Sunday, October 17, 2010

Strength and then some...

I always find it amazing to hear about events that have happened in people's lives and how they pulled through. What kind of strength they would need to wake up everyday and smile. Not just the smile you put on your face when someone pulls out a camera. The kind of smile that starts deep within, and reaches out to others. Everyone has a story to tell, but this one is very close to my heart.

In my dream the phone was ringing, it was one of those times when you have to drag yourself out of sleep to see if the phone was actually ringing in your dream or in reality. I remember opening my eyes, looking over at Scott who hadn't budged and thought it was definitely in my dream. But as I sat there being a bit miffed that I was awake and it was still dark outside the phone rang again. Panic...my phone was ringing, it was still dark outside and our whole house was still sleeping. I remember jumping out of bed and grabbing the cordless off the desk and answering it. But of course I had just missed the call. I punched the caller ID button, secretly praying that the number I was going to look at was not one I recognized. Not so lucky...it was my sisters cell phone number. My baby sisters cell phone number. My sister who was young enough to still party, had no kids of her own and the person I feel the need to most protect after my own children. I remember the whirlwind of emotion that I felt, colors all blended together. I remember waking up Scott while furiously getting dressed. I called the number back, numbing myself for what I might hear on the other end. My mothers voice.

"Hi Chris" (I swear she only uses half my name when she's purposely trying to calm me down. Mom knows that if she doesn't use my full name my brain will automatically go to casual mode.) "Don't panic, nothing is wrong. Natasha hurt her arm but she's okay. We are just at the hospital waiting for the results to come back"

There were so many mistakes in that conversation. Mom always tries to be the rock, the person who will speak in a calm voice when situations get crazy. And Mom has needed to give my sisters and I  more bad news than any mother should ever have to give. So right from the beginning she uses my childhood name, to induce calmness. But she made a mistake, she used Tasha's full name. I called a party that my sister was at one night, asked for Natasha and I was bluntly told that there wasn't anybody there with that name. I bet half of Tasha's friends don't even know her real name is Natasha.

Needless to say I hear "Natasha" and I am in hospital mode. Dressed, face washed, teeth brushed and running out the door with brief instructions to Scott about the three birthday parties that Destyni is suppose to attend that day. I rushed to the car, heading to our older sisters home. Mom wasn't able to reach her. It's very common that Tina sleeps with her ringer off, she works night shifts and needs her sleep.  Tina and I arrived at the hospital and went into the area where Tasha was. I don't remember where the area was, it was one of those times when everything blurs around you and you are focused on one thing. How bad is it?

Tasha was laying in bed smiling. Her arm was in a sling but she was smiling. Relief flooded through my body. It's funny because when you see someone smiling you think they can't be hurt, right? The results came back.  All of the damages were done under the skin. Her arm was broken in several places, her elbow was no longer an elbow and she needed surgery immediately. There was a lot of details in those few weeks that are important but my focus was Tasha pulling through, and how the people in her life cared so much for her.

Tasha's life changed in seconds. Not knowing that as soon as she arrived at the hospital she was going to be a different person, inside and out. The pain was intense for her, the bruising was scary, the swelling was so huge that it looked unreal. The love around her was unmistakable. The things that I personally remember from that time was her friends coming into visit her. My aunt dropping in everyday she could to see how Tasha was doing. Tina washing Tasha's hair for her. Mom being there everyday, watching her youngest in so much pain.

But the memories that I remember the most, the memories that touch my heart and soul so deeply. Tasha's strength, her courage, her refusal to give up. She was suppose to be moving into her own place the weekend she was hurt, she had to live at home because she needed so much help from my parents. She had just graduated as an LPN, she walked into the hospital the morning of the injury as a nurse and walked out never being able to do that again. The pain she went through. Physical therapy that made her literally sick to her stomach, not being able to drive, or sleep her normal way, or not being able to jump into the shower without having to wrap her arm in plastic. Or not being able to use her left arm for anything. Having to regain the muscle use. Having a scar that runs up her entire arm.
Not once do I remember her complaining. I am humble at her amount of bravery. At her inner strength to keep on going, to wake up everyday and let the world see that beautiful smile. I love you Tasha and there aren't enough words to tell you how proud you make me!!! ...xxoo

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