From Missouri Plains to Kangaroos

I have always enjoyed writing, so this is a good outlet for me.  As I sit here thinking, I really wish I had done this earlier so you could really get a better sense of where I’ve been.

About eighteen years ago, and I remember the day to a tee, I was riding my exercise bike and got this overwhelming urge that I needed to write.   The urge Im talking about wasnt just a passing thought that you add to your imaginary to-do list, it was the kind of urging that I needed to get off that damn bike NOW and go write.  From that day on, I was an avid journaler.   I never understood why I did it, I just knew I had too.  All these years that feel gone in a flash from the divorce, are all preserved in writing.  My thoughts, my heart, my prayers… all through the kids growing and changing, all through the struggles and yes, even the wreck. 

He has my journals noting that I took nothing with me when I left.  There are two ways he can really hurt me now, one is destroying all the things I saved for the kids over twenty years.  The other is destroying my journals.  Prior to leaving he promised he’d never hurt those things, he’s recanted on many promises since I have left so we will see.

In a previous blog I wrote about the truth.  My journals contain that truth of the whole situation leading to where I am now.

I have mentioned many times, the wreck.  Those are dreaded words to me, more dreaded than “divorce” even.  So much emotional energy has flooded out of me on that topic from  just living it, talking about it is something I almost want to avoid.  How did I get from the plains of Missouri to the land of Kangaroos and Great Barrier Reefs? 

This story must be told.  So where do I start?  It is important to know some background so the story makes sense.

I fell in love with my children’s father while in highschool.  I had a child already at this point and he was only 6 months old  (that alone is a whole other story).   Warren didnt go to my school and was several years older than me.  I met him while cruising on one of those summer teenage hangout roads, where kids race and act all crazy.  He was the “boys of summer” kind of guy.  Totally opposite of someone I imagined falling in love with.  He was out of my league and I knew it from the time he said hello.  Our first real date, was to the circus, he loved my son and that was all it took for me.  I loved him, quickly he became my heart, my everything and we were inseperable.  He wasnt willing to marry me until I graduated from highschool, I graduated…then we married four months after that.

His parents were very educated, very wealthy.  His father had a double doctorate, and his mother was an emergency room RN.  I remember walking into their house for the first time to meet them, and it was the biggest house I had ever seen.  I was very intimidated.  I could tell they werent all thrilled that I had a child already, but they embraced my son.  There greatest disappointment was that Warren didn’t go to college as they expected.  There plan for him was immediatly entering college out of the military, what happened was that he met me instead.

Eighteen, Married.  His parents moved to the east coast, his father got a better job heading a major pharmacuetical company.  They were gone, just as I found out I was pregnant.  That was all during two months of the marriage.

For a little history, there was no family involvement on either side.  No help, no advice.  It was Warren and I against the world.  My world revolved around Warren and my kids, they truely were my everything.  Unbreakable.

We always struggled, nothing was ever easy.  There was never any magic help from family when we were down, we fended for ourselves, and made due with what we had. Two children later, there was 6 of us and that was our family.

I am almost hesitent writing this part, because I believe once you forgive its gone.  There was a time, when I was pregnant with our daughter, that he cheated on me.  It devastated me and I never expected it.  Hit me like a rock and it wasnt just a fling, there was an actual relationship.  Being the nine month pregnant woman I was, I just remember I felt so ugly.  Through the years I learned it wasnt me at all, it was him.  You tend to internalize those things and that feeling of not being “good enough”  always stuck. 

I forgave him.  The kids were growing up.  We bought a farm, with 40 acreas, moved out of the city in hopes of giving my kids a better life.  I had homeschooled them for eight years, entered them in public school when we moved out from the city.  We bought my grandparents a house, and moved it onto our property.  The goal in that was to get them somewhere they could enjoy life, and my grandparents loved my kids.  They were truely the only family ever there for my children.  They were up in age, I was home and could take care of them.  Thats what I did.

I never got a break from the kids.  Warren and I never went out, never did anything together, if we did it was very rare.   There were many health problems with my grandparents so I spent a lot of time at the hospitals.  Still, in it all, we trudged through, never complained and always believed things would get better. Just persevere it.

Warren always wanted to start his own business in IT, so shortly after we moved, he did it.  I knew he could.  He was very successful, but as you can imagine it was never easy.  Money came in, but you never knew just when you would get it, that left us to truely live on faith alone.

The summer of 2005, Warren’s parents decided they would like the kids for the summer.  They had just bought a house in New Jersey, moving from Conneticut.  I was leary about the kids going because it was the first time they would ever  be away from me.  But Warren and I could really use the break for us.  We had never had “US” time ever!!!! 

