had an away basketball game. My mother and father went with him,
but I stayed home to write a poem for class.
I turned off my cell phone so I would not be distracted. I was
totally absorbed in my writing. It wasn't until I finished, that
I realized something was wrong.
I checked the time. It was past 10:00. Even for an away game,
they should have been home much earlier.
I turned on my cell phone and checked text messages. I found a
message from my father with the words no one ever wants to hear
or read: We were in an accident.
My father assured me that Joseph was fine, but Mom was injured.
They were at our local hospital waiting for her to have a CT
My heart was pounding. My head was spinning. I was terrified
and felt so helpless.
Now let me describe some details I found out later. Imagine two
vans. My father was driving 40 mph. The other woman was doing
50 mph. It's not clear who had the green light.
The other van hit near the front passenger side, a bit at an
angle. Her car flipped. Our van spun. Both vehicles were
totaled. There were car parts all over the scene and leaking
This happened in Ravenna, not far from Robinson Memorial
Hospital. Two nurses were driving home or going to work. They
were the first on the scene. They got Joseph out of the car and
helped the other woman, who was trapped upside down.
Everyone sat in a line, as far away from the leaking vehicles
as possible. The smell of gas was strong on the air.
The other woman was heavily bleeding. My mother took the worst
of the impact. She had a lump on her head the size of two golf
balls and her side hurt.
Chaos descended upon the scene in the form of fire trucks,
ambulances and police cars. My mother and the other woman were
taken to the hospital in ambulances. Joseph and my father rode
in the back of a police car.
At the hospital, Mom was in pain but seemed okay. She was joking
around. Maybe she was being brave for Joseph's sake. The whole
experience was quite traumatic for him, and he was scared by all
the people and things he saw at the ER.
They were about to release my mother, when the CT scan results
came in. She had three fractured ribs and a brain bleed. She
was imitatively airlifted to Akron General Hospital.
My brother drove Dad and Joseph home. After a quick meal, he
took Dad to Akron. I stayed home with Joseph.
All I wanted to do was hug and touch him. Horrible thoughts ran
through my head. He could have been hurt or even killed.... My
precious son was in a life threatening accident. Thank God he
Joseph had a small scratch on his neck, sore neck muscles and
a large bruise on his thigh. He was more in shock from the
emotional trauma. Although it was late, he wasn't ready to
sleep. I stayed with him until 1:30 in the morning, when his
mind finally calmed down some.
My mother was taken to Trauma ICU. She was in pain and wanted to
sleep. But because of the concussion, they had to keep waking
her up. It was a major relief when the doctor announced that
the bleeding in her brain had stopped on it's own. She would not
The serious issues has been her lungs and breathing. She
already had lung problems from COPD. The broken ribs added
bruising and swelling near her lungs. This is making it much
harder for her to breathe.
On Friday, they were going to move her out of ICU. Before they
could, Mom had a breathing episode. Then ended up putting her on
She was doing better on Saturday and was moved to Trauma
Step-down. I went to visit her on Sunday. She was so weak,
tired and obviously in pain. I could barely understand her
because she was too weak to properly form and sign alphabet
This is my mother we are talking about! It was so hard to see
her like that.
The doctor said she'd be coming home soon. But today she had
another bad day with her breathing. We have no clue when she'll
My father has been spending much time at the hospital. I stay
home to take care of Joseph, the dogs and manage things around
the house. I went grocery shopping for the first time in 10
We are thankful to all the people who have offered prayers and
support. Local friends have been wonderful. Some have taken
Joseph and given him rides so he won't miss any of his
activities. Others have brought food, so we don't have to worry
cooking. Their kindness has made a big difference in our ability
to cope with this crisis.
I am frightened for my mother. I want her to get better and come
home. Will our lives ever be normal again?