everyone), but even askew the damage was quite shocking. Scions not being noted for their massive arm and leg room anyway was cramped with four adults. Add another immovable object and you have a recipe for disaster.

The front half of the Scion was ripped away and mangled beyond recognition. The front of the other car (about the size of a Grand Prix) was mixed into what remained. Glass was everywhere...fluids both from the car and the injured people all over the street... the road was shut down on both ends.

The driver of the other car (idiot, moron, ignoramus) was life-flighted to Atlanta Medical Center, but we have no other word on his condition.

My family spend yesterday in the trauma center of Grady's ER. At first everyone thought that the worse injured was Grandma Pam since she has a hemotoma on her head, two broken bones in her arm (one came out of her skin...), hip broken in two places, and various other problems. She had had to have been cut out of the Scion with the jaws of life since the dashboard decided to get rather friendly with her lap and chest.

But, no, the most badly injured has been my uncle, who was sitting behind her. He said it hurt to move so a possible spinal injury was suspected. He spent most of the night in surgery and we were informed this morning that his large intestines were damaged. Pieces had to have been removed and the wound left open to help with bruising and swelling. He has been placed on partial paralysis to help him heal faster, but time will tell with this kind of injury.

My aunt Stacey has a broken breastbone and they have been trying to explore if her lungs were punctured since they discovered a bubble of air in her chest wall. No word on this yet.

My grandfather, the man I have been feuding with for the better part of a decade and had declared I would never speak to again or allow in my life... My grandfather who is more stubborn than any of us combined... My grandfather who refused to come to my wedding based on a technicality (and now I'm starting to see that perhaps I myself should have skipped the wedding)... he lay on the gurney, neck in a brace, banged up, bruised up, cut up, in pain, and repeating over and over "We could have died today and there was nothing I could do about it". It would take a harder heart than I have to ignore this pitiful display and continue to hate the man for being himself.

After nearly twelve years, we finally made our peace. And, wow, the look on his face when he saw me! If the situation had not been so dire, it would have been quite funny.

Now, almost 24 hours later, they are still in ICU, rotating in and out of surgeries, being tended to, needing support and love.

But can I go to the ICU? The last time I was in an ICU waiting room, it was for my grandmother Dora, watching her die over a week. Can I struggle against those memories while being allowed to see my grandparents, uncle and aunt for only a few minutes every few hours? And with a rambunctious two year old?

At least after this incident, I realize that even after all his crap, his irritations, and quirks, I do indeed love my grandfather. I will never have the kind of relationship I wish to have with him--he's just not that kind of person--but I can try to make a relationship with him for the years he has left with us.

My tongue might grow holes in it...

Please pray and keep my family in your thoughts as they heal and are tended to by the doctors. They all still have quite a recovery ahead of them!


  1. When rain starts to fall it seems almost impossible to get the tap turned off. You have had a rough year to this point. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. Let's hope now the rain stops and the sun comes out for you. A reconciliation with your grandfather may be the start.

  2. So glad to hear that you sorted out your relationship with your Grandfather.

    I had a similar relationship with mine and he died just as we started to patch things up. Trust me, it's terrible to have someone die when you haven't sorted out your feelings.

    Praying for your family.