Chapter 4   On the Way to College

It was now the end of that difficult summer and it was time to drive our oldest son to college. He wasn’t excited about going,  this was not his dream. As we departed, his dear Fafa was laying in a bed sedated. His brother was recovering from a concussion. We were trying to make college seem exciting for him, he was trying to give it a shot.

We set out  driving in front  of our son’s car with all of his stuff. We were taking furnishings for an apartment. We stopped along the way to rest. How was he doing? He felt fine he said. We set back out on the highway.

As if a shot went off, I was startled to hear my husband shouting! I  looked behind to see a cloud of dust and our son off the road. My husband saw the whole thing in our rear view mirror. Our sons car veered off the road at full speed, flipped in mid air, and slammed down in the field adjacent the highway. He had fallen asleep at the wheel, and woken up as he was flying through the air.

Once again we found ourselves running in slow motion to see if this son was dead or alive. I was praying like crazy as we ran to the car.   I witnessed my son kick his drivers side  car door open, while cursing like a sailor. He was alive and he was walking out of the car!

Thank you God! I have no more words for those moments as we waited in shock for the ambulance. At the hospital he was walking around, no cuts, or broken bones. His x-rays looked fine. I heard the doctor ask my son how he was feeling and he said, “Fine- but can you do something for my mom?”

At this point I was hysterically crying. I could not pull it together. I had made it through the younger son’s major car accident, and my father-in laws dementia fairly well, except for the emotional snacking. But, this was it. I was a complete mess.

The doctor told us that our son seemed fine, and there was no reason not to take him to college. We were in shock. I had called my parents and they had driven up  to the hospital. They then  helped us move some of his belongings  to the van. Their helping hands, prayers, and presence gave us some much needed support. We had to have our son’s totaled car towed to a yard. We didn’t know what to do.  I couldn’t stop crying.

In hind sight, I think we should have just taken him home with us, but the doctor said take him to college. Our decision making processes were shut down- so we did.

When we got to Coeur d’Alene,  we met his roommate for the first time. A young man that we had met through a bulletin board ad. We signed the papers  with his parents for the apartment. We settled him into his apartment with his bike. He no longer had a car. He wasn’t close to campus.

All the dorm rooms on campus were full. We had to be back to work on Monday, so we hugged and kissed our son goodbye and drove the eight hours back home.

When we got home, my father-in law was dying. He went home to heaven that week. Our  older son flew back home for a concert he was playing in that had  been booked months prior. He was able to be there for his Fafa’s funeral. But at the viewing he was very distraught. He hadn’t got to say goodbye. He had also just gone through his own major trauma. After the funeral we had to send him back to college on a bus.

Maintaining my own health through these major trials consisted of getting through one moment to the next. I do pray,  and I felt much grace from the Lord.  But, in my human weakness and exhaustion, I just stopped counting calories.

That fall I also started a new job teaching general music in a school part-time. I continued teaching my private students in the afternoon. It was my husbands 50th birthday, and we went on a cruise to the Caribbean in October to try to forget everything for a week.

I ate and drank anything and everything my vacation self  desired. My fitness was on the back burner. My two sons were recovering from two  separate major accidents in their own ways. Both had concussions although only one had been diagnosed. My  sweet father-in law had changed rapidly and then died.  My dear mother-in law was now a widow living behind us. We were hanging on for dear life.

To Be Continued…