Lemon Bay Evening

Lemon Bay Evening

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Saturday night, July 16th.About 11:30 pm, the phone rings. I am at Moffit Cancer center in Tampa with Amanda.She is in the “conditioning” process, for her stem cell transplant. Her mother, Laurie stayed these past two nights, and now I will be here until Monday night when Laurie comes back. The plan is for me to come back again on Wednesday, the day they give Amanda her stem cells back… Day 0. But the phone call changes this plan.

Amanda hangs up and says, “You have to call Jeannette. Josh was in an accident and has a serious head injury.” From the chair I am sleeping in, I try to wrap my mind around what Amanda has just said. I feel the blood in my body turn cold. My heart beats, but I can’t really feel it. I begin to take deep breaths. I say to Amanda, “ I need a minute to get up. I can’t move yet. I need to breathe.”

I slowly get up and move toward the locker where my purse holds my cell phone. “I..I don’t know where I put my phones… oh here they are.”

‘It’s that job! That f#%^*ing job!” I really don’t know what that meant… I didn’t know yet, what kind of accident, or ANYthing. That was some sort of defensive attack on whatever it was that hurt my child.

Minutes later, Jeannette’s mother, Nancy answers the house phone. “Nancy, this is Mary.”

“I don’t know anything.” Were her first words.

“Was he at work? Was he working?”

“Well, he told us he was working, but he wasn’t.” She sounded disgusted.

“What is Jeannette’s, cell number? Where is she?”

“Suzy is picking her up and taking her to the hospital”, then Nancy gives me the number.

“Okay, thanks. Bye.”

Jeannette answers quickly, and tells me they are almost to the hospital. “He was on a motorcycle, and laid it over and a car ran over him. They are Life Flighting him to the hospital right now.” She sounded angry.

I was going to vomit. My mind started to see the image of the accident, and my heart screamed, “NO!”

Telling her to call me no matter what the time, as soon as they tell her ANYthing, I hang up with Jeannette to start the calling to Bo and my other sons. Numb is a very odd feeling.

Amanda looks at me with those beautiful big eyes of wonderment and innocence, and states with confidence, “He’s going to be fine. He is okay.”

I respond, “You have a direct line to God. I have seen His work in you. I need you to ask Him to make Josh okay.” She begins to pray, and cry. I dial the phone to Bo, begin to tell him what I know, the Nurse, Richelle, comes in and hooks Amanda up to her Chemo.


July 21st

My nephew, Dan, has provided the way for me to go to see Josh. Along with Dan, and my oldest son, Jimi, I leave Ft Myers RSW at 7 pm. and arrive Charlotte, NC approx 9 pm. A late departure for Pittsburgh now, our 11:30pm arrival is actually a 12:30 am arrival. Jeannette, Halley and a sound asleep in the front seat Justice, AKA Buddy, pick us up and we go back to the house. An early morning visit to the hospital on Thursday will give me some answers the distance did not provide. Talking in the kitchen until 3 am settles nerves, and allows for some venting, laughing, and determination to get Josh on his feet again.

July 22nd early morning…

ICU waiting room. The faces tell the stories, minus the details. Each one is there for a traumatic reason. An emergency brought them together. No one else’s situation is more tragic than their own. Waiting while Jeannette and Halley go in to see Josh first, gives me time to try to prepare my reaction to what I am about to see in Josh’s face, and body. Jimi, Dan, and I are silent and in our own thoughts. I gaze around the room in mindless thoughts. Pillows, blankets, books, half empty water bottles, a box of baked goods, half empty, a phone on the desk ringing, a woman grabs it, and nods over her shoulder to a waiting man, and they go through the door where someone on the other side of it buzzes them through. This morning’s coffee has me edgy, and wide-eyed. My conversation with God is pleading, grateful, and apologetic. Is this the same thing He hears from everyone in here?

He is sleeping… or sedated enough to seem to be sleeping. The breathing tube holds his mouth in the open position, and his lips are dry. The head stabilizing brace, at first frightens me, but I soon realize it keeps Josh from injuring himself more. The small scrape on the center of his forehead right at his hairline is scabbed, and has an ointment glistening from it. No swelling in his handsome face, and no bruising either. “God, You held his head in Your hands as his body met the pavement, then encircled him with Your arms as the vehicle drove over him. You are merciful. Thank You.” This was a silent dialogue that would continue for me for days to come. I heard His comfort in a way which is difficult to describe or explain. The scraped and swollen right leg and foot were uncovered, and drove home the extent of God’s mercy, on the rest of Josh’s body.