Thursday, April 4, 2013

Life Flight

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.

 

I am.

5 comments:

Brittany Krallis Stapf said...

Big, fat, beautiful, Full Circle moment. I live you and that sweet, smart, perfect little girl~
I anticipate ACS asking me why I'm crying in 5...4...3...2....

Brittany Krallis Stapf said...

*LOVE (but you knew that).

James Best said...

There's no way to know when traumatic reminders are going to show up and trigger something. It seems almost unfair, like you've wired yourself to keep it out and then it finds a backdoor.

I had a reaction to a picture of something from childhood recently and it made me physically ill to think of being back there.

It seems like a dirty trick to be caught unawares. I don't have any advice for it. Good luck to all of our brains and emotions.

skumar said...

me too.

Valerie said...

oh, girl.

On some level, it's a uniquely cool experience. Our lives have so many variables, so many possible paths. It's like you were revisiting the crossroads where your life, very suddenly, diverged.

On another level, kind of a uniquely awful experience.

(hey, it's weird that you wouldn't use "an" in front of uniquely, even though u is a vowel. Or am i reading it wrong. no, it's "a". weird. sorry, tangent)