A phone call I wont forget

November 22,2000.

Thanksgiving weekend.

I was living away from my family for the first time, and by away, I mean in Seattle. All by myself. Just me and AJ, who was 7 at the time. I also happened to be 8 months pregnant, and miserable. I have never been one of those women who enjoys being pregnant. I am fat, I have heartburn, I cannot sleep, and I was missing my family.

Really missing my family.

My sister, her husband and their 6 year old daughter, Alyssa, were driving from Denver, CO to spend Thanksgiving in Oklahoma with my parents and brother. Chalk it up to hormones, but I was depressed. Both AJ and I wanted to be there, but it was impossible. I decided to move out to Seattle, a decision which I do not regret, but I did still miss my family.

I had talked to my sister early in the morning, wishing her a safe trip, asked her to take plenty of pictures, and reassured her that I am fine. Even though I was feeling sorry for myself, I still had planned on cooking a delicious Thanksgiving spread, just the way mom used to.

I went through my day, preparing as much as I could at night, so I would have less work in the morning.

Early evening, the phone rang. Called ID told me it was my dad. He was probably just calling to let me know my sister and her family arrived safely.

Me~ Hi Dad.

Dad~ Hey kid, how are you doing?

Me~ Good good, did they make it there?

Dad~ Well….. there was an accident.

An accident? My heart sunk, yet, wait a minute, this could be one of his weird jokes. He does that a lot.

Me~ What?

Dad~ there was an accident. Carolyn, Dan and Alyssa were in an accident, a pretty bad one.

Me~ Huh?……. What…….? Are you serious?

Dad~ Yeah Babe, I am.

The tears had already begun, I knew nothing of what happened, was everyone okay, I knew nothing, yet I could not stop crying,

Me~ Well is everyone okay? What happened?

Dad~ Carolyn was driving, there is a real bad snow storm, she merged into on coming traffic and they got hit head on.

My legs just about gave out from under me. Please God, please let this be some kind of joke, or better yet a mistake. I had to sit down. Waiting, hoping, that at any second my dad would put Carolyn on the phone, and everyone would get a good laugh about how naive I am.

Me~ Are they okay? What is going on? Where are they?

Dad~ They are alive, but….

My heart was beating so fast, AJ was standing beside me, not quite knowing what to do. I could no longer hold it together.

Me~ But what??????

Dad~ Alyssa cannot feel her legs.

I was shaking, I was crying, this was not happening, not to our family. What does that mean she cannot feel her legs? Why is this happening, why?

That phone call was the first of many I had with my Dad over Thanksgiving weekend. It was bad. Both my sister and brother in law had to have surgery. My 6 year old niece could not feel her legs, and no one knew if she would ever walk again.

That phone call changed a lot of things that night.

In November it will be 11 years since, what my family now refers to as “The Accident”. My sister and brother in law still have problems related to “The Accident”, and my niece, well, she never regained the use of her legs.

But she is still with us, and if anyone dares to cross her, be certain she will run them over in her wheelchair.

\This post was a writing prompt from Mama Kats “Writer “Workshop”

Mama’s Losin’ It


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20 thoughts on “A phone call I wont forget

  1. OMGosh I have chills and am fighting back tears. I can't imagine getting that call. I'm sure this was hard to share…thank you. I found you via Mama Kat's.

  2. Wow, what a powerful story. I am so sorry for the tragic accident that your family endured but so happy they are still alive to talk about it. Your niece is an inspiration!

  3. Wow, Jennifer, what a phone call…I am so glad you can write that they are here, and while not how they used to be, they are still here to love on and to laugh with. I'm so sorry your family went through that.

  4. I definitely have tears running down my face. Wow, just the thought of my own sister and family being in an accident makes me feel physically and mentally sick to my stomach. I was so glad to read that they are here and doing well. Sounds like your niece is a fighter. : )
    Stopping by from Mama Kats and I'm now your newest follower.
    -http://leahainla.blogspot.com/

  5. Oh, I knew someone would write about a very unhappy phone call. I'm so glad everyone is okay. Life can turn on a dime, can't it? My heart goes out to all of you – even 11 years later.

  6. That is definitely not a phone call one could ever forget. So glad they all survived. Your niece sounds like a spunky one! Loved that last line.

  7. Thank God they did survive, although at that moment I am sure it seemed like little consolation. It seems a lot of us did this prompt, and if seems like just yesterday for all of us.

  8. Sis, wow…. that was the first time I read about “the accident ” in a very long time, instant tears when I just read the title, because I knew what it would be about. We are so very lucky to be here. The car only had the drivers seat sitting in the highway, nothing else, looking as if it was crushed at a junkyard. I will never forget when daddy and I went to see our “car” … the owner of the towing company said ” are you sure you are ready to see your car” … I replied with yes.. I am ready . He showed us to the car and what a disaster. He looked over to the car beside ours (which had no damage , but a few dents ) and said ” maam' you are very lucky.. this car had 5 fatalities. Devastating. The Good Lord was not ready for us. thank you sis for reminding me of how lucky we are.

  9. I'm so sorry Jennifer. No wonder you will never forget that call. I always try to see the silver lining in any situation, but this is a tough one. I guess at least they are still here and you get to see and talk with them. That's a plus.

  10. Thank you Jennifer for posting this. It is a testimony of God's will. I never wanted to get that news. But it must have been so much worse for you, being all alone, and already wanting to be there with your family. Yes we are blessed to have them in our lives!! And yes Alyssa is a spunky one!! ~ Lisa

  11. Oh my… I am so sorry for what you and your family had to endure (and still endure as a result). Thank you for sharing this story with us…

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