I stayed on the phone with our friend Jeff, the tow truck driver. I remember saying "Jeff, I'm here! I'm here!" He said he was walking towards me. When I saw him, I honked my horn and he came over to my vehicle. You would think I would remember word for word what he said but I don't. Because all I remember is hearing him say that Jason was alive... and screaming in pain. And I took those both as "good" signs. He was alive! And my brain heard nothing else.
He asked me if I wanted to go see him and I said yes, so he called someone over to stand by my vehicle with my kids so I could get out and go up to see Jason. When I got out of my Suburban, my knees buckled and I knew I was too shaky to walk on my own, so Jeff let me hold onto him, and started walking me up to the wreck....
.... but we were soon stopped by someone who said "you can't take her up there." I know you see movies where a loved one pulls up to a wreck and runs and screams up to the scene, not allowing anyone to hold them back... and people have asked me how I kept myself from acting that out. But truthfully... I was scared to death! What if I got up there and Jason had died? What if I got up there and he was physically beat up to the point of unrecognition? What if? What if? Were the "what ifs" worth making the nightmare I already relive made worse? But "what if" I hadn't run screaming up to him, and he had died... and I hadn't fought for a chance to say goodbye? I also worried that if Jason was conscious, me running up there would stress him out if he knew I was seeing this horrific scene... he worries about me that way. So I walked back to my vehicle for the uncertain wait.
A man came up to my window and started assuring me that my husband's injuries were not life threatening and that he'd be ok. I started to feel relief... until he said "you're Daniel's wife, right?" No! I'm Jason's wife! Who's Daniel?? The man couldn't tell me the same thing about Jason. My heart, already in my stomach, dropped to my feet. A woman in scrubs started walking towards my vehicle, so I got out to speak to her... scared that whatever she had to say to me didn't need to be heard by the kids. She told me they were flying life flight in and asked me if there was anything she could do. I asked her if she prayed. She told me she did. I told her she could pray for me. So she did. She prayed. For me. Not once did she mention Jason in her prayers. She didn't pray for healing for him. She prayed for peace for me. I feared even more now that he was dead, or same as.
As all of this was happening, I had called Jason's oldest sister and told her that Jason had been in a wreck and that they were life fighting him, but I didn't yet know where to. She immediately said she'd get ready and meet me in town and go with me to wherever we needed to go. I knew I couldn't go alone. We sat there for what felt like forever and finally someone came and told me what hospital he was going to... and we heard the helicopter flying in to land at a bridge clearing behind us.
The ambulance transporting Jason to the helicopter drove past my vehicle, and minutes later we all watched as the helicopter carrying my husband lifted into the air. Please God, let him be ok. I figured at that point I could turn around and start driving to meet Jason's sister but I saw that they had traffic stopped in both directions. So we waited. And waited. And waited. And literally an hour later I was told that they would clear the road for me to get out. Hey asked me which direction I wanted to go... and it knew that going one way would drive me past Jason's truck that we could see ahead of us sitting in a ditch. At this point, I knew he'd been hit head on by a drunk driver, and while we could see the back of the truck... we couldn't see the front and I knew that I couldn't drive our kids and myself past it. So I opted to turn around and go backwards from the direction I'd came. It meant a longer drive but I knew it was best.
About fifteen minutes later my phone rang with an area code from the town Jason had been flown to. It was the hospital emergency room calling to inform me that my husband had been in a wreck and was at their facility. They wanted to know if I was on my way... but didn't say one word about Jason's condition... and I was too scared to ask...