The Stillness is Torment

Remembering The Monsoon II (_DSC5950)

Image by Shutterhack via Flickr

As I walked in the door, the phone started to ring.  I didn’t think much of it, we get telemarketers regularly.  I went about my normal routine, making a pot of coffee, feeding the dog, getting ready to sit down and relax.  It had been a long day, and I was looking forward to settling into the comfort of our love seat, being surrounded by the dogs and their unusual form of affection.  When I came into the living room though, my wife was crying. 


“What’s wrong?” as I walked over to hug her, she was still holding the phone, cradled in her hands. 


“N-M has been in an accident, a roll over and she was ejected.  They are flying her to the hospital.  The doctors told B-A that it doesn’t look good.”


My heart sank, I felt myself going to one of the darkest most murky places I have ever experienced.  From some where, I felt a familiar Umbra, and heard it whisper words of my father in my ear.  “Calm yourself, be still, be strong, show no emotion, give away no weakness”.  I felt myself transforming into that stoic, still person capable of showing no emotion outwardly.  I told myself I needed to be  strong for everyone else, and not show anything.  I made the phone calls I had to make, notifying all the family, as if I were a robot or some machine.  I texted my sister, because I didn’t trust my voice to talk to her.  I supported and hugged my wife reassuring her everything was going to be fine even though I had no idea myself.


The wait was torturous.  N-M is living with my Daughter B-A up in Nevada, might as well be millions of miles away.  B-A was at the hospital, waiting to hear from the doctors, then she would call us.  I waited for hours, my mind playing games with me, my body not revealing any of the hidden fear, dread, and foreboding coursing through me.  The many different scenarios playing against each other, and tugging at that little shred of sanity left dangling by a thin thread somewhere in my mind. “Ejected”, the word paints a very unpleasant picture in ones mind.


My mind started traveling, going back though time, playing back those memories as if they were old home movies.  We had raised N-M for 13 of her 17 troubled years.  Her mother, my wife’s sister, choosing selfish desires over her daughter, her father always making, but never keeping promises.  Trying to reunite her and her mother on three separate occasions only to have it blow up in our face.   The time we brought her down to meet her father who promised to be here.  Me drying the tears away from that precious face, and cradling that poor shattered soul when he didn’t show up.  If there had ever been a time I could have killed, it was then.  Remembering N-M’s 2nd birthday, her first with us, and how badly we had spoiled her.  Thinking of the times she had helped me work on cars in the garage, and the joy in her face.  Recalling those nights, every night, when she was young and I would read to her as she laid down for sleep.  My pride when she started reading to me.  The early morning dew on the ground as she took aim, and shot her first buck.  I don’t know who was more excited, her or I.  All of this playing though my head, while outwardly, I let absolutely nothing escape to be seen by anyone.


The long torturous stillness of waiting, having no control, being able to DO nothing.  I felt surely I was going mad, but refused to show any concern or worry.  I wonder how people manage, how they deal with the not knowing. 


Finally the phone rings, almost 3 hours later.   “She’s OK, no internal injuries or even broken bones.  She does have a concussion, and her hand has been skinned, literally, but she’s OK” B-A said.  I hugged my wife and breathed a huge sigh of relief.  I suddenly felt completely drained, used up, consumed, weak.  Still not allowing anything to show, I snuck off to the other room and fell apart where no one could see.   How is it possible to hold so much love for one person.


She was driving, and had been drinking (2 strikes) she’s only 17  (3 strikes) I never said she was an angel, but she is my Pumpkin.  I’m just so thankful I still have her even if she is not here beside me.

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pamibe said...

Thank God she's going to be okay! I didn't know I was holding my breath until the very end of the post...

You can let go now, Eric. {hug}

Jena Isle said...

Yes, Thank God she is okay. I too held my breath up to the last. It is indeed strong of you to be able to hide your emotions successfully. i know how that will feel afterwards, like some deflated balloon, you just collapse. ,,,A very well recounted event.

You're a blessing to your folks as you are a pillar they can lean on. Kudos to you.

Vixen said...

Thank God she is alright. I know there is nothing your kids can do that makes you stop feeling that love. Nothing.

I also know, very well, how it is to be the strong one. And how the private breakdowns are really the hardest.

Thinking of you, sweetie.

the walking man said...

Eric...been there done that. Sat for 5 days while the daughter was in a coma. I feel for you brother. Glad she is going to be better.

derfina said...

Hallelujah! So glad to hear she's okay, Eric.

Sandee (Comedy +) said...

Yikes, I was on the edge of my seat reading this. I'm so happy that she's going to be okay. All the strikes can be tended too. She's alive and that's all that really counts. Have a great day. :)

The Grandpa said...

Eric, I know how hard an experience like that can be. I'm sad you had to go through it. And thank you for sharing your feelings with the rest of us. We're thinking of you.

tashabud said...

You've described the events, your feelings, emotions, physical and mental exhaustion afterwards so well; I could see and feel everything. I'm so glad she's okay. My husband is the same way. I've never seen him show his weepy emotions or shed any tears in our over 31 years together, either. Your show of affection to your wife by hugging her was a very important, comforting gesture for her in that situation. You're a very good man. You raising your niece since she was 2 is practically raising her as your own child, so I can understand your deep rooted bond and love for her. I'm glad you're able to relax now. Like Jena, I'm able to breathe a sigh of relief also after finding out she's okay.

I think you could use a hug right now, too from your friends, so consider one from me.


confused said...

the important thing is she will be ok.. to remain the stoic and calm one in that situation is not the easiest thing in the world to do..but neccessary..the capacity for a human being to take in and remain calm in the worst conditions is sometimes amazing..

maggies mind said...

