Wednesday, September 2, 2009

at least her tongue isn't bleeding::retold

brinley was four years old last september. she and callie were best of friends. while everyone else was off at school, brinley and callie ruled the roost and played and played together. brinley who had been endowed with a good amount of sass had met her match in callie. they were the perfect pair.

on september eighth brinley's routine was thrown helter skelter. her mom and sister who she relied on each morning to be with her, were both gone. she had been at home when the accident happened and she knew that callie was badly hurt. it was painful to see brinley the first week following callie's life flight to phoenix. for the most part she kept her head in her chest and spoke very little to anyone. she was confused and scared and sad and it showed.

i felt one day that brinley should come spend some time with the boys and i. she had been staying at home now that my brother justin and his wife alisha had moved in to care for the kids and on many days our dear cousin kimberly would take her into her home to play with her two little girls. but i wanted to take her for a few days and so i called up alisha and made the drive to show low to pick her up. i smiled when i saw her, hair in pigtails with red ribbons tied tightly to them. i thought it such a sweet gesture that alisha had put such an effort into her hair fixing routine. we gathered her things into the car and headed home.

brinley didn't say much on the drive home but she did take an interest in my camera. i handed it to her and she snapped pictures of our sleepy passengers and smiled at herself. when we got home she wanted to see them again and she beamed with pride at the quality and giggled at how silly the boys looked while sleeping. garrett's many chins resting on his chest as lay cradled in his car seat and gage's mouth gaping open.

we had a good time together. we made crafts, we played outside, made homemade marshmallows and drank way to much hot cocoa. but still brinley wasn't wanting to talk to me. on the rare occasions that my mom could call, it was difficult to get brinley to take the phone. and then she just nodded and bit her lip.

i could however hear her talking to gage when the two of them would play alone in his bedroom. she would tell him what character he was playing in their next story and tell him "careful gage" when he would get a little wild and bump himself. {which happened a lot.} but as soon as i barged in on their space all i got was silence.

one afternoon while garrett napped we bundled up and headed outside. brinley had her eye on gage's miniature sized rhino and now was the perfect time to let them use it. it required hands on supervision and for the time being my hands were free. brinley hopped in the driver seat and gage opted for the back. he stood up and held on to the rails and off they went. it was a rough ride to say the least through our graveled drive. brinley would floor it and then stop abruptly to look back and check on her nephew. on one such of these sudden halts, gage's face connected with the rail and he chomped down hard on his tongue. the bleeding was pretty good so we rushed inside to get a cold cloth.

as he sat there on the counter crying and bleeding i couldn't help but notice the concern on brinley's face. it seemed that this tiny wound had sparked something from her memory. before i could say anything brinley asked, "is he going to be okay?" i assured her that he would be fine. he had just bitten his tongue. to that brinley replied in a very serious and grateful tone, "oh. at least callie didn't bite her tongue." i wanted to laugh but i didn't because it was obvious that brinley was truly deeply grateful that callie had not bit her tongue. i simply said "yes. that is good for callie." and brinley concludes, "yeah poor gage. and poor callie, but at least her tongue isn't bleeding."

it sounds silly now but i was so grateful at the time that brinley had found a positive point to callie's condition. brinley saw callie's tiny body covered in blood and being rushed to my mom's arms before being taken away in an ambulance. that was her last memory of callie up to that point. what a hard thing for a four year old to carry. but at least her tongue wasn't bleeding, there was hope!

now on days when i start feeling sorry for myself i sometimes stop to laugh and think back to our days with brinley and say to myself, well at least my tongue isn't bleeding.


Anonymous said...

I don't know how you do it, but you put so much emotion into what you write. I was so moved by this story. What a little optimist.

journey to ivf said...

that was quite a story , i agree.

hi. i a a first time visitor here. i am seeking other family related blogs. we are on a journey of infertility but hoping to turn into a journey of fertility soon. you babies are sweet.

nice to meet you.


Anonymous said...