The weekend started innocently enough. I was looking forward to a trip out of town to meet up with a great friend that I met while working for a radio station out west. We had a great afternoon catching up with our families at lunch and laughed like nobody's business. We talked about old times and her daughter played a "who can guess the song first" game with us from songs she had loaded onto her ipod for the occasion.
My husband and I even did some shopping at the quaint local shops and even found some Christmas gifts. It was a great day. And a great evening. We went back to my husband's parents' house to spend the night. The kids had a blast with grandma and grandpa and I was enjoying conversation with adults. Little did I know that all this time, a nightmare was unfolding in my family.
My father was trying to get ahold of me the whole time to tell me that my sister had been in a horrific car accident and had to be flown by medical helicopter to the nearest trauma center after being cut out of her car. Unfortunately, my cell phone had gone dead and I was oblivious to it, and to the fact that my sister was badly injured.
What is left of the car.
I found out when another sister of mine had the idea to call my in-laws on the off chance that we were there. It had never occurred to me that I hadn't informed anyone in my family where I was going to be for the weekend. When I put my ear to phone, I already knew something was wrong by the look on my mother-in-law's face as she handed me the phone. My sister calmly told me that "she is alright, but Gail was in a bad accident and flown to Ft. Wayne yesterday." The words after that are little blurry. Somewhere in the conversation, however, I discovered the news that in the tests they performed to make sure my sister did not have bleeding on her brain, they found a very large brain tumor.
It is not cancerous, but it needs to be removed, as it is the size of her fist. The neurosurgeon seems confident that it will be fairly simply to reach, since it is in the back of her brain, right behind her ear.
While the news of my eldest sister being flown to the hospital after a car accident seemed traumatic, she really didn't suffer serious injuries and will make a full recovery. Just a nasty gash on the side of her head that needed five stitches, a horrible headache, and some nasty looking bruises are, really all the damage that was done. And quite possibly, this car accident could very well end up saving her life.
Not knowing that all of that was happening really shook me up. I don't even want to think about a different outcome...but I am so extremely grateful that my big sister survived this crash and will able to celebrate Thanksgiving with family. The brain surgery has been put on hold until after the holidays, because there will be quite a lengthy recovery period. You can guarantee that every single member of my family will be hugging her, and everyone else, a little more tightly this year! And when it's time to go around the table at Thanksgiving dinner and tell what we are thankful for, you might need to muzzle me, because my list is very long!
And, by the way, a new cell phone is on my Christmas list!