I remember situations in terms of stories and snapshots.
When I look back on a photo, I think of the story behind the picture.
When I tell a story, I have a picture in my mind.
It is weird how I am wired that way. And probably why I like to write and take pictures. It gives me a clearer understanding in my mind.
I don't have any snapshots from last night. I will have to create the slideshow in words. Please understand that this is only 1/6th of the story, and in all fairness, not even that because it is the story told through my lens... as the night played out for me, and none of the key characters.
Friday, May 3, 2013:
I fall asleep downstairs while watching the T.V. and my kindle is laying on my lap. The news hadn't started yet. Or maybe it did. Apparently I was going to stay up for the news.
Brian came downstairs to check on me. I notice that I have one missed call.
The dogs upstairs start to bark. Brian turns the T.V. on mute. We hear a knock on the door. Brian checks it. I follow slowly behind.
Slowly, until I hear my son's name.
A police officer is standing outside of my door.
There has been a car accident. A car is flipped upside down on a fence just outside of town. The kids appear to be okay. But they are not sure where Nathan is. The kids on the scene say that Nathan was there, but then he walked away.
My mind is not keeping up with the scene in front of me.
"So was Nathan in the accident?" I ask?
They think so, but he is not there. They need to find him.
"Was he driving?"
I'm told that 3 to 6 kids were in the vehicle from what they know so far. If Nathan was one of them, he either walked away or was thrown from the car.
While I am talking but not understanding what is going on with the conversation in front of me, Brian calls Nathan and he answers.
Yes he was in the accident.
He ran back into town, got in his truck and drove to his dad's house.
To get help?
Because he was scared?
Is he okay?
He was on his way back to the scene.
Brian drives me just barely outside of town.
We pull up as close as we can.
The only lights are flashing ones.
I get out and run towards the lights.
I see the car.
It is upside down in the ditch and along the fence.
I hear my name.
One of the EMTs on the scene pulled me into the ambulance.
I am relieved to see Nathan sitting up.
I am relieved to see two other kids in the ambulance with their eyes open and conscious.
I want to know what has happened.
I see tears just barely at the surface of Nathan's eyes.
So I hold mine back.
And I hold him.
We drive to the hospital.
I'm on the phone with Marz.
Trying to reassure her that everything is going to be okay.
There have been too many car accidents in the last few years involving their friends.
Car accidents that did not turn out to be okay.
That realization hit me right at that moment.
I thought I was going to throw up.
I call the person I had a missed call from.
It was one of the EMT's I met on the scene.
Her daughter was in the car as well.
She is okay.
Not everyone went to the hospital.
Those who did were seen and discharged.
Nathan is still scared.
He has a concussion.
I have my son.
And he still has his friends.
We all get to go home and sleep in our beds.
And wake up to a new day.
My mind races back through every scene.
Sleep does not come without the dreams that haunt.
I replay the story.
I hear the officer tell me that Nathan is missing.
I hear Nathan's voice on the phone. Not the words, but the panic.
I see the flashing lights
and the car.
My stomach turns as my mind replays each snapshot.
This morning I still don't have all the answers of what happened last night.
I know the kids were looking for a lane to turn around in and head back into town.
I know they were going too fast and it was too wet and probably not taking the situation too seriously.
I know there were not enough seat belts for the number of kids in the car.
I know my son panicked and ran.
I know that the kids are all okay.
They all know that it is a night that could have turned out very differently.
And I know that too.
I'm praising God for his mercy
and a new day.