The kids were thrilled, we bought them clothes.  Gameboys for something to do on the long drive.  Boogy boards because they were going to the ocean for the first time.  I was so happy inside to see their anticipation, it made me feel good as a mother to see them look so forward to something.  Ryan was 16, Kalyb was 13, Montana was 11, and Tristen was 9.  It was the perfect timing in their life for such an oppurtunity of fun, and a great time to get to know their grandparents.

Warrens mom and sister pulled up one summer morning in July, driving the new Suburban they bought just to have enough room for all the kids.  They stayed one night with us, the next morning we packed up the back, gave the biggest hugs and my kids were off.

At last, time alone for me and Warren.  It had been 16 years, and we never had that.

I was working at the time at the newspaper.  That was one thing I did to help while Warren was trying to get his business going.  I worked.  So July 25th, I had got off work early for a night out to dinner with my husband.  We were just walking out the door when the phone rang. 

Instantly, I knew something was wrong.  I heard Warren say, “Kalyb that is not something to joke around about.  What?  It flipped? Who’s still in the car?  Are they alive?”

With that, Warren was sitting but his body was totally prostrate.  It looked as though the hair on his head stood straight up.  My heart crashed to the ground, because I knew.  I just knew.  As a mother, and as the girl I am that knows God has control of everything… I prayed for my kids.  I prayed God would keep them safe.  I prayed their whole life in fact everyday for them.  Days before they left, I just had a feeling inside.  I cant explain what it was, but one night deep in my soul I was asked if I was ready.   I didnt know for what, but when the phone rang, I knew.

I grabbed the phone and it was my son Kalyb, I could hear sirens coming in the background.  He was wild and crying saying, ” Mom, Montana is going to die. She has a hole in her head. I can see her skull, she is going to die.”  All I knew to do, was pray for her, and that is what Kalyb and I did.   There was nothing I could do, I didnt even know where my children were.  I do believe in God, not just a far off uninvolved God that ignores us, a God who hears us anytime we call.  My God knew this was going to happen, and I had prayed for their safety, yet as I stood there with the phone in hand…I knew my kids were severely injured, if not dead.

About that time, a woman grabbed the phone from my son and told me all three of my children were out of the upside down vehichle.  WAIT!!  I have 4!!! WHERE is the other one?  Tristen was still in the car, trapped upside down hanging by his seatbelt I found out later.

A paramedic told me Kalyb had to go now.  There was an unexplained urgency as to why Kalyb had to go, but I found out months later he had cut an artery in his arm.  Three of my kids, and Warren’s mom were being lifeflighted to a Trauma center.  Where? we didnt know.  What state where they in? Well, that took about an hour to find out.  Finally we learn it happened in Pennsylvania on the turnpike.  No adverse weather, no other cars involved, just a tire that had blew.  A faulty that the tread seperated on.

There are a million angles I can go on this.  A million sub-stories.

Do I believe God was there? yes 

Do I believe they were protected even tho they were critically injured? yes

I could go into the details of the feelings of what it was like finally seeing my kids.  I could talk about what it was like taking care of 4 badly injured kids while taking care of 2 sick grandparents for years it took for them to heal.  I could talk about how unfair it is that tire companies get away with a certain amount of “known failures” in their products,  Theres the story of how head injuries and how it changes a person is not recognized especially in children, I could talk about how my kids will never be the same…see, so many sub-stories and my list could go on.

What I will add for now, is that my kids are all alive.  Scarred yes.  My daughter has a permanate broken neck, yet walks.  Its been four years, and we still live it.  Time marches on, despite what trauma comes. The world keeps spinning on.  Until I came to Australia, I was still in 2005 for four years.

How did I get from the Missouri plains to kangaroos?  My marriage suffered.  The strain was too much and people change in trauma.  You realize how different you really are.  You realize what is and isnt important, what all was missed because life is truely short, and sometimes you just overlook the other in trying to survive.  I needed him, I felt so alone.  

For me, the battle wasnt in the trauma, it was the years following in fighting for justice on behalf of my kids.  Do you move on and forget it, or do you fight?  He didnt want to remember, I had to fight, so that left me very alone.  As a mother, walking in the rooms and seeing my kids, that still picture is ingrained in my heart… I will never forget it.  Day to day, I wasnt allowed to forget because my kids weren’t the same.  I couldnt accept this.  I fought for my kids.


~ by itsjojogirl on January 6, 2010.

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