This morning I received a call from Brenda (my sister-in-law, Tony's wife).
This call has shaken me to my bones.
It's made me think about the things we take for granted every single day. It's made me think about the things we hang on to that just don't matter.
We all do it.
It's part of life.
But, last night, God gave us all a wake-up call.
The first words out of Brenda's mouth on the phone this morning were:
"Jeanne, we are very lucky to have your brother and your niece and nephew with us today."
I'm not sure I have the details of the story correct, but here's what I understand happened.
Tony was down at the other place (where they used to live south of Tony & Brenda's farm) treating some cattle. As he went to draw an injection of Micotil from the bottle, the syringe slipped and punctured his hand...injecting a small amount of the drug into his hand.
What I didn't know until Brenda explained it to me, is that Micotil is fatal to humans. If injected into a human, they have about 3 to 4 hours to live before their heart gives out on them. (Click here for a link to a story about it.)
Needless to say, I was speechless at this point.
Once the accidental puncture occurred, Tony called Brenda to let her know what was going on and asked her to come get him at the other place.
From the other place, they called the drug company to see what they needed to do and basically were told they had to wait it out. From what they could tell, Tony may not have gotten a big enough dose to harm him...but they weren't sure. He thought it was less than a cc...and that the drug company (Elantra) thought it would take at least 3 cc to cause death. There is no antidote.
After they spoke to Elantra, they drove home. Brenda called a neighbor who was an EMT, Sandra Barger, and asked her to come over to check Tony's blood pressure and advise them as to what they should do next.
In the meantime, they realized that the phone number for Elantra was still down at the other place...and they needed the number. So, Cassy (one month from 17) and AJ (12) jumped into Brenda's Explorer to go get it. (Cassy's an experienced, careful driver.)
Less than 1/2 mile from the place at the top of the hill, they hit some loose gravel going about 40 miles an hour. The vehicle started to fishtail and Cassy overcorrected. She stepped on the brakes as the Explorer spun around and then it rolled. First on its side, then on its top. As it slid on it's top, the vehicle hit a culvert and ended up back on its side.
Believe it or not, Cassy and AJ were okay. They crawled out the passenger window and were walking to a neighbors to call home when Doug MacDonald, a long time family friend, came upon the accident. Not sure, but I think they used his cell to call home. For obvious reasons, both were pretty shaken.
Once Brenda and Tony knew what had happened, they called for the ambulance and then went to the scene with Sandra Barger. AJ had a pretty good bump on his head and Cassy's back / stomach hurt. The sheriff said they were very lucky. The Explorer was totaled and they walked away from it.
The kids didn't want to go in the ambulance, so Tony and Brenda took them to the ER. While there, they were all checked out: Tony, Cassy and AJ.
The doctor didn't think AJ had a concussion and he thought Cassy was okay as well. He told Brenda and Tony to watch them closely the next few days to make sure they didn't show signs of concussion or internal injuries.
As for Tony, he did have a reaction to the Micotil injection but it wasn't fatal. His blood pressure went sky high, but he is okay today.
Everyone is okay.
Thank you, God.
Thank you, God.
Right now...I feel so upset. It's very confusing to be this upset when everyone is okay. I guess it just makes me think about how much I LOVE MY BIG BROTHER...and how much I LOVE CASSY AND AJ...and that this world would be so empty if they weren't sharing it with us.
It makes me think of the "what ifs?" of life.
It makes me realize that nothing is for sure.
It makes me realize just how much I care about EVERYONE in our family.
What are we going to do with this blessing that God has given us?
What are we going to do with the message He is sending?
What if things had been different last night?
What if I'd never see my big brother again...give him a hug...punch him in the shoulder?
What if those kids were somewhere in an intensive care unit hanging on to a thread of life?
Now I know, that you Petersen's out there are saying the truth, "Well, it didn't happen. Everybody is okay. Now just get on with it."
Well, I believe sometimes, in these situations, God wants us to think about the "What ifs."
God put this in our lives for a reason.
He wants us to think about the abundance of family we share.
He wants us to let go of those things that keep us from being close.
He wants us to forgive AND forget...to start fresh.
We only get one shot in this world.
Now, let's use it.
Let's take the blinders off and just live.
I love all of you very much.
And, I wish I were there to tell you this in person.
In the words of a BB Logan song:
"Don't count on tomorrow.
All you have is now.
Yesterday's a memory.
Today is gone like that.
And you can't get it back."
Be safe out there.
Give the people you love a hug today...and tell them how you feel.
The past is over.
Live for today.
Be thankful to God for the blessings we share.
I LOVE YOU.
I LOVE YOU.
I LOVE YOU.