Dull Blue Eyes

April 16, 2013
By , Portland, OR
There is almost nothing that I remember from being three years old, but what I do remember I will carry with me forever. I remember vaguely this amazing play ground where everything was Flintstones themed. There were Dino the Dinosaur slides, Bam-Bam teeter-totters, and Fred Flintstone swings. To a three year old it was magnificent sight, like seeing Santa Clause, the Easter bunny and Superman all in one day. My parents later told me that this was The Flintstones Bedrock City Theme Park in South Dakota where kid’s go to go crazy and go crazy is what I did. I ran around without a care in the world like only a three year old could: jumping, sliding and running on everything there was to slide, run and jump on. But suddenly in mid care-free-sprint I was grabbed and ripped off of my feet by my Dad. I was grabbed and held with both arms as he sprinted away from the park and away from my good time. Confusion and then disappointment ravished my small mind as I greatly struggled to understand what was going on. Family members left and right were sprinting by with fear on their faces. Before I even had time to complain and throw a temper tantrum I was thrown into the car and we sped away from the park.

In the car I sat in the back, middle seat in my car seat. I can hear my parents talking but I can’t understand what they are talking about really I just hear “Kayla this” and “Kayla that” over and over again and I think all this has something to do with my sister. We fly through the streets and before I know it we are in a hospital waiting room where my entire family is gathered around talking anxiously about my sister. There is a certain fear that permeates the air and I feel it envelop me. For once in my life I didn’t run around, I didn’t yell and go crazy I just sat there in my mom’s lap and took it all in while staying afraid.

“You just sat there and wet yourself. Do you remember that at all? You must have wet yourself five times that day,” said my Mom when I later asked her to recall the events.

I don’t remember that specifically happening that day but it didn’t surprise me with how much sadness I experienced that day. I remember when my Mom looked me in the eyes and could barely get the choke out of her throat to tell me that my sister was in a serious accident and that she might not make it through. That look in her eyes, one of both complete concern and dominating despair still is imprinted on my mind. I can still see her blue eyes which always are so bright with happiness and hope being darker that day, dull with a lot of pain from just a few hours of worry. With the same look in her eyes she handed me off to my grandma who took me away from the hospital to go to the motel room to rest. I don’t remember anything else of that day but these things that I remember will be with me forever and are my earliest memories.

Much later in my life I learned that my sister had climbed up the big Dino the Dinosaur slide and fallen off of the back of it when she went to slide. She fell about 15 feet and hit her head on the medal rungs on the way down. She had to get many stiches and she had major swelling in her head. The doctors said it was a miracle that she suffered no lasting brain injuries and that for all speaking purposes she was completely fine. I hadn’t known it but at the time I had experienced the epitome of parental sadness and had lived the scariest moment of my mother’s life with one deep gaze. It was almost the most tragic day of my Mom’s life and it all came through that park in South Dakota.

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