Sunday morning started out like they typically do. It was a cold morning with a heavy frost on the ground, it should be cold, it's December. The only thing different was a couple that lives down the road from us, and attends the same church, was taking the oldest two kiddos to church with them because our van had broke down and isn't fixed yet, and we are borrowing my in laws car that won't fit 6 people in it. They are very nice people and the grandparent type to all the kiddos in church. They give them a small Christmas present and a card on their birthdays. So they came and took Little Matt and DaLaney. I was getting the younger two's hair done, and tights on and we weren't quite ready to leave yet. So about 10-15 minutes later we left for church. Rachel burst into tears and said she had to pee really bad. Too late to turn around and go home. Thankfully we found a portable one at a store. I was driving, Matthew had enough driving and, well I love to drive, so Rachel was all set and we were back on the road. The girls requested Christmas music. So it was. We chat as I drive, then we notice there was a road block up ahead. No one was going through. There were two options go left or right. The cop said take a left to continue on our way for our destination. We did. The girls were in the back happily singing the Christmas carols. One asked me if I knew where I was going. I said "a detour." "Why?" "Can't go the other way something happened." "Oh." More singing. Out of the corner of my eye I see Matthew dialing a number on the phone. One sided conversation is what I here. "Where are you?" It's his brother. "Oh, well call me when you get to church and let me know if they are there." Hangs up. I suddenly get a sick feeling in my stomach, and my hands turn all sweaty on the steering wheel. "I just got a real sick feeling in the pit of my stomach." I said. "Me too." Matthew replied. Suddenly it was very hard to breath, my chest constricted and I took in a deep shaky breath. I drive. There is a silver car in front of me. I have no idea where this road comes out. The girls are giggling. The phone goes off as we take a very sharp L turn to the right. It was my brother in law. "Do you have their number?" Hangs up. "They are not there yet." Matthew said to me. It's even harder to breath, my chest hurts, and I can't feel my legs. I take another breath. That silver car is still in front of me. Fear grips me and I start to sweat. "You OK? You want me to drive?" "No. Gives me something to concentrate on." My heart is racing, and I pray silently, "Dear Lord. Please keep our kiddos safe and protect them. Please don't let this accident be them. Please no God." I seem to get tunnel vision and my chest is tight. I grip the steering wheel with my sweaty palms. I was suddenly thankful that there was someone in front of me going the speed limit, 45, and I had never been on this road and it was too busy to pass due to the traffic on it, probably it's not a very busy road on a typical day. I still couldn't feel my legs. My arms are tingling as I pray again. We stop and turn right. Matthew said something to me. The girls are still singing in the back. I suddenly knew where I was when I saw the road sign, and knew where we would turn out, I told Matthew that one of his childhood friends lives on this road and he just so happens to be a state trooper. He nodded. Just up ahead I see the stop sigh. The road is blocked to the right. I come to the stop sign. The silver car turns left. "The road is blocked." I state the obvious here. "We are going down that way." "I can't." I uttered. "Do you want me to drive." I just nod and take my seat belt off, and move, as Matthew gets in the drivers seat and down the road we go. Just a short ways down the little hill and turn I see the flashing lights. Nausea hits. I see an animal control officers black SUV, and other lights and cop cars. I see two cars off in the ditch to the right. They hit an animal, was my first thought. The road is slick and there is lots of salt on it. "Is it them?" "I don't know. I can't tell." I pray again as Matthew stops the car and hops out and heads down. The ambulance has come and gone. I can't breath, tears come down my face and I'm gasping for air. Fear that my kiddos were hurt, and I wasn't there with them. "You OK Mommy?" "I'm OK." "Sounds like your crying. Are you OK?" Rachel and Emma were concerned about me. They have no idea what is going on. I need to keep it together. I don't typically cry. "I'm OK." I'm still trying to control my breathing and fighting the urge to puke. I wipe my sweaty palms on my dress. I can't catch my breath. I watch as the cops approach Matthew. They are talking. My eyes are glued to the back of My Man. My legs felt like jello. I see the cars in the ditch. I pray. The phone goes off, and it's my brother in law. I can tell by the ring. Matthew left it in the car. I grab it and manage to croak out a "hello." "Yup they just pulled in the driveway. Their fine." I felt the hot, tears coming down my face as the words "their here, and safe" sunk in. Relief swept over me. I managed to croak out something to the affect of " Thank God. Thank you." And hung up. My whole body was shaking, and I was still sweating. I was ever so relieved that my kiddos were safe and sound at church waiting for us! I suddenly could breath and my chest didn't hurt. I got the feeling back in my legs. My toes were cold. I had so much air back in my lungs and relief coursing through my veins and tears I was trying to control. I look up and Matthew is walking back to me shaking his head mouthing "it's not them." I held up the phone and nodded. He gets in and I said, "your brother just called. They are at church." Matthew looks at me. "You OK?" Breath. "Yup." I'm glad for sunglasses. It took me a few minutes to pull myself back together as I prayed and thanked God for his hand of protection on our life (kiddos). Matthew told me the cops were very nice about him going down there. And that he had had to take some deep breaths before he could talk after seeing the cars. One of the cars in the ditch looked like the one the kiddos left in.
Once at church we head in and I walk in looking for my oldest two kiddos.Rachel trips and falls, and Daddy scoops her up first as he was closer to her. DaLaney sees me first and come over and gives me a hug and a kiss on my cheek. "Hi Mommy. I missed you." I squeeze her tightly to me and kiss her soft cheek and whisper in her ear "I love you." "I love you too." She smiles, and I fearsly blink back the tears. She had no idea what we had been though. "Where's Little Matt?" I search the room for him. "He's with some of his friends." I found him with my eyes and looked at him. His handsome face and boyish grin. I went and sat down with DaLaney. When Little Matt came over I hugged him tight and said "hey boy, I love you." And swallowed the lump in my throat. "I love you too Mommy." As he hugged me back. He has no idea. He sat down. Again the relief and thankfulness came over me. Our kiddos were safe. I've seen them and hugged them both. My life is good now. I could relax. We now have the number of the couple who drove them to church.
The rest of the day went by without incident. That night we had 2 brother and sister in laws, along with all the kiddos over for pot luck supper, last minute, and read our Advent celebration together. We had some Ribbon candy too! Anyone remember that stuff? I didn't even know they still made it. My great grand mother always had it at Christmas time. It was such a treat for us kiddos to have!
That night the kiddos went to bed, in their own beds. Happy, full and safe. All four of them. I went in their rooms and looked at them each breathing slow, and deep, some were snoring. I covered the ones back up that needed covering and said another silent pray of thanks giving for their safety.