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I Survived the Phone Call

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Day's pass and turning into years. If ones lucky they can remember what they did the day before. I'm one of these people. But like all people some day's stay with you forever. Events, people and even oneself can often trigger days like these. My unforgettable day innocently started with just a phone call. A phone call I will always remember.

My husband, Roy, and I took our son of a year and a half to his grandparent's house early one May afternoon for a visit. The day was beautiful, sunny and warm, but it didn't stay that way for long a storm was approaching. Dad was out in his shop, tinkering on one of his latest projects and Roy was off picking up our brunch at the local store. Mom and I were in the kitchen fixing the trimmings for a fried chicken, and fried potatoes, brunch. We had been chatting away, about how fast kids seem to grow up these days. Devin, my son, had grown extremely fast and Donald, my older sister, Monica's son had shot up as well. Donald had grown roughly a half a head in the past month. I couldn't believe he was already nearing the age of seven, his birthday, in July was just around the corner.

While we busied ourselves setting the table, Devin scurried around our feet, playing with his toys and mimicking his Nana and me. Just when we were setting the last of the preparations for dinner, Roy walked in toting the fried chicken. He always had a big smile and a kiss for me. He stopped to ruffle our son's hair and then told Nana he was heading outside to get Pop. Shortly after Pop came in and washed up we sat down to eat.

It couldn't have been more than fifteen minutes into our brunch, when the phone rang. Mom got up to answer it; I made a joke about how it probably was Monica, my sister. She had wanted me to come down that day, I was feeling lazy and hadn't wanted to drive down there, the funny thing was it wasn't any further of a distance to her place than my parents, just a different direction.

My mom's color seemed to have drained from her face, as she clutched the table, in what seemed to be her lifeline. The room had settled to an eerie silence, as we all strained to understand what she was saying, " Yes, Oh god. Is she... what? Okay, we'll be right there!" she then passed the phone to Dad, he hung it up after checking to make sure the call was over. I remember shaking, terrified to find out what Mom had just heard, I knew from her expression that something was terribly wrong. I looked at her wide eyed with emotion, and silently begged her to answer what everyone else and I needed to know. Who had been hurt. I had placed my hand on hers, as if it would soften the blow of what she was about to say. I didn't help. I heard the words rip from her heart as she said; " It's Monica, she has had a terrible accident. She's had a serious head trauma and we need to go and get Donald immediately." With those words, she bounded from the table, her heavy oak chair crashed to the floor as she frantically searched for her purse. It was lying in the same place as it constantly had been. I sat there dumbfounded, for what seemed like an hour, yet only seconds had passed, as I watched her walk past her purse three times, not even realizing it myself.

I remember hearing a voice in my head, although I couldn't say whose, telling me to get a grip and think of what would be best to do next. I immediately came up with what I felt was a reasonable answer, " Mom," I said cautiously, " Mom, why don't we wait. I mean, if she's had a head injury, then they will life bird her to Scared Heart where we can meet her. Someone will have to sign for her medical treatment, after all. When we get there, you two will be able to take over, then Roy and I can go pick up Donald. Monica's neighbor, Trish, is just down the road, if not already there and I'm sure she can watch him for an hour. Trish has watched him for Monica before." Mom remembered the voice on the phone telling her, that Donald had, indeed had, the neighbor there watching him and agreed. I told them I would get in the phone book and find out what was going on. As I went for the book, Dad said he was going to go and gas up the truck. Roy gathered up Devin and got him ready to make a trip, the dinner lay on the table all but forgotten.

The phone book seemed like a lead brick, heavier than it normally would have been. I lifted it to the table and it came down with a loud thud. I grabbed the phone, in one hand, and started flipping the pages, with the other, frantic to find the number of the hospital. Finally, I dialed the number and it seemed like an eternity for someone to answer the phone. "Scared Heart Hospital," said a woman's sweet and gentle voice. I stammered out the words, "yes, umm... I need to find out about a patient that's going to be brought in there. Her name is Monica Olive.. I mean Smiley, and she has a serious head injury, she should be there soon..."

"Hold on dear. Let me see what I can find out, where did you say she was coming from?" she spoke softly. I almost though she was too afraid to talk any louder for fear I might snap. The wait was endless, going on forever, and the silence, on the other end of the phone, screamed out nothingness into my ear. " Ma'am, I can't seem to find any information on her, are you sure they said this hospital?" No, I wasn't sure of anything. " Umm, no, I'll check to see with them again, thanks." I muttered. Then I flipped to the Deaconess Hospital listing and called them, once again I received the same response. No one seemed to have heard of this accident that was taking place even as we spoke. By now I was getting extremely frantic. I slammed the phone book down, scaring my mom, and dialed the only other number I could think of, My sister's. Shaking, I held the phone to my ear, waiting for someone, anyone, to answer. Finally, Jack, Monica's ex-boyfriend answered. "Jack," I said a little puzzled, " what are you... on never mind. What's going on, what hospital are they taking her too." He explained that they were with her now, and that he would go outside and find out where they were taking her, I felt that



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