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In a Split Second
I’ve always heard people say “Be grateful for what you have because it could be taken away in a second.” As I watch my mom walk along side me, I understand the true meaning of those words.
My family had just bought a brand new tan half ton Chevy truck, just in time to pack up and go camping. When we got to our usual spot behind Woods
Canyon Lake, my parents unbuckled me, and I got out and saw our camper perched perfectly on the bed of the truck with blue skies and pine trees as the back drop. Joy filled my body; I was at my home away from home.
We spent a short three-day weekend enjoying valuable time with our friends. As a three year old, the three days felt like a week. A week of making mud pies, riding quads, and swinging in hammocks. When the last day came, we packed up and said goodbye to our friends reluctantly. No one knew this could have been our last goodbye.
While driving home, my parents did everything they could to keep my six-month-old brother and I occupied. My brother was not happy, so my mom unbuckled to give him his binkie. Within a split second we were all rolling. We had been hit by a speeding car.
The car snapped our back axel, which sent our truck plummeting into a barrel roll. When the spinning stopped, we were on our heads, well my dad, brother, and I were. My mom had been thrown from the vehicle.
The next thing I knew, my dad was crawling under the truck to get us out. Then big guys in fancy outfits were putting me in a white car with flashing lights. Once I was inside, fear hit me; my family was hurt. My dad was the only one with me, and he was laying on a bed, while they cut off his shirt. His hand was gushing bright red blood.
Where were my mom and brother? Where are the people taking them? What are they doing to them? What are these guys doing to my dad?
I freaked out, screaming at a glass-shattering pitch. I wanted my mom; I wanted all of this to stop. The nicely dressed guys tried giving me stuffed animals as if that was going to help.
We finally got to the hospital where the doctors stitched up my dad’s hand and checked to make sure I was okay. Once we were cleared to go we went to another hospital to meet my grandma. She was at the hospital with my mom and brother. My dad stayed there with my mom, and my grandma then took my brother and I home to her house.
After she put my brother to bed, she sat me down on her bed, and with the touch only a grandma could have she ever so gently put medicine on my scraped knee; the only wound I had. Then she tried explaining to me what had happened to my mom. My mom had broken her lower back. What my grandma didn’t tell me, but I know now, is my mom wasn’t supposed to ever walk again. My mom was temporarily paralyzed.
An extremely talented doctor worked a miracle and re-built her back bone that had been crushed to corn flakes. He built a cage that was to be her new bone, and used one of her ribs as its filler. He then used a metal bar as a post to keep everything in its place. Without this procedure my mom would not be walking today.
A few days after her surgery, my dad brought my brother and I to see her. She had a clip on her finger that glowed red on the very tip. She touched my nose and made me giggle; she was my mom again.
Weeks later, she came home. She had a plastic case that went around her belly and back. She couldn’t walk without a walker. So day after day I would lay in bed with her and we would watch movies for hours on end.
As she started to heal, my grandma would peel bandages off revealing more scars. But as much as it grossed me out, I was happy to have my mom back.
To this day my mom still has glass in her arms and legs from landing on the shattered glass when she was ejected through the windshield. She has nerve damage all through her right leg causing her to not be able to stand on her toes, but that is a small price to pay for her to have the ability to walk. As a family walking together it showed us all to never take everyday actions for granted because they can be taken away in a spit second.