When the cars collided, my mom was thrown from the car, and found many feet behind us. My father suffered from a seatbelt burn and major glass from the windshield imbedded in his skin. I hit my head on the light in the center of the car. I remember my father taking me out of the car, and then I can picture him setting me on the other side of the ditch while he ran to find my mother. I have a memory of the car then spinning and spinning. This did not happen, but rather I passed out.
I remember at some point being inside of the Ronald McDonald house, and there was a room filled with stuffed animals. I am not sure who was staying there.
When I was in my hospital bed asleep one night I had a dramatic dream about scary lobsters ready to eat me under my bed. I called and called for my father. He slept in the chair next to me that night. The funny part was that the lobsters were bright red, which only happens after you cook them.
Another morning, when I regained my walking ability, my dad took me to the cafeteria for breakfast. I distinctly remember picking up a box of fruit loops. The woman behind the counter asked if I was eating breakfast with my grandfather, and I was very confused. My father has had white hair for as long as I can remember and many people have mistaken him for my grandpa. But I had just suffered from a fractured skull a.k.a. a major brain injury and I could not figure out what she was talking about.
When I arrived home from the hospital a lot of my extended family was there. I remember than my aunt and uncle were there from California. There was a small 6 inch ramp that was between the bathroom and the dining room in our home and I can think back to walking up the ramp to use the restroom. But when I was coming down I fell, hard. I can feel the pain now. My dad carried me to the couch as I screamed and cried. He thought that I had a charlie horse and so he started massaging me where I said my leg hurt. Turns out I had a broken femur that the doctors had missed when they were so focused on my head.
My entire family made it out okay. We survived the accident and I am so thankful. It is a big part of why our family is so closely knit. I am fascinated that I have such clear memories of such a big event in my life even if it was at such a young age, and I had a head injury at that! I don't have many other memories from my childhood and I think that even though some of the parts I remember are quite silly, I knew that the event was something I would need to remember in the future, even if I didn't understand it at the time. I am thankful for the few memories that I have from that traumatic time. Without them, I don't think I would feel so connected and thankful for my family.