They were in a fight.
He stormed out of the house, the house they share, where their five year old lay sleeping in her pink, ribboned room. Their son, more used to the tension between his parents, sat in his favorite chair in his room with headphones on, trying to drown out the noise.
Noise of despair, of love losing, of too many struggles, too many burdens, too much bullshit.
His wife will wish forever more she had grabbed those keys, thrown them far into the night. My son will wish forever more he had known his best friend was in trouble, was too drunk to drive, was too mad to care.
But he didn't know, he was sleeping, an arm around his love, another around his baby. The baby he wanted so much because he loved his best friend's little girl so much...because he wanted what his friend seemed to have, back before he knew how troubled they were.
My son's closest friend crashed twice.
The first time he got pulled out of a ditch by a well-meaning passerby-er. One who might now wish he'd never aided this young father out of the ditch where at least he lay safe and alive. But he didn't know.
Couldn't he have smelled the alcohol?
No matter, I guess. Not now. Although, of course it matters.
Son's friend kept on driving.
The second crash no one saw. It was icy last night, he was on a winding, country road.
He was ejected from his truck when he crashed, a fact that may have saved his life, so far. His brain injuries are severe enough that his lying on the cold ground for hours likely kept his brain from swelling too much. That he was inebriated is another factor that might have kept him alive, so far.
Now he lies in a medically induced coma, tenuously hanging on. His rich, beautiful life lay in shreds. His son has been told. The son who still sits in his favorite chair with headphones on, now hoping to keep out all sounds, all feelings, his mother's jagged cries, his sister's questions of "Where's Daddy?"
"Were you mad at him again, Mommy?"
She will have to be told soon.
We all find ourselves wandering in circles, our minds still reeling with the suddenness of this news. This terrible, awful news.
They say it could go either way, live or die....
The question we all have to answer at some time or another, I suppose...
Live or die?
UPDATE, as of Sunday morning: He was briefly taken off life support in order to try to wake him, and he did!! He squeezed his wife's hand, he opened his eyes and recognized her...I think even toes wiggled...then back to sedation.
No words here to try to explain how my heart feels.
Just many tears of gratitude for blessings so far.
Everyone is so hoping for a recovery...
...so we can yell at him!
and hug him
and be there for him.
This chapter aside, this is one of the good guys. Really good guys....just so young.
He's needed here.
I tell you, he DOES have the most beautiful eyes...
Second Update: It's Thursday evening. Friend is off life support and breathing on his own which is a good thing, but he's is not doing so well other than that, with periodic convulsions, hallucination and general delusional behavior...not good for keeping the tubes etc. in place. It's hard to tell if it's brain damage or morphine reactions from my vantage point way out here, but apparently it's disturbing enough that visitors have been banned for now....
We just keep praying for a better day....
12 March: The third update is too similar to the second, except for the good news that Friend is breathing on his own and is leaving intensive care...................thank you so much for those who keep checking in here and in PMs to see how he's doing.
I wish I had more news.
Or better news....but out of intensive care is good.
Breathing on his own is good.
Not so tiny tears.
My heart hurts.
Last, Best Update: 14 March:
In the last 48 hours, Friend went from the last update status of delirium and no mobility at all to a sudden leap forward. He has gotten up with help, has walked down the hall, with help, has become much more coherent -- chatting with family and friends while showing good cognizance -- and has impressed doctors with his buoyancy.
I added a few things in comments here and there, but thank you all again for your personal messages, thoughts and prayers.
Today is a good day.