A kick in the stomach

I don't talk about my parents very much on this blog. It's not because I am not close to them but because they live across the country and I don't see them very often. I talk to them every weekend and they come home every summer and some Christmases. We are very close. I love them very much and can't imagine my life without them in it.

The worrier in me hates that they live so far away. I was always afraid something would happen and I would be too far away to do anything. Or, as they aged I wouldn't be there to take care of them. Working in the medical profession I see patients aging and needing help from children. I want to be there to help them but I can't if they are 2,000 miles away.

Last week, my biggest fear was realized. My mom called and the first words out of her mouth were "Hey Stace. Dad was in a pretty serious car accident." My heart stopped. The only words I could think the mutter were why. Thankfully, the next words out of her mouth were he is alive and he is at home. Thank God.

He was 90 minutes into a 4 hour drive when a terrible snow storm hit. He got caught in white out conditions and ended up in a 22 car pile up caused by a jack knifed semi truck. He was somewhere in the middle of the accident. He was hit from multiple sides. Both his front and side air bags deployed. He is cut and has some pretty serious bruising as well as a concussion. It was unavoidable and we are lucky he is alive. He doesn't remember much of the events leading up to the accident or what followed. But he does remember seeing a baby being taken from the car he hit. The baby was blue and died later in the hospital.

My dad is not doing well. He is a caring, kind, and generous man. He rarely puts himself first and loves his grandchildren fiercely. He is very depressed over the death of the baby. He is blaming himself. It was not his fault. He is a very cautious driver and was caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. But he is hurting and confused and I can't help him. He won't talk about the accident. He said if his car is not totalled (though I can't imagine why it wouldn't be) he won't drive it again. He can't get into it.

I hate that I am stuck in WI while he works through this thousands of miles away. Of course, he is not alone. He has my mom and they wonderful and supportive friends. But he is my daddy and I should be there with him. He spent his entire adult life being there for me. I feel helpless so far away and I hate feeling helpless.


Tiffi33 said...

OMG that is absolutely terrifying.
I can't imagine what your dad is feeling..
He sounds like he has PTSD, and rightfully so.
Did the local hospital give any info on mental health services?

It is such a helpless feeling being so far away from someone who you love so much.
I am sure eventually he will be able to drive again...

Jill said...

Oh my gosh -- that story made me cry. I can't imagine what your poor dad is going through right now. I am so glad that he is ok, and I hope that he is able to deal with this. Of course there is nothing he could have done, but I'm sure that doesn't make it any easier for him to process.