This morning I went with a group of moms to the Duke Life Flight Headquarters.
It's located about 45 minutes away from our house in a hangar at the Johnston County Airport.
A friend set it up because her husband works on the Life Flight team and he graciously let a bunch of crazy little kids run around and climb through the ambulance and helicopter they had on site.
Duke has a fleet of two helicopters and 8 ambulances with 4 of them ready to go at any given time.
I checked my facts with the people working today, but I already knew it.
I remember the driver telling me that as he was taking me and my daughter to Duke almost 5 years ago in an ambulance exactly like this one.
I honestly did not anticipate having any kind of reaction today.
My wonderful friend asked me if I wanted to leave as soon as we pulled up because I jokingly said I might experience some PTSD.
I laughed, said I was fine, and we got out of the car.
But as we got closer and I watched Lila run towards that ambulance and climb inside, I could not help but be completely overwhelmed.
For the first half hour or so I walked around trying to keep my face expressionless, but with the added red eyes and blotchiness of someone who is trying, unsuccessfully, not to cry.
A few people came up and casually asked if this brought back memories.
I was screaming about a zillion things in my head, but aloud just said, "Yeah, yeah it does."
I've said before that I think it's ok to allow myself these moments every now and then to reflect and to feel whatever it is that needs to be felt.
But, then I have to take a deep breath and look at the smiling girl sitting in the helicopter and be grateful.