Up in Ohio, last summer
We made a deliberate decision to tell Lucy's story. After much MUCH hesitation. We wanted people to know she was alright. We wanted people to know that what matters most is faith and family. We wanted people to know that the beach is a safe place to go, actually, and to not stop going. For all of these reasons, we told Lucy's story to the networks that were knocking.
I'm glad we did and I'm sad we did. Because you never have enough time to tell the whole story. Never, even here, or over dinner or under your breath, or between shifts, or ever. The whole story is so much more. And none of us knows exactly how the other sees it unfolding.
Lucy whips around the house on her wheelchair, without a complaint. We begin our second night home. She loves her new room downstairs and wants to keep it "even after I don't need it anymore". We've figure out how to prop her leg up painlessly onto the bathtub when she needs to go potty. We give her a bath using the handles in our jet tub, a stool, a plastic storage bin, duct tape, a garbage bag, and a plastic cup. We are all learning to be more helpful and patient--the rascals and I.
Yesterday, I set her on a bean bag in her "old" room and she begins to play with some random toys w/in arm's length. Soon, I hear her ask her sister (3), "Avery, go get Seth and Hazel and tell them to come upstairs and bring their toys!" Avery skipped around the hall with a hilarious "Yessiree!!" and bounded down the steps. Soon they were all in the room gathered around our gorgeous gimp having a grand ol' time.
Things are good. Lucy will heal. People are bringing us so much food and taking her sibs out for diversion. We've been loaded up with crafts that have kept big minds with little hands occupied. We've used markers until they're dry.
Still, when in my mind's eye, I hear her shrieks of pure terror and see her torn leg in the water, my brow furrows and my stomach flips. These seconds are seared in my brain and will remain long long after Lucy's story leaves the front page and another takes its place.
I'm mad when I try to imagine her panic and pain when she felt the shark's jaws. My face, even now goes tingly and my head spins. I can't bring myself to put pictures here. Then...I see her sleeping soundly last night and think of the quiet slow day we had coloring velvet pictures, glueing popsicle sticks, watching Sound of Music, tying bracelets with our names on them, and taking her in the wheelchair outside. I think of Lucy's quick afternoon love affair with the sun and a monarch butterfly that elicited merely an "awe shucks" face. Not a tear. Not a "no fair" that she couldn't join in the chase with her sisters this time.
Who am I to indulge in such moody moments imagining that scary scene. Who am I to long for her perfectly smooth and peachy leg back. Like it was. I feel like the child and she the adult. But I am learning. From Lucy. Trying to snap out of it.
She has taken the reigns of her new future and has led that horse into a steady canter.