Mommypants Moment – Yielding
Today’s Mommypants Moment is from Kris of Pretty All True. Kris is an amazing writer who can make you cry – from beauty, from laughter, from heartbreak. Check out her blog if you haven’t before. I guarantee you will be entertained and enthralled. I am beyond thrilled to have her here today and to bring you this piece about motherhood.
A hospital room.
So small beneath the sheet. So many bandages.
Her long blond hair pulled back and matted dark with blood.
Dirty rusty stains against her skin.
I reached to run a finger along her cheek, and small bits of rust flaked away beneath my touch. Her skin beneath the blood still perfect. Me and yet not me.
I tried not to think of the skin beneath the bandages.
Tried not to remember the flow of inside to out in bright pulsing red along the pavement.
Tried and failed to stop the flood of memories . . .
I sat and talked over a cup of coffee.
Waited for her arrival.
A sudden unexpected breathless stranger at the door, “Your girl’s been hurt! She got hit by a car!”
Hearts stopped and started again . . . adrenaline fueling a desperate race from the house down the hill to the middle of the large road she should never have been expected to cross alone.
To find her lying in the road, halfway beneath the car, which was still running.
So much blood.
Her face was covered in blood.
Someone called 911.
She was all alone.
So I knelt.
I held her hand and smoothed the bloody hair from her face. Urged her to lie quietly. Caressed her cheek.
Someone finally thought to turn the car off.
Her eyes were filled with blood and panic, and she spoke just once, asking me, “Am I going to die?”
I did not know.
But I did not say that. I leaned down and whispered into her ear, “Babe, it’s going to be really bad. And it’s going to hurt a lot. You are going to have to ride in an ambulance and you are going to have to go to the hospital. It’s going to be really bad. But only for a while, because you are NOT going to die.”
And she stared into my eyes as blood ran onto the street, and she said, “OK, then.”
In that moment, I would have given anything in the world to know that my promise held truth.
The ambulance arrived.
They would only let one person ride in the ambulance with her, and so I stepped back.
I watched the lights flash as it sped away.
My whispered promises that she would not die hung heavily within me. She trusted me and I had promised what was not mine to give. I promised.
I drove myself to the hospital with bloodied hands on the wheel.
Waited helplessly until they let me see her again.
Me and yet not me.
She did not die.
I had promised that she wouldn’t.
And in that moment of promising what was not mine to give?
In that moment in which she trusted in me absolutely?
I yielded to hope and helplessness.
I yielded to faith.
I learned something of what it was to be a mother.
Something of what was going to be required.
From my much younger sister.
Who did not die.