Bless your heart and your Pumpkin's, too. I'm glad she is OK! Hopefully this will have taught her something without a more serious cost. A strong and stoic man is a very good thing, but it's OK to show that you are still human enough to be unsure or scared, too - that's just what I prefer, though, and you know way far better than I what your what your own family needs you to be for them. They are lucky to have you. Sending healing thoughts.

Lilly's Life said...

Oh Eric, what a shock! So glad she is alright. How lucky you all are to love each other so. When it comes to seeing our children hurt it's indeed the worst pain of all. Take Care.

June Saville said...

You revealed yourself to us Eric. Thank you.
Pleased all is well.
June in Oz

forsythia said...

A cliff-hanger of a story. So glad she is OK, although a concussion is no little thing. May she learn a life-affirming lesson from this experience.

Eric S. said...

First off, please let me thank everyone for their concern, well wises, and prayers. I am truly touched, and we appreciate all of you.

N-M is doing OK, she has a broken arm, a "de-gloved" hand, a concussion, and some serious road rash on her shoulder. Not to mention a myriad of bumps, bruises and what not. She may still lose some fingers, but she is alive.

You all have helped me to handle this more than I can describe. I will forever remember this, and treasure our little community. Thank you with all my heart

Eric S. said...

@ Preambie, Thank you so much,

@ Jena, Thank you, it was a tough night, and I ended up reverting to some old traits.

@ Vixen, thank you, your so sweet. You are right, there is nothing they can do, to lessen the love.

@ The Walking Man, Thank you, wow five days, I think I would have had total breakdown, or total loss of sanity. The waiting is the hardest.

@ Derfina, Thank you, I appreciate it.

@ Sandee, Thank you so much, and yes the strikes can be erased, thank god shes alive.

@ The Grandpa, Thank you so much. It was a new experience to be on this side of the bad news.

@ Tasha, sweet girl, thank you ever so much. I appreciate your friendship more than you'll know. You have all been such a help.

@ Confused, Thank you so much, yes indeed the human spirit is amazing. It's not always good to go stoic, but it is a shield, safety blanket, what ever you want to call it, and sometimes needed.

@ Maggies Mind, Thank you so much, I appreciate your kind words and thoughts along with your friendship. Like I told Confused, it is a shield for me, and a trait from years past. I too hope she has learned some serious lessons.

@ Lilly, thank you so much. We are lucky, yes indeed we are. The fear was the worst for me. I can bear her pain, but not her loss.

@ June, Thank you, yes I felt like I had to get it off my chest before I reverted to my old self, and closed certain doors in my mind forever.

@ Forsythia, Thank you , and I hope she learns a lesson, the cost to her will be high enough.

Again, everybody, thank you, your comments, well wishes and prayers mean a lot to me.

LarryG said...

saying a prayer for NM and y'all...

Kate said...

Hi - Can't believe I missed your blog until now in my blog comments. This is a great little blog.
So glad everything is alright. Maybe this is a needed turning point.

redchair said...

Amazing and endearing story, Eric.
She's very lucky in many ways- but mainly in having someone like you love her so much.

Eric S. said...

@ LarryG, Thank you so much for your prayers.

@ Kate, Welcome, and make yourself at home. Thank you also, and I hope so much that this makes some changes, and teaches a lesson.

@ Vikki, Thanks you ever so much. You are so kind, and a very good friend.

Summer said...

Sorry I'm just now reading this. I'm so glad she's okay. She'll be in my prayers.

I was a hard head too at that age. I know the best lessons I learned were from the worst experiences.

Liara Covert said...

Human beings evolve as the result of learning from their choices. It is clear from the situation you describe that it was not your daughter's time to leave this world. Any scare is a like a wake-up call to raise awareness about our behaviours and its implications. I have known people to suddenly become consciously discover they are seriously ill. Some have had heart attacks and other close calls. In many of these cases, the individuals took heed of the warnings and changed their thoughts and actions. We are each given many second chances. It is up to us to take advantage of them and to love ourselves and others unconditionally to help each other heal and grow.

Myst_72 said...

I'm so pleased she's going to be o.k.


LceeL said...

I saw this yesterday. I've been so distracted by Beany going missing I just couldn't think straight enough to make any real sense. I'm glad she's not seriously hurt. And it's also a picture of you, perhaps a bit more complete, that you have raised someone else's child as if she were your own. Only really special people do that kind of stuff. Really special.

Anonymous said...

Being Stoic and solid is all well and good, but it is really, really hard to do. I'm glad that you took some time to break down, where nobody could see you. I am so much the same way. I will only cry when there is nobody around to see me cry.

You are one hell of a dude, Bro...

Eric S. said...

@ Summer, Thanks I Know, Most of us were hard headed at that age. Unfortunately, it is usually the worst experiences that teach us the most.

@ Liara Covert, Thanks, it is up to her, I just hope it sinks in. She has a habit of laying blame on every one else. I just hope she can see it was her choices that caused this.

@ Myst72, thank you and welcome.

@ Lou, Thanks I have to get over to your site. I have been seriously distracted myself lately.

@ Tinaleigh, kind of a family trait huh. One I have been trying to break. Thanks sis.

Barbara(aka Layla) said...

Eric! I am so sorry about this. I am catching up with blogs (due to my own family issues, etc) and am glad to hear she will be ok. You are a good man. I felt your pain as I read this.

Eric S. said...

Barbara, thank you very much. She is doing much better, but has a long road ahead of her. I hope your family issues were not as drastic as mine.


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