Still thinking about my life having a plan and a purpose. I think back to when my daughter Bethany was in her auto accident. She was 15 at the time. The timing and placement of people in our path could not have been more beautiful.
It was New Year's Eve 2000/2001. Bethany was in Portland at her dad's for the weekend. I had a guy coming to my apartment to take me to a party that my sister invited me to in Anderson. This was very special to me...you see I have never had a "date" for New Years Eve nor had I ever been to a New Years Eve party (I am still waiting on these...but that is another post entirely!) The guy never showed up at my apartment...I had been stood up on New Years Eve. I felt awful. I was still planning on going to the party but it would be later. I fixed myself a drink to calm down my mind and heart.
While sitting there sipping it the phone rang I thought it was the guy...my heart sank when I heard my dad's voice. "Lisa, Bethany has been in an accident and they have life lined her to Ft. Wayne." "Which hospital in Ft. Wayne? I asked. He was not sure. Mike Weesner, a neighbor of my dad's and a family friend had been an emergency responder at the accident and had recognized Bethany and contacted my dad.
I called Jay County Hospital to try and find out which hospital they had flown her to. I talked to a nurse Carla Runyon in the emergency room who I "just" happened to of graduated high school with. Her daughter was the same age as Bethany so she knew Bethany well. Talking to her later she said she had to leave the room and cry a few times taking care of Bethany. She told me Bethany was awake and talking to her but that she was pretty bad. They had flown her to Parkview Hospital.
I called my friend Barb Barton and told her. She told me to come through Portland on my way to Ft. Wayne and she would go with me. We drove her car as well because mine was an old college car that was best for in town driving. It was nice having someone to talk to to keep my mind focused on driving. When we get to Parkview they tell me to sit down in the waiting room so the chaplain can take me back. What the hell do I need a chaplain for? As we waited I told Barb I can't do this... I can't bury one of my kids. We watched the ball drop on the TV before the chaplain came to get me. He took me and the rest of the family that had arrived in the meantime back. My dad and his friend, Sharon was already back there with Bethany. What a relief she was alive and had people with her. I leaned over her and started talking to her. She said "Mom whatever happens remember I love you." Then she started cussing at the people in the emergency room to get her some water to drink. I knew she was going to be okay at this point.
Bethany had several injuries, a fractured skull, broken wrist, collapsed lung, her liver was pulverized, kidney bruised, she had several lacerations all over her body, her ear drum was busted, her teeth were chipped, her eye swollen shut. It has been 8 years so I am sure I am missing somethings. They did not have to do any surgeries on her. They told us that they have found that the body heals itself remarkably. They just did scans every 15 minutes for a while to make sure the bleeding was stopping on its own.
Later we found out about Bethany's two angels, Dave and Linda Stoner (that is what she calls them). They had been driving home early from a New Years Eve party when they saw a van in the ditch. They checked in it and did not find anyone. They thought that it had probably been already taken care of. They decided to drive up to the next house just to make sure. When they were driving away Dave noticed something up under the trees. He ran over and put his coat over Bethany and told his wife to go call 911. He said he just kept talking to Bethany until the emergency team got there. The two other kids who had been in the van with Bethany had gotten scared when the van wrecked. The van had been stolen by one of them and they thought Bethany was dead. They had drug her body up under the trees. I look back on it and think the trees probably protected her from some of the cold that night.
During her 10 day stay in the intensive care unit we had tons of friends and family doing all they could to help us. Another person placed gently in our path was a former pastor of my sister him and his wife had moved to Ft. Wayne. I was able to go to their house and take a shower and have a small break when they could finally get me to leave the hospital.
I was suppose to start a new semester in college during this time. My sister knew people who were also going to the same college as me and they found out who I needed to contact. What a blessing. The guy was a journalism major and even wrote an article for Ball States magazine about my experience.
The carefully orchestrated symphony.
1st ...guy who did not show up.
2nd...scared kids who put her under cold protecting trees.
3rd....angels who found her.
4th...neighbor who knew her.
5th...my dad actually being home.
6th...me actually being home.
7th...nurse who knew us...and cared deeply.
8th...Barb actually being home and going with me and letting me drive her dependable car.
9th...grandpa and Sharon being with Bethany when they would not let me see her.
10th...being at a hospital that believes in modern medicine that allows the body to heal itself.
11th...former pastors who move to the right city.
12th...friends who go to the right college.
13th...everyone who did the right things.