Sunday, September 7, 2014


 Every day I wake up, and a few seconds later, I remember.  Six days ago, a terrible, terrible car accident took my brother-in-law's life.  My sister is left a widow at 48 years old.  They were driving along a familiar road, not too far from their house, when another driver who was texting ran a stop sign.  She hit a truck, which was catapulted into my sister's car.  My brother-in-law was killed instantly as the bed of the truck hit their car and peeled off the top.  My sister escaped with three broken ribs.  It's been horrendous and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

When we got the call on Labor Day, I heard there was a wreck and that my sister was taken to the hospital at OU's trauma center, and she was getting some tests done.  I assumed since they told me nothing about her husband that he was okay.  Not so.  I found out when I entered the hospital.  Many family members were weeping in the chapel area.  We weren't allowed to see my sister for a couple of hours because she was getting a CT scan, but we were told she was talking.  I felt sick.  We were mourning the loss and hoping for the survivor.  It was awful. Her brother-in-law on her husband's side of the family who is a medical pilot for OU was allowed to go back and see her, and my friend who works there came and was able to go back and check on her and give us updates until they allowed us to go back.  It was a long 2 1/2 hours.  My sister continually was asking about her husband.  I think she knew at the scene but she kept asking people, including me.  I had to tell her that "He didn't make it."  My mother and I spent the night with her at the hospital, as her girls, 17 and 22 years old, found comfort with friends.

We went home the next morning.  Reality hit a little more each day.  Every emotion under the sun has been on our faces this past week.  There were a lot of things I didn't realize go along with a death like this:  Investigation of the accident by OHP, and Medical Examiners, holding up things like releasing his body to the funeral home and being able to get her things from the car.  Finally on Friday they released the car and  someone was able to get her personal things out of the car from the wrecker service.  She lost her husband, her car, her phone, pretty much her whole world, in her eyes.

But being children of God, we have been able to count our blessings!  The fact that he was a Christian and that he died instantly - no pain involved - was a blessing.  People who came to comfort and help at the hospital, a continual flow of meals, love and support, so many beautiful flowers and gifts. He was always helping someone.  So many wonderful stories we've been hearing from those he has touched.

Now the hard stuff begins for my sister.  I spent the first five days with her, protecting her, making her take her medicine, making her rest, trying to help her make decisions.  My husband was a great liaison with the church, arranging for the  memorial service.  We picked her up a rental car, even though now she is a paranoid driver(me too, if we are truthful).  She hasn't driven at all yet.  But she is talking, crying, and healing.  She is planning for the future.  She is processing insurance, thinking about getting another car, trying to figure out what to do with his business, and what she might do with all the projects in his 1800 sq. ft. garage.

Somehow everything is going to be alright.


Lori said...

Yes, reality does stink. I feel so, so bad for all of you...and to think it all started with a texting driver. Oh my. It's great you are able to rejoice that he is in heaven, but it sure is hard for those of you left on this very imperfect earth. Your sister is blessed to have you and your husband to help her through all this first part with so many decisions to make and so much paperwork to do...

Mark Brewer said...

I'm so sorry. Have been thinking of you all this week. Prayers will continue.

Lori said...

Prayers for all of you, still. This week will be hard for everyone. Each day I would think, "It's been ___ days." And today it will be a week. Still not easy.
I loved how you all did the 'leaving' part of the memorial service, allowing everyone to talk to the family members they wanted to if they wished to. I think it was a great step in the healing process for the family, and allowed everyone to be able to visit with who they wanted to - and also so that the family could see who all was there. There were a LOT of people there! She said 550 signed and we had guessed 700. And probably many didn't sign.
It was a great service.
Love you!

Amy Arbuckle said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I will continue to pray for Jana and her girls, along with your family.