I don't even remember why I cared. It all seems so meaningless now.
That afternoon I got a call that will forever be embedded in my memory, just like the moment I heard my daughter would die.
It was my sister pleading with me to go to God for her.... "You need to talk to God right now, Jailyn's having a stroke" she said.
Things had been so hard here... we've struggled in so many ways.... I was feeling pretty disappointed in God's plan and in some of His people.... and honestly, when she asked me to pray, I had nothing.
I remember saying "Let me pray with you now" which is I think the first time I've done that with her... I knew by her voice this was not a time to say I would and do it after - or to just rely on my humanness for conversation. A 9 year old have a stroke?? I went on to pray and I was at a loss. All I heard come out was "Lord, sometimes it feels like it never stops...." and as I heard my little sister interrupt and say "It never f-ing stops." I was mad. I was so mad at Him. When is enough enough? How much can one family take? How much can my sister take? She has been battling her own health issues and spent 5 days in the hospital herself the week before. I had spent an entire evening just days before in tears worrying over if I was going to lose her to her Crohn's Disease.
I kept praying, because I had to. What else was I supposed to do? I don't know what else to do. What else could I offer her in that moment? But I remember feeling like I just didn't even want to talk to Him. That's not a feeling I'm used to.
Her phone eventually dropped the call and I couldn't sit here. I called Matt and he came right home and I drove up to the hospital. On the way, I was making calls trying to reschedule a board meeting for Rachel's nonprofit that we had scheduled for that night and once I got to an area where my phone stopped working, it was just me. Me and God and my thoughts. I cried so hard.
The song played on the radio... "When you don't know what to say... Just say Jesus"
I sat in the waiting room with my head in my hands and I just whispered the name...Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ.
Within moments of seeing her, I knew it was serious. She was screaming it hurts, it hurts.... she was begging for more ice on her head.... I asked her where it hurt and she said the right side of her head... she looked at us and said "Am I dying?" We assured her she wasn't.... but I'm not sure we felt like we were being honest. I will never forget what she looked like on that bed.
The. worst. moments. ever.
It took forever for the hospital she was at to decide that she needed to be air lifted. I am going to say it because it's true - Huggins is the worst hospital on the face of the planet and I wouldn't step foot in there again for anything. You'd be better off wasting your time driving in a car than there. Actually, I would rather die in my car trying to get to a different hospital than ever go to that hell hole again. They took a CT scan, saw nothing and insisted she had a migraine and gave her Ativan and shut of the lights. For an hour. She sat in a dark room screaming in pain as her brain died.
They finally admitted that they weren't able to help her - I mean seriously, they can't even do an MRI - they don't have the ability to even give her the test she needed.... the test that hours later would show she had a massive stroke and her artery was completely blocked - and now she was completely paralyzed on her left side.
The last 3 days have been a nightmare. I keep hoping I will wake up and it won't be true. But it just keeps going. Time keeps going. The world keeps going. And I don't want it to. I want it to stop. I want Friday back. I want Jay back.
I woke up Saturday and called right away to see if she had woken up... she hadn't. I hung up the phone painfully aware of how serious this all was and I thrashed around on my bed quite similar to the physical reaction I had to Rachel's diagnosis in the doctor's office 3 years ago.... why does life hurt so bad?
Sunday we decided to go back to our church for worship.... I so needed to be there. I needed to feel known and cared about and I needed to know that Jailyn was known and cared about there. Everywhere I turned people were telling us they were praying for Jay. I cried a lot, but I needed it. Then after worship, I went down to change the baby and eventually my friend Mel brought my purse down... my cell phone had been ringing over and over during the sermon. I NEVER bring my phone into church. But I looked and I knew... I called my mom and heard another call I will never forget... "Something's really wrong, they rushed Jay in for emergency surgery. Her brain is swelling and her eye is fixed. Meg wants you there" I looked at the two people standing near me and asked what I should do... within 20 minutes, we had Darla back here at our house with us to watch the kids and we were on the road. Jill later brought some groceries and later Melissa and Carol came and stayed until we got home. We worried about nothing except Jailyn and Meg.... it was amazing provision from God thru His people. But what a long ride when you know every minute counts so much.
I want to end this with some really good silver lining.... some great God story or some line about how it's all His plan and His plan is so good. I want to finish it strong with what I know everyone wants to hear.... but it just isn't there. My sweet, precious, innocent, funny, soft-hearted, loving, sensitive niece is laying in a ice pack covered bed with a feeding tube, a machine breathing for her, half her beautiful head of hair shaved and her skull in a freezer so that her brain can have room for the crazy amount of swelling it's doing... holding on for life. Meanwhile, we're all on egg shells waiting for this to get past the point of critical so we can breathe again. And I watched my little sister bend over her bed and sink her head onto her daughter's hand and cry with no answers as to why this even happened. I listened to how Jailyn's little brother said he doesn't want to go to school because he wants to stay home and wait for Jay. I watched my Desirae sob for 2 hours as she grieved over her cousin, best friend and the closest thing to a sister she has on earth. I've watched my mom break down over and over. I've watched all the men in Jay's life... her dad, my dad, my stepfather, Matt..... all fall into tears over this unbelievable tragedy. We're all running on too little sleep, too much stress, and a ton of tears.... and there isn't a silver lining. And if you think you see one, keep it to yourself. Because there are 5 words that I have heard come out of my mouth over and over and most people can't comprehend what it even means to think this, let alone live it....
We can't bury another child.
This can't be real.... how can this really be happening? I can't fully comprehend what it all means yet and I'm afraid to feel the feelings that will come with that. It hurts so much.
and since I have nothing more I can say.... I just keep saying "Jesus" I'm thankful that even though He is fully aware that I am completely upset with Him allowing this to happen, He still remains faithful to carry me. because I can barely walk.