January 14th, 2007 - Part 1

It was really early...something like 3:30am. I awoke to the phone ringing in the living room. I am a really light sleeper...and although it wasn't uncommon for us to get phone calls at this hour due to Scott's job, I knew...deep down, something was wrong. It was my dad, he didn't sound ok. He proceeded to tell me with a quivering voice that my brother had been in a very bad car accident in North Dakota a few hours before, that they had transported him to the hospital and that he and my mom were getting ready to leave.

It was at that moment that I quickly remembered some things. That he had been home just a short week before. He was special to my grandma and she to him. So when she was in her last days he made the long drive home to spend some time with her. After she passed Zach came home. He spent a few days here, but while he was here each and every one of us had an "encounter" with him. A time that was unique and special and gave us each a sense of thankfulness that he had been home, even before we knew what the next week would hold.
He was able to spend and entire day here at my house with the 3 children and I. Sylvi was only a few weeks old and he loved on her like there was no tomorrow. He made memories with the older two, that to this day, Lilly still reminds me of without prompting. It was pure. Which wasn't the case a year before. Little did we know that my parents would get that phone call a short week later.

After I got off the phone with my dad, I was confused, but he had asked me to call our pastor and that's what I did. Before 4:00am I awoke our pastor to tell him of the news and to begin praying. From there it grew...the prayers began church wide and beyond. I sat in the living room crying, but not really sure why yet. I mean..."it was just an accident" I thought. "I am sure he will be fine!". "Should I go?". Zach had been in the hospital many time. From when he was young and tore his nose open, or when he was 15 and had a stroke and many more minor incidents from dirt biking or using power tools. So why would this time be any different...he would get better and come home. But something in me just knew it was worse than that.
Scott heard me crying and came to the living room. He knew something was wrong...and just hugged me. I pleaded that "he will be ok right?". Scott said I should go. He said I should call my sisters and see if they wanted to go...because if we wanted to be there we should go. So I did...and they wanted to go. But I had just had a baby and I was a nursing mom so Sylvi accompanies us also. As hard as I knew the 7 hour drive would be she had to come with.
So we all got ready, I cried, and then lifted up my chin and convinced myself that the drive would be swift and before you knew it we would be in his hospital room joking about the "scare" he gave us. We all sat around our dining room table waiting to leave...like we just couldn't go. Eventually, about 9:30 we left.
The drive was long and monotonous. Sylvi slept most of the time. We discussed unrelated things to keep our minds off of the happenings. I would look in the rear view mirror and see my younger sis Reg with tears rolling down her cheek. I think, looking back, we all knew it was serious. By now we had heard the story. My parents had told us that Zach and his friend Jordan had left a restaurant early in the morning to go back to the rural ranch they worked at. It was then that Zach crashed the Tahoe he was driving. He swerved to one side, the police say, and then over corrected and rolled the vehicle. It threw them out of the windows quite a ways. Another farmer found them and called the ambulance. I can't remember exactly, but I think Jordan was pronounced dead at the scene and they had Zach on life support. The Dr.'s had been kind in telling my parents and not really let on the severity of the situation. We know now that they were basically "keeping" him alive until they go there. But that he didn't have any brain activity from the time that they picked him up at the scene.


Miss said…
I cant look at his picture without crying. I cant think of you guys without crying. I have NO idea how YOU are getting through today.

This is the most I have ever heard you talk about the day. I hope that is a good sign when you can lay it all out there....as I said, I love you and am praying.
That is beautiful, and thanks for sharing. My brother was in an accident as well (as you know) and it is the same types of feelings of numbness, disbelief and shock as you think of the time.
I will continue to pray for you, and your family, as you go through these hard days. I am so glad you had a chance to spend time with him before he died.
Barbara said…
This morning you were the first thing on my mind.

I remember visiting Zach in the hospital when he had his stroke. For some reason your mom was not in the room when I got there and Zach was sleeping. I just stood there looking at him for the longest time. He was so beautiful. He had the sweetest smile and made everyone he came in contact with feel so special.

I hope God shows you tender mercies today.

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