Monday, September 29, 2008

Brave


I look into her dark eyes, searching for recognition of what has happened in the last few hours, searching for a way to tell her that she will be okay as the ambulance bumps along the highway. The medic next to me talks and talks about what. . . I can't remember. She and I aren't listening to him.

I search her eyes. They close, exhausted, relaxing for only moments before fluttering open again and saying, "My arm, Auntie Carrie, my arm hurts."

Reaching across her tiny body, the medic finds the medicine she needs to keep her comfortable and administers yet another dose of it while she squeezes my hand tight and asks how far behind us her parents are. "They're on their way," is all I can say, not really knowing. I hope she doesn't see the uncertainty in my eyes.

All of a sudden, we are there. Doors are opening and I've been telling her how brave she is, that I'm right here, that I won't leave her for a second. The unknown is surrounding us as we are taken past a sea of backboards in every color imaginable into the hospital through the ambulance entrance. The fear is in and out of her, just like that. She doesn't let go of me.

I don't let go of her hand.

Question upon question upon question. I am thankful that I know all of the answers.

I don't let go of her hand.

Deep breaths. She and I are practicing taking them, she is given more medicine and it makes her itchy. She tells me where to scratch and I do as I am told. For a moment she smiles, realizing that she has just asked me to scratch the inside of her nose. I'd do anything for you. I think.

I don't let go of her hand.

Nurses come in. Social workers come in. Doctors and surgeons and hand specialists come in. She is covered in stuffed animals and greeted with kindness. She thanks each one of them, just like today is any other day and she has not just lost her left hand.

I want to tell her it's okay to be angry, it's okay to scream, it's okay to be upset and let it all out. But she is teaching me, she is teaching them, she is teaching those she hasn't even met yet that it is just another day. Despite it all, it is just another day.

Her grace - she is kind and thoughtful and could hold the world in her dimples.

And I don't let go of her hand.


*For those of you who do not know the story, my best friend's daughter lost her hand in a terrible accident last June. I wrote this 10 days after riding home from Portland to Seattle with her in the ambulance.

She does, and always will, continue to teach me how strong she is. And so does her mama.

15 comments:

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I think she might thank you for your strength also. It is amazing what people can cope with when they have loving support.

flutter said...

Oh, Carrie....

The Scott Family said...

Very powerful.

Sarah said...

She does have amazing strength. And so do you.

LindaJ said...

There still are not enough words to describe how much I value our friendship.
The bond that Ellie has with you is amazing and she too knows what a special person you are.

Beth (A Mom's Life) said...

What a beautiful post!

I remember when you posted about the accident. I hope she is doing well.

Christy said...

Oh my God, no I didn't know that...what a beautiful post. I'm so glad you were there for her (and I'm sure she is too.)

alice c said...

I am so sorry. Love conquers everything - even fear and pain. But I wish that you had not had to discover that.

jennyonthespot said...

What does one comment? My goodness...

Grim Reality Girl said...

There is nothing like having someone there who truly cares... we feel so powerless but just being there and caring is so much. She was lucky to have you there... isn't it amazing how mutual strength can multiply? You gave and you got... just as your post does today.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that is a very moving story and I am so sorry that it happened to such a beautiful, brave girl. You aren't just a best friend, you are a part of their family for life. Please keep us posted on this brave girl from time to time.

Kyla said...

My heart!

trashalou said...

thank you.

Kimmylyn said...

This was painfully beautiful.. you are both so strong.. what an amazing story..

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