Monday, November 7, 2011


Sometimes in life you are given the chance to put your life into perspective. We were given that opportunity on October 8th to do just that.

The day started out normal enough. It was a cloudy and drizzly morning and Jon was at the farm waiting for their new tractor to arrive. I went to the farm later that morning to sign papers for the tractor and had left Jonnie and Sawyer at home. After signing, I needed to run errands and asked the boys if they wanted to come with me or stay with dad at the farm and see the new tractor. On ANY other day, they would have went to the farm and hung out with dad for the day, but this time they chose to come with me to pick up Alaina and run errands.

After picking up Alaina, we went out for lunch and did a few more things and was having a good day hanging out together. The last thing I wanted to do was go to the craft show in town. Outside the craft show I decided to feed Cora in the car and got a call from Jon telling me that he was headed to a town about an hour away to pick up a chrome pipe for the new tractor. I was annoyed and told him so and we ended up hanging up with me being mad and saying it was foolish, not needed, etc. So, I went into the craft show and bought a few things and talked to some friends and had a good time. As I was leaving and walking across the parking lot, I saw the Life Link helicopter some distance away. Since it wasn't near the hospital I thought it didn't have anything to do with someone injured, but I said a little prayer anyway as I always do when I see an ambulance or the helicopter. What I didn't know at the time was that it was my husband in that helicopter headed toward Minneapolis.

While I was shopping, Jon was the passenger in his brother's pick-up when a car ran a stop sign and was hit by Jon and Tim (Jon's brother). In the car were two brothers, ages 28 and 29, and both were killed instantly. Jon and Tim flipped over the car after hitting it and rolled head first over it then rolled on the side, as well. Jon suffered from a head injury that was bleeding quite profusely and was unconscious, so the helicopter was called right away to take him to the trauma hospital in Minneapolis, which is about 2 hours from where we live. Tim was conscious and taken by ambulance to the local hospital where he was treated and released. Luckily he didn't have any broken bones, but had many bruises and scrapes, and was very sore.

The kids and I arrived home around 3:00 and didn't have a clue what was going on. The accident happened around 2:30 and it wasn't until a little after 4:00 I got a call from Karen (my mother-in-law) asking me what I knew. I asked her about what and she proceeded to tell me that the boys were in an accident and Tim was at the hospital and will be ok, but that Jon was more critical. That is all she knew and at that moment I felt like my stomach was turned inside out. She told me to head into the hospital right away and find out how he was. I was shaking so bad at this point and then I turned around and saw my three oldest standing there staring at me. They knew something was happening by the tone of my voice. I had them get in the car right away and I'll never forget the ride into the hospital and looking back and seeing all their big eyes filled with tears. I didn't know what I would be arriving to find out, would the kids have their dad anymore? Will I still have my husband? We were all very quiet.

When we arrived at the hospital the ER receptionist couldn't tell me anything and told me to have a seat and someone would be out to talk to me. At that point I thought Jon had died and that was why she wouldn't tell me how he was. I immediately went to the bathroom so I could pull myself together so I could be there for the kids. When I got out a nurse was there waiting to tell me that Jon was airlifted from the scene and was already at the hospital there and all she knew was that he was unconscious at the accident and that he arrived at the hospital and they were working on him. Not much information but at least I knew he was alive.

I had called my parents on my way to the hospital and they arrived just as I was told the news. They offered to drive me and Cora to the hospital and Karen said she would drive the other three with her after they went back home to get a few supplies. I just wanted to get there and still had to drive 2 hours-it was the longest drive ever! A friend of ours ended up driving our car to fit all the kids and Jon's parents in, so we are forever grateful to him.

After about an hour in the car something came over me and I can't really explain what the feeling was, but I all of a sudden knew everything was going to be ok. I just knew that Jon was going to be ok, if not right away, then eventually. So, when we finally arrived and finally got to the ER room he was located in, I felt pretty calm. That was until I saw him laying on the bed. Nothing can quite prepare you for seeing your husband covered in blood, hooked up to machines. I couldn't even talk as the lump in my throat hurt so bad. He was actually talking and grabbed my hand right away. What was really sweet was that Cora at this point hadn't eaten in hours and was crying in the hall and one of the first things he said to me was, "that sounds like my baby" and then he smiled. I was so happy and relieved to see him, but it was so awful seeing him in pain. He was also repeating the same questions over and over which was kind of scary, but the doctors assured me it was normal.

Jon's sister and her daughter were already there when we got there and I was so happy to see them and that they were able to get there and be with him until I could. A couple of his aunt's were there as well right away and that was so nice, too. The rest of that evening is kind of one big blur. They eventually cleaned him up in the ER before moving him to his own room to wait before he went into surgery. He needed to have surgery on his arm that was pretty injured and also to clean his head wound and staple it up. At this point we knew that Jon had a head injury, his arm injury, a couple broken ribs, other lacerations on his hands and arms that needed stitches, and lots of bruises. He was VERY lucky in that it could of been much worse.

After we moved up to a room the kids arrived with Jon's parents. Sawyer immediately went up to his dad and held his hand, which was so sweet. Jon and Alaina also went up to him right away but both were feeling a little nauseous and I could see how worried they were. My sister Danielle drove down from 2 hours away to be with me and for that I am forever grateful. She helped me a lot that night and the next day.

Here is Jon waiting to go into surgery...

While we were waiting for him to go into surgery, his grandma arrived with his Aunt Jan and Uncle Dan. Also, a good friend from high school he doesn't see very often came to see him. I don't think he remembers much about that night, but he does remember the people there and it meant so much to him that they came to see how he was.

Later that night I sent the three oldest kids home with my parents and Cora stayed with me along with my sister and Karen. I was actually comforted having Cora with me and she was a good girl. She wasn't quite 3 months so she was a nice age to have in the hospital. Jon's surgery went well and I don't think any of us slept that night. I was still in disbelief that this was all happening to us.

The next day Jon had many visitors. Even his brother came to see how he was doing because he felt so guilty and wanted to see for himself that Jon was OK. Tim was very sore and it meant so much to Jon that he would come see him. He also passed all the tests the doctors and nurses were performing and they told us he could go home the next day since everything was going so good. I was shocked but we were told that they are a trauma hospital and once the trauma is taken care of they send you home to recover. That made sense I guess, but it was hard to think he could go home when he couldn't even walk. They also showed me how to care for his arm, which was very intimidating-the worst part was packing gauze in a hole under his arm so that it could heal from the inside out. But I did it and really it was not that terrible. The only part I really hated was when he would flinch or get really pale-I hated seeing him pain.

The next day Jon was able to come home and the kids were there waiting. They had made signs welcoming him home and it made us all a little teary. They were so relieved to have their dad home! Dex was happy to have him home, too!

It is now the end of November and I am finally finishing this post. Jon continues to heal. His head is all healed up and he has some trouble with memory but we were told that takes time. His arm continues to heal and looks really good, though he will have some pretty major scars there. I am quite proud that Karen and I took such good care of it and it never became infected.

I feel blessed every day to have him still with us. At times I still tear up in the shower when it all hits me that he could have died. I have put my life into perspective and know what is important and what is not. I try to tell those I love that I love them everyday because honestly things could change in a split second and I always want them to know. As we just finished up with Thanksgiving, I definitely know what I am thankful for.