I am having a slow-mo melt down right now. Mom is badly injured but, barring infection, with surgery will make a very good recovery. It will be painful and slow but she will be okay. Lillian is fine, a little clingy and an abrasion near her neck, but really A-Okay. Now that the crisis is over, insurance called, contingency plans up and running I can freak out. My mom and daughter could have died today.
I got a call at 10:15 this morning that started like this “Ms. Townsend? This is Lori the Social worker for Cooke Children’s blah blah blah blah blah blah” My brain had stopped processing after the words “social worker from Cooke’s.” At that moment I had 3 kids in three locations and could not process that one of them was so bad off that the social worker was the one who called me. Scenario after scenario ran through my mind, Alex my wanderer had wandered and been found hurt, my Pie had a peanut exposure at school, Mom and Lillian were in an accident……. In those few seconds I played over sooooo many worst case scenarios my mind literally froze. I could not process.
Only the most basic thing came to me. I was at my desk on a cell; I had to get the phone away from the customer data. The walk to the lobby took less than a minute but allowed time to give the appearance of “having pulled it together”. There was only one more break in the calm after she told me one of my worst fears, that Mom and Lilly were in an accident and Mom might have been seriously injured. The singular break came when I had to tell my boss why I was leaving. There was no debate just a directive to go take care of my family. It took a few minutes to get the overriding, all-consuming emotions of desperation, hysteria and undiluted terror under control again.
From that moment I moved forward with the end goal insight. Get to my baby, ensure her safety and well-being, get to my mom, assess evaluate and find the game plan to care for her. Gather my 2 big kids, make sure they stay safe. Now, once all of the practicalities have been worked out, kiddos safe, mom care plan under way, transportation arranged for pie; now I can finally feel what was too overwhelming to feel. I can panic and worry and be terrified at the realization for how close I came to losing my mom and baby. I can shake and cry and vomit and blubber.
The Crisis is over and we are in the long haul of recovery but the feelings of schok dismay anger worry disbelief panic terror and helplessness are left over to be dealt with. And slowly but surely they will be dealt with. One day I won’t check Lillian’s harness 3 times to be sure she’s safe. I won’t check all of my mirrors repeatedly and my heart won’t race if I’m over the speed limit just the tiniest fraction. I won’t freeze at the sight of an unrecognized number on my caller ID. I know I will recover because of all of the people who showed up and stepped up to the plate. I know they won’t allow me to be a fearful parent. They will make sure I am able to again be brave and courageous for myself and my family. They won’t abandon us when it gets hard; they have shown when it gets hard they will cling tighter. They will pray, and talk, and joke, and help until we are all okay.