Accident Victim’s Grandmother Writes of Grief, Tragedy and Compassionate NeighborsOctober 8th, 2010 by Steven Gardner
Note: The following letter was sent to us late Thursday night by Terri Babcock. I spoke with her shortly before 2 p.m. and the sentiment at the end of the sentence was apparently still true. We will have a story on the main site later today about Enzo Williams and his family.
I am the mother of Kaitlin Williams, the grandmother of Enzo Williams who is fighting for his life at this moment, and apart from a miraculous healing from God, is going to die.
Harsh? Yes it is. Let me tell you what my last 24 hours has been like, and I am the grandmother. I can’t even begin to describe to you the horror and the despair of my daughter and my son in law as they watch helplessly, holding onto dashed hopes, leaning over that little tiny baby’s bed talking to a baby that can no longer hear or see them.
It started at 8 p.m. last night when I received a frantic call from my son in law. All I could hear was “Ma, Zozo, he’s not breathing!” I heard nothing else after finding out where they were. My husband and I barreled down Wheaton Way, flashers on, screaming at people to get out of the way. From McDonalds, it looked ominous, from KMart, it was horendous. The sheriff’s deputy told us to go through the side parking lot of Fred Meyer. I don’t remember much except screaming my daughter’s name, running through the intersection. I vaguely remember hearing people say, “the glass, the glass!” I was caught by one of the uniformed, wonderful men and women who were there who told me in no unfailing terms that I had to be strong. I wanted to see Enzo. I was told I couldn’t. I found the rest of the family in the back of the second ambulence. Safe, crying, but relatively unharmed. A miracle.
It is amazing in times of great stress and horrific happenings, the little tiny acts of kindness remain vivid. A family saw that I had no shoes, and went into Fred Meyer and bought me flipflops. I cannot tell you what that meant. A friend who just happened to be going home from her job at Harrison stopping. My friends showing up, one by one, as word spread. Seeing familiar faces, being able to cry. A friend putting her own shoes on my daughters’ feet. Giving her a fleece vest. Wrapping a scarf around my neck. Kindness and goodness and love in the face of horror.
But that baby, oh Lord, our baby. We drove to Mary Bridge, afraid more than we’d ever been in our lives. I cannot begin to even describe what seeing that little boy who is our ninth grandchild, with tubes and machines and beeping noises did to our hearts. Listening to our little Ulysses, the three year old, describe in exact detail about the big truck that smashed his car.
The doctor of the PICU at Mary Bridge was very straight. It’s bad. It’s more than bad. We heard words like CT scans, and swelling of the brain, and skull fractures, and after a while, you just stop, you can’t take any more. The tears just come and you don’t feel like there could possibly be any left, but there are.
Leaving my youngest daughter and the nightmare we have all been thrust in, driving home at 1 a.m., heavy silence. Putting the middle child to bed, the heavy sleep of a two-year old. Tossing and turning until finally getting up about 7, turning on the news, and seeing the mangled wreck of my daughter’s car in the headlines. Oh Lord.
Then, getting to the hospital. Getting a phone call from family, the forces are mounting. Family and friends coming from New York, Colorado, Idaho, California. 2600 hits on the blog. There is an overwhelming feeling in the background of the ugliness of support, of love, of caring.
Hearing the doctor’s bleak news at noon, witnessing more tests throughout the day. Finally, seeing the sensor that monitor’s our baby’s brain swelling removed, which was like a final verdict.
There is nothing to describe the feeling we had this afternoon, being allowed to hold our baby. Our minds telling us that he can’t hear or see us, but just knowing deep in our souls that somehow, some way, our Enzo knows that we are there, and even though we are facing the very real possibility that he will be taken from us, we are cherishing these moments. Lights and noise and chatter fade away as I hold him, his little body as comfortable to me as it was when I held him last week. It seems like an eternity ago.
At home, tonight, I write this because our family needs our community of Kitsap County to know that we are extremely overwhelmed and grateful to you. Tomorrow, we will make the drive again, and tomorrow is going to be probably the worst day of any of our lives.
I write this also because the next time you overhear someone say “hey babe, I was in a f*^*%ing accident!” you will be as sickened as I was when I read that comment posted by someone who heard this at the scene of the accident. My daughter screaming “my baby, my baby” and perfect strangers helping to save a baby’s life, to comfort the baby’s family, and then, you have that.
I want to express the admiration we have for the wonderful people of our Highway State Patrol, the paramedics and rescue squads that were calm, collected, and helped me to see that I had a responsibility to be the best mom I ever was, despite my broken, terrified heart. The ER staff at Harrison that I heard was beyond the best. And last, but not least, the dedicated professionals at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital who could comfort, instruct and just calm jangled nerves and emotions torn to shreds.
We are proud and honored to live here in Kitsap County, amongst the finest people in the world.
I want to close with something that came to me today in one of the hundreds of emails and facebook posts: “Sometimes He holds us close~lets the wind and waves grow wild. Sometimes He calms the storm…at other times He calms His child.”