Written by Kat
I did get to the hospital in time to see Caleb before they flew him to Dallas. I honestly don't know how I made it there, the drive is such a blur. I was crying so hard I was hyperventilating and nothing my mom said over the phone could calm me down. I was terrified. All I cared about was laying my eyes on him so that I knew he wasn't dying.
You worry about the ones you love getting in car accidents but you don't imagine exactly what the repercussions could be. You don't imagine that it could change every aspect of your life together from that point on.
His face was covered in dirt and grime and blood and his eye was swollen shut. That wasn't him lying there. It couldn't be. He was supposed to be sitting at his desk at work. I couldn't even see the rest of his body because they had him wrapped in blankets and strapped in ready to go to the helicopter. As soon as I saw him I just wanted to be strong for him so he wouldn't worry about me, but I couldn't help it. Tears welled up in my eyes and I couldn't hold them back. A tear rolled down his face. I kept telling him "you're okay, everything is okay, I love you," until they took him away. Bless his heart, he just wanted to make sure I wasn't worried. Even in his agony and confusion he was concerned and trying to take care of me.
This is the last picture I have of us together, three days before his accident.
Just one week before the accident we had celebrated our second anniversary together. In six days Caleb would be turning twenty-one. A time that should be so happy for us was wrought with fear. I wanted to take Caleb out and buy him his first legal beer and make a big deal out of the fact that the love of my life was another year older. All I cared about now was him making it to see that birthday.
I rode with Caleb's mom and step dad down to Parkland Hospital in Dallas. It seemed like 10 years before we got there.
Caleb lay in that hospital bed, broken in half, for two days before they performed surgery. His total injuries were a brain injury, a broken back, a broken shoulder blade, a broken rib, deep gashes on his arm, and a broken vertebrae in his neck.
This was the day after the accident.
From February 7th to 13th I stayed in the hospital with him day in and day out and was always by his side every moment that I could be. I cherished every single second there by him with a new appreciation for his life.
I am not the same person that I was before all of this happened, and neither is Caleb. I grew up a whole lot in a short amount of time. Some days I was the only person there to try to advocate for him. I had to listen to all of the important things the doctors told me and try to relay it all to the multitude of people who needed to know. I was the one who stayed in his room at night and I was so afraid to go to sleep and have him wake up alone or scared. The pain medicines made him very confused and out of it for much of the time. My parents were out of town before all of this happened and wouldn't be getting back for several days so I had no one there to truly lean on and cry to.
So, I prayed.
And I prayed.
And I prayed some more.
Every spare second I was talking with God and telling Him how much I needed Caleb to be okay.
The prognosis never changed, though. Every doctor that came in told us that Caleb would never walk again. For some reason, that just didn't feel right to me. I had a mysterious faith that he would. I still do. The words "never walk again" felt like a lie when I said them and I couldn't exactly explain why. I still have faith that someday Caleb will get better.
I don't dwell on the things that we can no longer do together. Caleb is no different to me. He just happens to be sitting down most of the time. Although some things take us longer than they had previously, all that I can think about is how lucky I am to get to be with the one I love. There are many, many aspects of our life that we had planned that will go much differently now. Something as simple as our first dance at our wedding will need to be rethought. We just continue to move forward, roll with the punches, and love hard.
Despite the terror and confusion and heartbreak of that week, we didn't blame God. We weren't asking "Why?" God clearly showed His presence on more than one occasion in that time.
Read our next story to find out about the blessings we received.