5.30.2011

shaken.

we had a bit of excitement late Sunday afternoon while camping.  and try as I might, I can't help but think of the post I wrote last week pertaining to my ho-hum life, where I openly expressed my desire for a little action around here.  what I didn't foresee though, was how traumatic this "action" would turn out to be, and it has left me a bit shaken, to say the least.  

before you start worrying, let me first preface this by saying that everyone is fine and safe and sound.  perhaps a bit emotionally drained and exhausted, but otherwise life couldn't be better.

and while I don't want to bore you with every last nitty-gritty detail, because truth is, I would just as soon forget about it all.  but in a way, writing down my thoughts helps me cope.  so instead, I'll just give a brief synapses of what happened.

we were hiking with a couple other families along a creek.  a few of the older kids had ran ahead, while the adults were bringing up the rear, helping the younger ones.  I didn't see it happen, but apparently Hannah lost her footing while on a rock ledge (later she told me that she had felt queasy and light-headed and may have possibly fainted), and came crashing down onto two huge logs, before splashing into a 10-foot deep pool in the creek.  the impact of hitting the logs knocked her unconscious, leaving her floating face down in the water.  all I recall is hearing this 'thud' and someone screaming, "Hannah!" and before I could even react, Jake had jumped in and somehow managed to flip her over.  her eyes were rolled back and she was convulsing.  a second later the guys were there to help pull her to safety.

I'm guessing she was out for a couple minutes, although it felt like an eternity, before she came to.  she was crying, her breaths coming in ragged gasps.  her mouth was bleeding, and she said her butt and head hurt really bad.  not knowing the extent of her head injury-- could there be bleeding? or a fracture?-- we called 911, and she was then air lifted to the medical center here in Flagstaff.  watching my daughter fly away in that helicopter, not knowing what lie in store, was the most traumatic experience I've ever been through as a parent.  for a minute, I just stood there sobbing, my shoulders heaving as I gasped in deep breaths.  even though I knew she was in good hands, I still felt so helpless.      

while Gary headed back to break down camp and pack up the rest of the kids, I was able to get a ride back to Flagstaff from a friend who has a cabin near Christopher Creek (we were camping just south of Christopher Creek, off the Mogollan Rim.)  while the idle chit-chat was a welcomed distraction, nevertheless, it felt like the longest ride of my life.  the image of Hannah's limp, lifeless body had been seared into my mind, and each time I thought about it, a new wave of tears flooded my cheeks.  there was nothing I could do, except pray.  

by the time I arrived at the hospital (two and a half hours later), Hannah had already received a battery of tests: CT scan, chest x-ray (in case she had aspirated any creek water), urine (to check for blood), all of which were normal, thank goodness.  Hannah was awake, alert, and appeared to be in good spirits.  "I'm a little sore," she told me, a slight smile on her face.  a wave of relief so intense, words can't even describe, immediately washed over me.  after being diagnosed with a minor concussion, she was discharged later that night.    

as the incident replays over and over in my head, I can't help but think of all the what ifs.  given the circumstances, it could have been a lot worse.  as a parent, we strive to keep our kids safe and out of harm's way, but accidents can happen in the blink of an eye.  it was apparent God was watching over us then, as he always does.  and amidst all the emotional turmoil, knowing that brings me comfort.  it obviously wasn't her time to go.

while the rawness of yesterday's reality will eventually fade, masking the uncomfortable feeling of vulnerability that has gripped me, and allowing myself to sink back into the mundane rhythms of daily life.  but in the meantime, I will kiss more, hug tighter, and hold longer.

because well, you just never know.

counting my blessings today, all nine of them.

-jessica

22 comments:

Keith and Kim Kesti said...

Sending warm hugs your way. Been thinking about Hannah all day. Hope she is feeling better by the minute.

Anonymous said...

OH wow!! Well, glad to hear everything's ok. But talk about heart wrenching!!! Brianna BYman

Ramona Johnson said...

Glad to hear everything is okay with Hannah! How scary when these things happen. We realize how many things can happen to our precious children.

Barb Makela said...

whew. i'm so glad she's safe and sound - i cannot even imagine the panic feeling. you have a wonderful, beautiful, amazing daughter and i'm sure you are even now, counting your blessings. love each and every one of you.
Aunt Barb

Lisa Karvonen Johnson said...

Yikes...

Crystal Lee said...

Oh goodness, what a scare! I'm so releaved to hear all is well!

corinne said...

what a good reminder for us all,how fast things can happen. glad all ended up being well. what a scare!

Anonymous said...

Guardian angels, they are out there :) Thinking of all of you! Give Hannah a huge hug from me. Love you all.... Mona

Briita said...

my heart is pounding...just reading and only imagining...so glad all is well! good thing she landed in water and so cute of jake to go to her rescue!:)

Sue Hill said...

Happy all is OK, but how scary. Thinking of you all!

Anonymous said...

What a scary ordeal. And to think she's of the age where generally you don't worry about them too much. Good reminder that accidents happen quickly and to anyone. Glad to hear that all is ok! Joleen

Ruth said...

So scary!! Glad to hear all is well. Hugs {{}} to all of you.

Selma said...

So glad all is okay...but I can even begin to imagine how long that car ride was...

Keilah said...

I had heard about your nightmare. I'm so glad Hannah is safe and doing okay!

Kristin said...

What a scare!! Glad everything's all fine...but very true about all the unknowns. I'm with you...hug more, etc!

jen said...

Scary. Accidents happen so fast. Every now and then we get little reminders like this that make us count our blessings. I'm so glad everyone is fine.

Anonymous said...

scary! glad all is okay!

Pete and Becky said...

Wow, scary is right! Hope you are all feeling better.

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh! What a scary experience! Im glad that she is doing ok. Hugs to everyone! ~jess

pakosta said...

oh my gosh, I am so happy she is okay....I was in tears reading this post and imagining how very scared you must have been....
much love.
tara

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