May 7, 2019

Dear Reader.......4/29/19

by Douglas Blaine Matthews (author's profile)



Dear Reader,

Hey. I hope you're doing well!

My child's mother was 37 weeks pregnant... Her, her oldest daughter and her mother (3 generations) went to a relative's birthday party. While I, her son and her dad... I can't remember what we did. We might have went fishing... The day began with me having a bad feeling in my gut. So bad, when I saw them out the door and said bye, they could tell I was uneasy. My child's mother said to me, with a slight playful smile, "It's just a birthday party "D", not war." ("D" was my nickname.)

I was walking toward the front door. It was hot and sunny. I'd just checked the mail or something because I was outside. A sunny afternoon I'll never forget.

Paw (my child's mother's dad) came out of the front door with a concerned look on his face and determination in his step.

He looked at me while en route to his van and said, while adjusting his glasses, "They've been in a wreck."

I was worried but not thinking the worst. We got in his van and hit the road. Her son was at his friend's house and Paw thought it best not to disturb his fun. We didn't think it was that bad... Boy were we wrong!

We were on the highway and the phone rang. I answered it. It was her daughter. I thought everything was fine at first but then she began to speak and words of sorrow, remorse and fear for her mother's life began to pour from her lips. She was sobbing hard. It hurt to hear her so afraid and my fear began to mix with this. I calmed her down some and her next few words have stuck with me since. But at that time, was like a dull spoon digging into my heart. She said, "She's awake, she's awake! She keeps calling your name D, I can hear her calling your name!" She was calling for me... and I wasn't there... this hurt. I wasn't there for her when she needed me.

The helicopter arrived to airlift her to the hospital. The sound of the propellers drowned our words so we said our byes and disconnected.

My fear and emotional pain became anger. I wanted the man responsible for their wreck. I didn't get any word if my unborn child was OK. It was too early to tell. Fear!

My anger began to numb me. I knew this was a dangerous state of mind to be in. But I ain't care. If they didn't survive, neither would he. To hell with my freedom, my life.

We get to the Rowan Hospital. She wasn't there. She had to be airlifted to a larger hospital. One equipped to handle anything. CRMC (Carolina Regional Medical Center).

At Rowan I spoke with her mom and daughter + doctor. As soon as I saw her daughter tears streamed down her cheeks and she barreled into my chest crying. Once again, the words she spoke next changed the way I felt in extreme measure.

She confessed that she'd fallen asleep behind the wheel... She was torn, shredded. Devastated about it. All the anger, the vengeful hatred inside of me disappeared immediately and was replaced by empathy for her. It wasn't her fault... it was one of those circumstances where she was doing everything right, but then sleep took over her.

They were driving home, radio was on a local music station, A/C was blasting out the vents. Granny turns off the radio and begins talking about the afternoon. She has a soft voice. Often spoken with an even and smooth and relaxing cadence and sound. The daughter, 15 years old with a permit, is charmed into a tired state. Her head drops. Her mama yells her name, her head snaps up just as the tires grip the edge of the road and jerks the car, she over-corrects and... the car soars through the air, smashing nose first into the dirt down an embankment. It flips and rolls and comes to rest upside down. Her and Granny were able to climb out but her mama was not. She was stuck in a mangled car, unconscious. First responders had to carefully extract her from the car.

The daughter had a bruise from her shoulder down/across her torso from the seatbelt... Imagine if she hadn't been wearing it? She'd be dead. Her Granny was saved by her seatbelt too. She suffered a double fracture of her elbow. My child's mother...

I get to CRMC and I'm directed to the ICU. I'm thinking I'm going to get there and hold her hand and tell her I'm there and everything will be OK... The nurse directs me with her finger where she is. I walk down a row of patients' beds... I don't see her. I come back. She shows me herself...

I looked at her + walked right past her. She was unrecognizable. Her hair was jet black from the dried blood. Her face, entire face, was swollen and jaundice had already set in around the massive amount of bruising. The scariest thing about this moment was the tube coming out of her throat that was hooked to a life-support machine... It clicked several times as one accordion-like tube filled, and then hissed as the other filled when that one decompressed.

I reached out and stroked her hair, afraid if I touched her too hard she'd crumble into a million pieces... And I broke! Tears came, not in single drops but in hordes streaming down my face. I couldn't speak, only sob. My chest heaved and racked and I cried hard. I'd never, never, cried like that in my life. I hadn't even shed a tear since I was a small child. I was broken. It felt as if my sanity depended on their survival...

The birth of my child and their outcome I'll share on my next blog.

Until next time.

Yours truly,


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