I was fubarred beyond belief. Lucky to be alive. Blessed beyond measure that everyone survived. And relieved as hell that I was the one who got the brunt of the accident.
And our accident rendered us stranded in my hometown.
The Tracker was written off.
I won't even post the photos of it because it was a long time ago. I only relay these stories now to continue trudging forward, in a personal commitment to write them down. Why does it matter? I don't even really know now, but I feel that I must; and I'm pretty sure I'll figure out why later.
That entire time in my life, to this day, is almost completely blurred.
I cannot tell you the hell it is to have no sense about you whatsoever and everyone around you not really realize why you are acting like a fool. To be so mentally confused and disoriented that people around you think you are you and assume that because you like like you, you must be you, but you are not.
My ex, Aurora's biological father, was in town. He had moved back there after our hellacious break up that same March. He and his mom, a woman I trust exponentially, took Aurora in while I recovered. My fiance and I stayed at my grandpa's after I left the hospital. Somewhere in there, I visited my dad, who was already separated from my mom; and my mom, who had moved to Nevada, had flown in with my youngest brother upon getting the news of our accident.
I seriously believe that it was my incapacitated state and my daughter being removed from my care, even if out of love and compassion, that wreaked havoc on her already stressed little body and mind. But I was appreciative of my ex's mom's involvement and it was ultimately in Aurora's best interest.
But that would not be the highest majority of issues then.
Because, somewhere in between my dad learning of the wreck and getting to the hospital and my mom actually getting into town, there was some hissy, verbal scuffle between them which resulted in my mom's lividity with my dad.
They had not even gotten along during marriage.
Whatever they were fighting about---the focus of which shifted a few times then---it became the subject of that time period. Erik's wedding had been postponed to the Tuesday. I went in a wheelchair. A small ceremony. Aurora was being passed in between people. Mom and Dad started bickering at the wedding. Someone kicked the other one in the back of the leg while the other one was holding my daughter.
Later on during the stay, there began a discussion of my youngest brother not wanting to live with my mom. She had custody. He was 14. Dad heard his plea. He decided he was going to give my brother his wish. The details are a blur, but there was some kind of exchange. Soon Mom would be going back to Nevada but she could not find Michael. Dad, who was hated by all of my uncles, aunts, and grandpa, showed up at my grandpa's. I heard my uncle say, "here comes the horse's ass." I lit into my uncle, a man who was like my second dad, with the biggest, most uncharacteristic F bomb I ever dropped. I remember feeling very angry and pissy, twenty-four-seven. I remember that F bomb. I don't remember anyone feeling sorry for me.
I pleaded with Kyle to see if he could get his friend's discount at the local Holiday Inn. I remember being in the room. I remember it being dark. The next thing I remember was being told Grandpa had withdrawn his offer to let us take the ancient, old Zephyr back to Bismarck. And I remember feeling dismayed. But I only remember leaving town after that with the Zephyr. I remember passing by the accident site. And I remember the car breaking down halfway between Gillette and Bismarck, waiting on the side of the road for Kyle to go get help. And I remember not being fast enough enough to keep Aurora from wandering near the highway...
It wasn't until we got back to Bismarck that I realized that we had stayed in Gillette about two weeks. The pain was too great to think about taking care of school stuff, which was about to start. I hadn't registered for classes and knew that was lingering over my aching, bashed up head.
In the meantime I learned that my dad's little stunt to help his son get his wish landed his ass in jail. I have heard both jaded sides of this story, of getting arrested, of my mom going to see him in jail to figure out where my brother was, of the police being the ones who pressed charges and not my mom. Of how much evil they could see in each other's eyes. Yadda, yadda. Their stories juxtaposed one to the other. Just like they always did. Just like every time I ever played mediator when I lived at home. Just another of a million reasons they should have never made it 23 years...
I also phoned my uncle to apologize for my F bomb. Even though I was the one fucked beyond repair, even though I was the one with the head injury, even though my mom is a nurse and could have explained to everyone that I was not myself because that's what brain injuries result in, even though all of the crap that happened was because my parents couldn't get their shit together, I was the only one who apologized.