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Rated: ASR · Fiction · Death · #346046
A girl has a tough time with her family after a mortal car accident near Christmas time.

Sadness to Joy

It happened three weeks ago. Crushed steel, busted windows are still a painful reminder.
As well as the hospital visits to my dad. Only 3 weeks ago my family was on our way home
from Christmas shopping, when a group of happy-not-so-go-lucky teens crashed into us at the
intersection before turning into our subdivision, in front of a church

I will always, always have engraved into my memory the image of my dad’s jaggedly cut
skull falling over the back of the headrest, blood dripping down into my lap. I still can’t get that
stain out of my favorite skirt. The sirens drowning out any attempt at a thought. The inability I
had to remove my eyes which were glued to my sister. Her wrist was pinned to the armrest
because that side of the car had been bent in and her arm had been between it and the seat. We
found out later it was crushed and useless anymore, she now has a prosthetic hand.

My dad always said that my sister and I were too light to sit up front, that we’d get
crushed by the air bag. He nearly got crushed by it too. When the other car hit we were all flung
to the side then forward, but because of the airbag, instead of being flung forward my dad was
flung back as shards of windshield flew at his prone, wide-open face. At the hospital, when I
first got to see him, I found out his head split “like a coconut” they told me. What a great
analogy. His eye had been gouged out by the pen he always left on the dash board, just in case.

His entire body was littered in scrapes, bruises and the like. I wretched when I first visited him
in the ICU.

I walked away from the wreck. I was fine. Me! I was the one who was completely
unharmed - physically. The brattiest, whiniest one in the family was the one to survive. Why?
My dad has always loved us and has been my best friend my entire 16 years of life. Kris, my
sister, is practically my gardian angel here on earth and a saint to all other people. But me? I
shop, and I screw around with my friends, that’s the extent of my talents and contributions. And
yet, I’m the one unharmed.

I called my mom after visiting my dad and Kris for the first time. She cried, but I
couldn’t. My eyes wouldn’t let me, my heart still hadn’t accepted it. She flew here from Omaha
where she’s lived ever since my dad and she divorced, to where I live in Gary. She’s staying
with me in my dad’s town house while dad and Kris are in the hospital. We visit them every day.
Everyday I wish I could cry for them. I wish I could cry for me.

One week ago my sister got out of the hospital. She stays with us, she’s a year younger
than I and is just getting used to her new prosthesis. It’s been two weeks since the accident now
and my dad still hasn’t come home from the hospital. They’ve sewn up his skull, removed the
old eye that was practically gone anyway and replaced it with a glass one. He has only woken up
once in the entire time he’s been there. We go to see him every other day.

This is the other day, when we do the house work and the chores and pray for my dad.
However today his doctors called and said that my sister, my mom ,and I had to come down to
the hospital as soon as we could. A million and a half things ran through our brains on the way
to the hospital and up to the ICU. Luckily we were sure that death wasn’t a thing to be worried
about since they would have told us that over the phone. What we were told was by far much
worse though.

A Cerebral Hemotoma. His brain was starting to shut off because of a blocking of blood
to his brain. He had slipped into a coma in the wee hours of the morning and they had been
running tests to see what they could perhaps do to speed up the coma. They couldn’t do anything
for him anymore, only time. But the prognosis was bad and so the main thing we could wait for
was his death. But at least you could wait by his side.

In the coma center we set up a cot and my sister, mom and I each take shifts sleeping by
his bedside, or reading to him out of a “Tale of Two Cities”. It was the book he was reading the
night before the accident. I mainly sang. Whenever I felt scared for him or for my self I would
sing. I sing all his favorite songs, Christmas carols mostly since he loved this season the best.

Christmas Eve day I took the entire day at the hospital, while my sister helped out at a
soup kitchen and my mom cooked and last minute shopped. My dad seemed restless that day.
We had developed a bond over the last week where I didn’t even have to think about it and he
could tell me how he was and how he felt that day. His heart and pulse rate kept moving around
and shifting. So much so that a doctor and a couple nurses had to stay in the room because at any
minute he could go. I just waited as I could feel in my heart that inside of his physical body his
soul was thrashing around trying to get out. I waited and sang for him.

It got to be about 5 or so minutes from midnight when Kris suggested I sing the First Noel
seeing as the Savior’s birthday was to be so soon. So I did. I held on to my dad’s hand, as Kris
and my mom held their hands together as well as mine and I sang in my strongest yet tenderest

I got as far as the line “Born is the King of Israel” when the clock struck midnight and my
dad’s heart monitor kept a steady, deafening tone. The nurses and doctor jumped to the rescue
trying to help us but we simply shook our heads. We knew what had happened and we had
waited for it, day and night. We hugged each other. And finally - I cried.

We headed home in the very early morning hours of that day with hearts laden down with
memories and thoughts. I remember thinking that Christmas would forever be ruined and marred
by the memory of my dad’s death and the not quite certainty of my life a head of me. Our car
started to round the corner to our subdivision when we passed the church with a little nativity
scene in front of it. with no Jesus in the cradle however. There was, although, a sign a little
further off on the church’s property still. It said “We are waiting for Jesus to come, whether he
does or doesn’t, we shall eternally wait.”

That, I decided was what I was going to do, wait eternal for my dad’s resurrection, for the
resurrection of all my passed on loved ones. So now for me, Advent is not a time of sorrow and
sadness, but a time of renewal and quiet waiting in hope.
© Copyright 2002 Soar Hiy (soar at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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