I let it go…
Memories are a funny thing, aren’t they? The way they can evoke such raw emotion, as if they are real enough to touch. If you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time you probably know that I struggle with PTSD from time to time. At one point, it literally consumed me. I’m fortunate now that it’s just a small part of who I am. I’ve been incredibly blessed to have a large network of people, who love my family, and hung on tightly as I pushed and roared through that dark time in my life.
Still, there is something about late spring that feels eerily familiar. Every year, spring builds to the anniversary of the accident. I subconsciously feel it every time the air turns warm. And, as I acknowledge “the date” is getting closer, I also realized this morning that I will probably always refer to life as BA (before accident) and AA (after accident).
I heard a helicopter landing at a local hospital when I was walking into work this morning.
It almost crippled me.
Those blades, whooshing against the blue sky and crisp morning air, they rattled my bones. It took me back to that old country road and I’m there again, suddenly, at the scene of the accident. All I can hear is a helicopter approaching in the distance and I keep thinking, “that’s not for my son, it can’t be.” I feel so alone on that road, even with people and emergency vehicles coming in and out.
I can still see the people rushing by me as I watch in horror and shock. It almost felt like I was watching a tv show. I wasn’t an active player in it. Shock is funny like that, effecting all of us differently. I can feel my stomache drop and then overwhelming desire to shut my eyes and push all of it away.
All of this, from a simple helicopter.
I imagine this memory will always be that clear.
I can’t see a helicopter without stopping to pray. This morning, as I struggled to breath I prayed to God that the person inside survived, that they are loved, that their loved ones are okay, that they aren’t a child, that the doctors that are going to care for them are ready and able, that they walk away from this with faith that can move mountains.
As I walked into work this morning I remembered all the faces of my family members and friends that stood in that lonely emergency room waiting area that night, when I finally arrived. It was packed full of people who loved my son and my family. I couldn’t believe how many people got to the hospital in such a short amount of time. All of them with a different story on how they heard the terrible news. I still tear up thinking about them, just sitting there, waiting for me to arrive, praying for my son, holding their breath. I could see the fear in their eyes as they faked smiles and hugged me and asked if I was okay. I could tell they weren’t breathing normally, either. I can still feel their arms as they wrapped around me and promised he’d be okay, we’d be okay. Many of them stayed into the night and some through his entire surgery, waiting on pins and needles with us as we prayed for the doctor to walk through the doors with great news. Many of them were there with me in the depths of my hell as I waited, still in shock, not sure how to be or act. I could still feel their prayers after they left the waiting room, too. There were so many people during that time that I will never EVER get to tell how much they truly changed me. I hope they know.
Even more, I wish I could tell them how they continue to help me. How every time I get thrown into a memory left behind by that horrible day, they are still the ones that pull me out, just the way they did that night. And the weeks and months that followed.
This morning, when I heard the helicopter approaching, I remembered all of their faces and I said a quiet prayer for the person hovering overhead and then I thought of my friends and family and I thanked the Lord, out loud, for my blessings. I prayed for the people that carried me during that time when the world felt too heavy.
And, I let it go…for now.
(62 days until the 3rd anniversary)