May 30, 2010

The Accidental All-Nighter

Adversity is like a strong wind.
It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn,
so that we see ourselves as we really are.

We had a totally different plan for our Saturday.

It was supposed to involve an evening picking up Sky's kids and spending the night at his mom's house a couple hours south of Champaign. The next morning was supposed to be spent at a park- the kids playing, Sky running softball bases, and me sitting on the bleachers and fanning myself in the heat. But as we sat there with his family, a phone call came, then another. Sky's cousin (who took pictures at our wedding and who lives in Champaign-Urbana) was in a fire. While other people in the house made it out fine, she did not, and she was flown to a burn unit in Springfield. We quickly realized we needed to change our plans and head home.

So we packed up the kids and dropped them off at my dad's house, then drove another 80 miles to the hospital. It was nearing midnight when we arrived. We heard about the treatments and her status. We sat in the crowded waiting area with the rest of the family and made small talk. Around 3am, some of us decided to take the elevators a couple floors up to an ICU waiting room. It was dark, full of sleeping people with blankets, and looked very inviting after the long night we were having.

Or so I thought. Sky and I sat on a loveseat-type chair, and pulled up another to rest our feet. We covered up in a thin sheet and and leaned against each other. Maybe it was just the unbelievable exhaustion, sitting in the glow of the vending machines, the hum of the TV on low. Or maybe it was the ultimate comfort of snuggling into the person I love most in the world. I have never felt more at home away from home. And though I ended up staring at the clock while everyone else slept, flipping though housewifey magazines and making myself a cup of hot tea, I was still glad I was there with him.

We left the hospital a little after 6 in the morning, and drove the excruciating drive home. I refused to go to sleep since Sky was driving on such little rest, but I had to keep forcing my eyes back open. I stared towards the sun and tried to change positions often to make my head stay up. We took a nap when we got home- it was supposed to last one hour, but ended up lasting five. After that, we picked up the kids and began a long battle over bedtime.

Finally, the day was over, moments of it seeming so surreal from lack of sleep. There were times that I had to think hard to remember something simple. The baby kicked at me as if she was mad for being jolted around in a car so much in 24 hours. But as we turned off the lights and curled into each other once more, I realized that I was immensely proud of us. It had been a stressful time; a time without sleep, at a hospital, dealing with tired kids, etc. And yet, not once did Sky and I cave into the dizzying exhaustion and fight, something I would be especially prone to do with a lack of sleep + the lovely hormones that have set me on a roller coaster lately. Somehow, we just did what we had to do each second until everything was done. We ended the day in kisses.

I'm sure there are going to be plenty more days that rob us of all energy, and I am sure we won't handle them all as gracefully as yesterday. But I wanted to pat us on the back, because I was so glad that we had the strength that we had.

His cousin is still fighting, but has made it though surgeries well so far. Hopefully she gets stronger and more stable every second. Keep her in your prayers.

2 kind comments from you:

Mr. Superman & Mrs. S. said...

Oh my goodness. I'll be praying for her and your family!

beka said...

wow. that's a memorable time. :\
it's so sad she was so young...

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