We have made our reservations to fly out of BWI to Nashville - one way because who knows when we'll return. I haven't been able to rest and am trying to think straight enough to know what to throw into a suitcase and what other things I may need for this journey e.g. my address book so I can finish making phone calls at some point. Who the hell knows.... I just throw shit into my suitcase, somehow I'll figure it out! Jim has the foresight to pack a suit. All the toys for the children still lay upon the pool table.
Our neighbor is taking us to the airport where we'll meet Joe, Sr. for a 9:30 flight......... Security is excruciatingly tough because the three of us are traveling on one-way tickets. Without thinking Jim has his 14 karat gold pocket knife that had been a Christmas gift in his pocket. That was confiscated never to be seen again! It is less that a year since 9/11. We beg and plead our case to no avail and are practically strip searched! We desperately beg to be seated together. I am positively numb and Joe's dad keeps asking me over and over if there could be a mistake. He needs my comfort and reassurance. Jim needs a drink!
We land in Nashville, get our luggage, Jim goes to get the rental car. Joe, Sr. and I step outside to wait for Jim. I start shaking uncontrollably. Joe, Sr. asks if I am cold. Cold? It's 100 fucking degrees with the humidity just as high. I tell him I'm scared and with that he walks back inside leaving me alone in a virtual vortex of strangers. Just when I'm dying from being sucked under and not being able to breath Jim pulls up in the rental car! I'd probably smoked 20 cigarettes at that point~:) Somehow we find our way to Vanderbilt University Hospital.......... it's been about 14 hours since the crash and less than 12 since we got the news.
As we wind out way through a maze of confusing hallways and wings we finally arrive at the children's acute care wing where we were met by a multitude of family members of the surviving girls. Everyone's eyes fell upon us as we walked in. Some were too frightened to know what to say, others just quietly came to give a gentle hug. My first question was where is Joe? I did not know where my son had been taken. I knew he, Janet and the boys had never been taken to the hospital. I knew the morgue was done with them and they had been dispersed but I didn't know where Joe was. Someone told me that he had been taken to a funeral home in Centreville - there had not been any next of kin to give instructions to the morgue. Jesus!! How would I have known?? We found out the place he'd been taken did not have room for him and no means to keep him properly e.g. refrigeration. I fucking lost it and started yelling to Jim to get on the damn phone immediately to get him moved to where Janet and the boys were, which was a funeral home in Jackson and hour or 2 away.
I was then taken to see my granddaughter, Laura, in critical care. God!! There lay my precious granddaughter, my son's firstborn, on a ventilator, dialysis and all kinds of tubes and shit running out of her broken body. She had to have a complete bowel resection, several inches of her intestine removed, two broken arms, crushed clavicle, severe neck and brain injuries and a multitude of non-life threatening injuries. She was heavily sedated but when her mother told her Gran was here her little eyes fluttered and she got a tiny little smile.
That's all I can do today...... too much emotion. I'm in meltdown mode.