It was the summer of 2003. Bossy had just moved home after graduating with her Associates Degree from Snow College. The Gym Rat was between his junior and senior years of high school, and I was facing the pending birth of my ninth child. Our local high school offered summer college classes and other than books, the classes were free.
We’ve told our kids pretty much from the day they were born that we were not planning to pay for their college education although we were hoping and expecting that they would all want one. That made it up to them to figure out a way to get through school without being consumed by debt. We encouraged them to get all the college credits they could before they graduated from the public school system since those classes were mostly free. So the Gym Rat signed up for what they call Ed Net classes. He and the neighbor girl who lived a couple of doors down the street were carpooling several miles to another high school in our district that taught some classes they both needed. Two days a week, he rushed out of the house, picked her up in his little blue Neon and together they would head off to school and arrive at class just in time.
June slid by quickly and Sport was born right on schedule. Life whirled around me as I slid into the new baby stupor. Most of the kids were working and playing, just enjoying summer. My sweetie had a job where he could work home some, so he was around, making sure all was well. One morning, when Sport was about ten days old, the phone rang.
Since I had many calls and well-wishers, I had the cordless phone nearby. "Hello?" I questioned. "This is LDS hospital," the caller began, "We are Lifeflighting your son to our emergency room. Could you please meet us there?" As if through a fog, my brain refused to work. "What?" I had just delivered Sport at that hospital so I thought maybe there was some confusion. "My son is ten days old…" I hesitated when the caller started again, "Your son was in an accident and was unconscious. He is alive and we are LifeFlighting him now. Could you or your husband meet us there?"
The wheels in my brain were starting to spin. Fortunately, my sweetie happened to be home. We quickly gathered up Sport and a diaper bag and climbed in the car. It had been six years since I had received a similar call about my little Princess and her helicopter ride. I guess you could say that my response had something to do with age or experience, but my reaction was completely different. I knew from the phone call that he was alive, and during the 30-minute drive, I tried to prepare myself mentally for what might come next. My sweetie and I discussed the possibility of paralysis or brain-damage, but the physical agony I experienced with the Princess was not there. I had come to the realization that God would choose the path that was best for me and as long as I trusted Him, everything would be OK.
We didn’t know what to expect as we pushed our way through the emergency room doors. The Gym Rat was the only person being treated; his friend down the street had been transported in an ambulance to a hospital a little closer to home (her injuries were minor). I rushed to his side and he reached for my hand. His own was streaked with blood and he had vomit in his hair. One shoe was missing and his pants had been split completely up the side for easy access to all the machines and monitors that were currently hooked up to him. A doctor approached and for a moment time seemed to stand still. "He’s one lucky young man," he said. We waited expectantly. "He’s fine…absolutely fine." My hands started to shake; a typical reaction for me as the adrenaline drains away. The Gym Rat held onto one and smiled. "Yeah," he said. "The worst part was the helicopter ride…it made me sick."
It turned out that he pulled into an intersection when a car came speeding up and over the hill and slammed right into the driver’s side. The impact knocked him out when the airbags failed to deploy, and one of his size 14 shoes was still on the gas pedal. The car raced across a field and stopped abruptly several feet from the side of a house. He was bruised and sore, but grateful to be alive. This is why each and every day of my life I pray for safety and trust that God will keep me and mine on the right path. It sure worked for the Gym Rat. He stopped just in time.