Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Old Highway Less Taken

Very close to this time 11 years ago I was in a horrible car accident, right outside the local high school.
Newly married, a broke newlywed of 5 months, I totaled our only car. It was a new dodge stratus, dark green, a very stupid purchase.
My husband was working, doing accounting at a local essential oil company, and working on his bachelor’s degree in Social work.
I was a Nanny for the owners of the company he worked for.
We were young, shiny and hopeful.

 I was T-boned out on the old highway; I hadn’t even seen the Old man in the Cadillac coming.
I remember the sound of smashing glass, everything going dark, coming to and not feeling my body, not being able to open my eyes, hearing the medics frantically try to break more glass to get to me, asking “Is she breathing”, “I think her arm is broken.”
 I remember screaming in my head “I am HERE”, “I can hear you”….but I couldn’t even open my own eyes.
I was afraid this was what death was.

What felt like a lifetime later, strapped to a board and loaded into a wailing ambulance, pain started to awake the rest of my senses. I had broken the drivers side window with my left arm and head, trapping my body in the wreckage.

By some manner of ultimate blessing, no bones were in fact broken. I was one HUGE green, blue and purple bruise. I had stitches everywhere, a very, very deep concussion, but after a night held for observation, released to go home.

I went to bed in our dank little apartment, Trev being ordered to wake me every few hours, to ensure I would wake up. What a long day into night that was. The next early morning I woke to huge sharp shooting pains across my abdomen. Painful debilitating back pain….something was not right. I could barley get the words out, as another painful spasm shook my body and I screamed.

Trev loaded me into the car, I kept the window down as I threw up over and over again, swearing I was dying, and they must have missed something….they had. I was pregnant, and beginning to miscarry as we drove to the hospital. They gave me shots of painkiller that left monster bruises, but more than anything was the pain of losing the life inside me, I had not yet learned to love…but very much mourned with every contraction.
After the external bruises had faded and the stitches were all removed, I remember driving that road , and the pure ache washing over me as I feared, “maybe that baby was my only chance at Motherhood.” Those days and months were wrought with insomnia, fear of driving, depression and hopelessness.

Eleven years later tonight, we were on that road again. I had dealt all day long with the hell that only a Borderline daughter with feet held to the fire of consequence can bring, she had called me 37 times today. 37 times. By the time Trev got home I was exhausted. We packed a picnic dinner and decided to go for a drive and enjoy the fall colors. In truth we were dancing, picking the kids feet up off the ground, being spontaneous, and trying to outrun the crazy.

As we drove on that Old Highway tonight, I remembered that trial and smiled and blew it a kiss. I told my 21 year old self ‘Darlin’ you ain’t seen nothin’ yet,” and put into perspective…as much as this hurts. As WRONG as this feels to let her go, to relinquish the Death hold I have had on her NOT-TO-LET-HER-DIE…as painful as it is to not know what comes next. I have been here before, on this Highway, T-boned and bruised…and I survived. I learned from it, and grew stronger, and more wise.

I thought so many years before, that right then, that moment, had defined my life, but it hadn’t. It was just one of many of the hard knocks, the heartbreaks I was yet to endure.

As horrific these next days and months are going to be. Acknowledging that I don’t and won’t know if my baby will be O.K.
Losing that previous pregnancy was nothing compared to how losing/letting go of Papillion is.

But maybe, just maybe, in 11 more years, a wiser, even stronger Lindsay will be driving down this Old Highway, remembering the hurt and pain that she did not let define her life.


  1. Linds, It's hard to comment because 'there are no words.' I can't imagine all you're experiencing. Just wanted to keep encouraging you. You are strong and you are doing the absolute best you can and you won't be here forever. This road will lead to a better place. Sending my love, Heidi

  2. Heidi's comment was so very well stated. My heart aches for you and your family, our prayers are with y'all. I just wanted to add that you are inspiring; your courage, will, and strength.

  3. I hate that the answer is love and let go.... but, in those famous words, "it is what it is"

    Praying for strength for you all during this next turn in the road.

  4. Wow that's some hard stuff. Praying.

  5. I am totally feeling t-boned right now. Or maybe I'm lying in that deep concussion state...and oddly enough, feeling like I'm losing my chance at motherhood.

    I don't want this.

    What will I see when I look back?

    I love you. You are such a hero for me right now. So, I kind of hate you sometimes too.

  6. Love to you ladies..."there are no words"..but there is understanding and love..and support, and those things for me right now are priceless...thank you.

  7. I don't have any words right now. sitting here with tears.....
    hugs sweetheart.