Writing this is becoming more difficult. I’m struck by the large gaps in my memory and the time that is completely gone. I also know that soon I’m going to tell you about losing Kalkidan, and that is unbearable. I’ll press on.
I have a vague memory of Russ telling me he loved me and they would get me out. That is jumbled together with a memory from immediately following the accident when he had unbuckled me but not yet climbed back to check on Kalkidan. He kissed me and told me he loved me and we would be okay.
The next thing I remember is someone breaking a hole through the windshield and looking in. The man told me that they were going to lift the car and get me out. Time passed; I don’t know if it was one minute or ten, then I heard the rumbling sound of a generator.
We stopped briefly at the bottom of the driveway while I put a stack of Christmas cards in the mailbox. After driving one mile into town for gas, we turned and headed north, up Highway 95, toward Coeur d’Alene and I90.
Kalkidan snuggled into her fleece blanket, popped in her earbuds, and most likely began listening to a new Adventures in Odyssey, or possibly music, we’re not sure. I sent a text to our friend, Kristen, to let her know we were on our way and would meet her at the border in three hours.
There was 1/2 inch of snow on the road, just enough to prompt Russ to be cautious, but not enough to be concerned. The roads seemed fine, although we drove more slowly than normal just to be careful. Russ and I took in the beautiful scenery of the snow-dusted rolling hills of the Palouse; it was a beautiful morning. With Kalkidan content in the backseat, it seemed that our special date had already begun.
Suddenly, after eleven weeks, I’m ready to write about the accident and the days that followed. Some might think this isn’t the place, but to be honest, I’ve never been able to sustain a private journal, so it isn’t likely I’ll do it now. Many of you have been with me for a very long time, and writing to you always helps me make sense of things
Just last night Russ and I sat talking with dear friends. They moved here the same month we did, December 1999, and we met shortly thereafter. We can see their house from our windows, sitting high on the hill just to the east; our daughters blinked bedroom lights to communicate with one another. Their girls grew up with our older kids; Gretchen and Hannah became the most unlikely of lifelong friends. I’m tempted to launch into that story, but I’ll refrain – suffice it to say that Gretchen loved to go hunting and wear camo, while Hannah liked to read and bake pies.
For someone who has hardly left her home since Christmas (with the exception of physical therapy), I’ve been traveling more than I expected.
First, we went to Refresh, which was as wonderful as ever. Our family felt so loved. We hugged loads of people, had some tearful conversations, and Russ and I even had a little time alone. Put it on your calendars now, friends, February 26-27, 2016. There is nothing like being with over a thousand fellow adoptive and foster parents to encourage you in the journey.