As usual, Wednesday morning started early. 4:45 to be more precise. Typically, Kacey works her way through my darkened room to hug me before heading off to work, and I nudge Jason into taking Kennadi and Jordan to seminary. Wednesday was different. Kacey burst into my room to ask, "Where are Dad, Jordan, and my car?" Thinking Jason and Jordan had run to fill up Kacey's car with gas for her, I called Jason to find out where he was. From the downstairs family room where he had fallen back asleep after getting up too early, Jason groggily answered, "the couch."
That set off the alarm bells in my heart and head and my next question set off the same alarm bells for Jason, "Where is Jordan and where is Kacey's car?" To which Jason answered, "I'm up!"
We couldn't begin to imagine how the day would unfold as we hastily made plans for getting everyone where they needed to be and proceeded to guess where Jordan could be and why.
The girls and I knelt in Kennadi's room where we said a prayer asking for Jordan's safety. The timing of that prayer and the events we would later discover were more than coincidental--remarkable, really.
With Jordan's autism spectrum disorder, we have become well aquainted over the past 17 years with impulsivity and Jordan's inability to think things through to logical conclusions. It is impossible to explain to outsiders how such an intelligent and often engaging person as Jordan can do things that the rest of us would immediately recognize as stupid, harmful, selfish, dangerous, or just plain crazy. I can't make sense of it myself.
We knew this was one of those times. It wasn't the first time, but we feared it could be the last time.
Within a half hour of our prayer, we received the following call from a Good Samaritan who had been immediately behind Jordan on the road. In California. Over three hours away:
Your son veered off the right side of the highway, hit a burm, and over-corrected. He then crossed all lanes of traffic, and rolled the car twice.
The next call was from a paramdic at the scene who informed us they were life-flighting Jordan to a head trauma center in San Bernadino.
These are phonecalls parents never anticipate. Absolutely everything else in your world gets pushed so far back in your brain to make room for the images of worst-case scenarios and feelings of hope, desperation, worry, and fear to consume every square inch of space. My heart and brain were out of sync, and I felt disconnected from the person making phonecalls to family, and making arrangements to get to California.
Without an extra car, and due to the early hour, we decided it would be best if Jason just started driving to California so I could stay in Las Vegas to make necessary arrangements for the girls. We were blessed to have a friend loan us a car. One less thing to worry about.
My morning felt rushed and filled, yet I was getting nothing accomplished. I couldn't fill the minutes and hours that dragged on with anything of use as I awaited, and at the same time dreaded, news from Jason or the hospital.
Two of the first phonecalls and texts I received were from my mom and a sweet friend, both of whom went straight to the temple on our behalf. Both of them said the same thing--that they felt peace. As long as the day was, and as slow as the passing of time was, I felt peace as well. Thoughts of death, brain damage, long term disability, etc. continued, but they weren't scary to me, and I was able to have the thoughts without dwelling on them. Two quotes I recently read came to mind:
Though a storm was raging, I was incapable of calming myself, and I was receiving no calming news, I felt peace. I have pure gratitude for those who prayed on our behalf to enable that peace to envelope me.
Upon Jordan's arrival at the trauma center, the only news we received was that an MRI had been performed, and the results would be another hour or more.
Unable to control the outcome.
Finally, as Jason's long four hour drive came to an end, and he arrived at the hospital, we received the news that the MRI was completely normal. There was no internal bleeding. There were no broken bones.
I am speechless.
How does one walk away from an accident like that all in one piece?!? My mind struggles to comprehend, so I won't try.
I will just be grateful.
Grateful that Jordan has survived. Grateful that Jordan was blessed with a sister who won't spend the rest of her life plotting revenge. Grateful that the bills from this incident won't arrive until I've had time to process everything. Grateful that I continue to stand and remain somewhat sane.
Now several days have passed, and I've had time to feel all the emotions that raged within me that day and the days following the accident. I have begun to recover from the physical exhaustion that resulted from the emotional toll.
Life goes on, I guess. It must because the little jokes we always manage to make after times like these (laughter is how our family deals with our crazy) are beginning to emerge. The words of my wise older brother spoken years ago when Jordan survived sleeping under a burning bed come to mind, and I tried to reason that his survival meant Jordan had a mission here on earth to complete. My brother said:
The Angels are up there saying, "WE'RE NOT TAKING HIM BACK!"