I'm a bit late with this blog, and I have a really good reason: my beloved younger sister, who I'll call J, nearly died in a car accident this past Tuesday.
It was not her fault. In fact, it was a freak thing. But if you'd seen her car, you'd wonder how she made it out alive. The entire driver's side was crushed. It had flipped over. She'd been trapped inside and had to be cut out.
All that's wrong with her is some cuts and bruises. No broken bones, no serious injuries.
Honestly? It was a friggin miracle and I am so, so happy.
Let me back up a bit. J is 2 1/2 years younger than me. We've always been mistaken for twins, at least back when her hair was as long as mine and she wore glasses. We went to the same college together and even worked in the same fast food place through high school. She's always been the smart one, while I've been the creative one. We're as different as night and day, but it doesn't matter. We're very close. So close that when I got the call from my Mom, I swear my heart stopped beating.
It was the unknown that was killing me. No one knew anything beyond 'she's been in a bad accident, she's in the ER.' Of course, hubby and I left work early and flew straight out there. We saw the car on the way, and that's when I'd lost it. I'd never felt so helpless in my life. What if she were in a coma, or was dying? What if she suffered massive brain injury and was impaired for the rest of her life? She's only thirty-three! She's too young to die! (This is when having a writer's mind and lots of medical knowledge based on research really wasn't doing me any favors). I remember hubby trying to calm me down, his hand gripping mine almost painfully. It kept me tethered to the here and now, so I wouldn't lose it. I remember making bargains with God. That if he let her live, I'd do this or stop doing that. Ridiculous, really. What was going to happen was going to happen, and nothing could stop it.
By the time we got to the ER, I was a basketcase. I was openly crying. I remember thinking how hard it would be for my mom to see me crying like this, when she was a basketcase herself. I remember murmuring to myself, a mantra, "It's gonna be okay, it's gonna be okay."
And then I got a surprising text from Mom: she was being released. She was fine. All those horrible scenarios I dreamed up didn't happen. She was fine.
I can't tell you how happy and relieved and grateful I was. I never took J for granted, though. I've always cherished her. She was my playmate in childhood, my maid of honor in both my weddings. She was amazingly supportive when I moved back home during my divorce from hubby #1 (she even went so far as to redecorate my old room, and it was beautiful). She has helped me, loved me, consoled me. She's always been there for me no matter what. She was my very first friend, and the most precious. I wouldn't be the same person if she wasn't here. And, as we zoomed down the freeway, with prayers in our hearts and hope in our souls, I couldn't imagine a world without J -- my sweet, wonderful, beloved sister -- in it.
This is for you, sis. I thank God for every day I have with you.