I'm Only Going to Do This Once...

Like the title says...I'm only going to do this once. I will answer any questions you have, but I'm not going to make this a series or my only blogging focus."

Ok...again it has been a while, but this time my absence is much more that "I was busy."

On June 3, I was talking to my mom about picking a resort for our vacation to St Thomas. On June 4, my father had a major stroke. On June 6, my sister and I were following our mother home from the hospital when we were hit by and EF4 tornado. It took my mom's car off the road, and she was killed when her car was struck by debris. My sister's rental car was totaled. We were tossed around and cut by glass, but we were able to walk away from the accident.

There had been a warning, but then it was lifted. We even passed an EMS as we turned on to 795 in the pouring rain, and they didn't know it was coming either. Then the rain and hail stopped. My sister and I saw the green lightening first, and when we turned our attention back to the road, the lightening struck again and we could she the tornado heading straight for us. We tried to get her attention, but she kept driving west. She even looked like she was going to pull over once, but pulled back on to the road. My last memory of my mom is watching the storm take her car off the road. Amy stopped the car we ducked, and the only thing I hear above our screams were things hitting the car. I know we left the ground a few times. My sister says she felt us turn around a few times. I only looked up once during the worst of it and cut my eye lid in the process. My sister had the car in drive with her foot on the brake and her hands on the steering wheel (I had to cover her head)until the first responders arrived. When the worst had passed, I called 911. I remember thinking we were fine. She had to be fine too. The police station had also been destroyed so I was sent through another town's dispatcher. I remember telling her we were fine, but we couldn't find my mom. She told me to stay in the car. I know I yelled at her...but I just wanted to find mom. It never crossed my mind that she would be gone.

I am not sure why Amy and I survived. Even if mom's car slowed down the debris that hit our windshield, I can't understand how we are still alive. Had my mom not told me to get in Amy's car, I would have been in the CRV and the impact from the debris would have killed me instantly too (I just hope she didn't see it coming). Had Amy and I not both Epic Failed tornado safety 101, the debris in the ditch would have surely killed us too.

The first responders told us she was gone, and that is about the time I get my pretty much full memory back. I had to call my brother and tell him the news. We were trying to find someone to come get us (since the Lake Township Guys just sort of left us in the car, covered in glass, looking at mom's car). We called her brother, her friends, our friends, basically anyone we could think of. We were alone on the side of the road and we just needed to feel like there were people with us.

Eventually the Highway Patrol Arrived, but they still wouldn't let us out of the car. They kept asking us what happened, and all we could say is that we were hit by a tornado, it took moms car and she was hit by something. That is all we had.

Eventually, they let us out of the car, but we had to stay there until we were cleared to leave the scene. That is when we could actually hear the gawkers...and my sister began yelling at them. They were gawking at us, our car, and our mom's car. Some jerk even took a picture of her car with his cell phone and sent it to the media. Amy was yelling and I was thinking of the 101 things we had to do...including tell my dad. I just wanted to talk to his Doctor and find out what we should do.

Finally they let my Aunt and Uncle take us back to Bay Park Hospital where we had friends and family waiting. My Aunt and mom's best friend insisted we check in to the ER. Karen had to fill out Amy's paperwork. I refused to fill mine out until the called dad's doctor. I did eventually fill mine out under duress. While we were being triaged my head of the ICU stopped in we asked her if anyone had called dad's dr. We told her the situation and she said she would look into it. By the time the ER docs had check us out, she said she was getting us a room in the maternity wing (they don't use that is right around the corner from ICU) and that they would set us up there so we could be close to dad. Heidi became our hero from that moment on.

They brought us scrubs so we could get out of our glass covered clothes. They brought us sodas, shampoo, towels and an extra bed. The called my dad's doctor at 4 a.m. so I could talk to him. They gave us food, support, and took care of us when we needed it the most. Dad's on nurse, Wendy, stayed even after her shift was over so she could be there when we told dad.

The past almost 3 weeks have been surreal, but the bottom line is we made it through. Dad is slowly getting better. Yes we have a long road a head of us, but he has the potential to get a good amount of his strength back. It will just take some time and hard work.

So that is the Reader's Digest version. If you want to know more ask. If I am comfortable telling you, I will.

However, I couldn't refuse adding my Kudos and Evil lists to this blog:

Kudos:

My family and friends..I couldn't do this with out you. You were there for me on Facebook, the phone and some of you even drove 4 hours each way just to see me. You guys are awesome.

Theresa, Heidi and all the great people at Bay Park ICU: You took care of us (and let Amy and I live there) when my mom couldn't. We would not have survived those first few days without all of you.

Dave and Fran Marsh (Marsh Funeral Home) You guys are rockstars. You respected our wished, kept the media at bay and made this easier for us.

Heidi: for coming and being my dad's nurse at mom's funeral

Karen and Larry: When dad was discharged from Bay Park (and Amy and I needed a place to stay) you welcomed us in to your home. Thank you.

Ivy Tech Community College: My family here has been amazing. Thank you for all your support.

UTMC: For helping my dad start his recovery

Woodville UMC: We hadn't been members of your church in years, but you welcomed us back with open arms.

North Dover UMC: For your prayers and understanding

West Ohio Conference and Maumee Watershed District: thank you for your support and prayers.

Marla and Ken: Thank you for being there for us and helping ensure mom's work does not get undone at North Dover.

Carol: For taking care of the parsonage, our animals (esp. with mine hatching babies) and keeping the bad folks away.

Auneta: For taking care of Tyler and washing our glass filled clothing

Everyone at MTSO: You guys have been awesome...even though we have broken FERPA more times than I would like to admit.

Carolyn: For taking care of the rest of my fids

Debora: For being there for us

WTOL: For respecting our privacy and doing a wonderful piece on mom

I am sure I am missing people...and will add more later

Evil:

The Toledo Blade: Bullying the West Ohio Conference, Stealing Facebook pics, and then having the nerve to tell me you stand 100% behind your article...really?

Channel 24: Yeah so I know about the whole threatening to camp out outside the funeral home fiasco. Not classy at all.

Whoever showed up at the hospital pretending to be me...really that was low even for the media.

Facebook: I just want my mom's page deleted. We aren't ready for a memorial page. You aren't returning my Tweets or phone calls, my lawyer will be calling soon.

Paramount Insurance: You are not totally evil, but not letting dad stay at UTMC even though the drs say he can get stronger is semi-evil

Certain Day nurses at UTMC: Just because dad has a visitor doesn't mean they will feed him. I will feed him, but some people are just friends visiting and should just be expected to feed him because you don't want to. Also, being rude to me when I am headed to my mom's showing...uncalled for


Associated Press: We hung up on you...why did you keep calling. You made us have to unplug the phone.

Guy who took the unauthorized picture of moms car and gave it to the media: You sir are a low life. My mom was still in that car, and you had no right to do that. Do I wish my aunt had not stopped my sister (the one screaming obscenities at you and walking towards your car) I would have personally broken your phone.

Fulton County Health Center: You made us lose 12 hours on his stroke...he had a history of strokes and had stroke symptoms but you just yelled at him and sent him home so my family had to bring him straight back, you never even called his real doctor.

and last but not least:

the slimy white trash woman who stole money from my father's checking account: really? did you think he would never notice? I was not a fan when you called mom his ex wife, now I really don't like you.

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