...because home doesn't happen overnight.
04.27.15 / Words

me & E

Words. They are failing me right now. I can’t seem to find the perfect, poetic ones to adequately describe all the things I want to say.

“Stunned” comes to mind.

It’s how I felt when I witnessed Everett catapult into the windshield of a car then up over the body of the car twisting in the air like a gymnast, eventually landing in a pile of arms and legs in the road. The thud was deafening and it haunts me now, weeks later.

It’s how I felt when I was dream-running to him. For years, I’ve had bad dreams of running, running, RUNNING and going nowhere. It’s as if I’m stuck in quicksand. And so it was when I sprinted to my pile of son in the road. I couldn’t get to him fast enough.

It’s how I felt when I looked into his eyes. They were open, unfocused, confused but I was mostly startled by their bluer-than-blue blueness – a reflection of the clear spring sky overhead.

It’s how I felt when I discovered he was missing a shoe.

It’s how I felt riding in an ambulance with my son strapped to a stretcher, his neck braced in a cervical collar while the EMT apologized for the hard braking. “We just got new brakes.”

It’s how I felt when Everett sobbed as the nurse removed pieces of asphalt from his raw back and I realized it was the first time he had cried since being hit.

It’s how I felt when the doctor declared nothing was broken. A broken leg from rough-housing on the sofa as a toddler. A broken arm due to a fall from the monkey bars not even two years ago. But getting hit by a car? Nothing.

It’s how I felt when the sheriff visited us at the hospital and told us that helmet saved Everett’s life. “A regular ol’ bike helmet might not have produced the same results.” Everett had opened that helmet moments before the accident. It was his first time wearing it. We were celebrating his birthday early with extended family, and that helmet was a gift from my sister per Everett’s request. A flashy, heavy duty motocross helmet in his favorite color – red – with matching gloves.

It’s how I felt when Cheetah slept curled up at Everett’s feet that first night home. Until then, she had never slept with one of the kids overnight.

It’s how I felt days later when Everett asked to walk by the scene of the accident (in our neighborhood) to look for his red gloves, lost during the accident. On our walk, I found one glove in the pocket of my jacket. It was the same jacket I had worn the day of the accident, but I had no recollection of shoving the glove in the pocket. We found its match 100′ away from the initial impact, in the grass on the opposite side of the road along with several plastic shards busted off from Everett’s scooter. Everett slipped his red gloves on and carried the plastic bits home.

It’s how I felt the first time I saw Everett’s wrecked scooter. The back was smashed, stained by skid marks. The handlebars were mangled. One handbrake was missing. Ripped wires dangled from the throttle. Several days later I carried it out to the curb for trash pickup. It was so odd to see it propped up against the recycling bin. Part of me wanted to keep it; part of me never wanted to see it again.

It’s how I felt the first time I gave Everett a bath after the accident. Each bruise and patch of road rash a clue to the physics of the impact which my mind used to produce the most vivid slow-mo video. It’s been on repeat ever since.

It’s how I felt during his recovery when he complained only about the “hot and itchy” neck collar.

It’s how I felt when he returned to school with no restrictions.

It’s how I felt when the hospital called to say that our medical insurance may not cover Everett’s treatment since it was technically a motor vehicle accident. Typically, homeowner’s insurance covers MVAs but our agent informed us that we already have two strikes (hail damage + leaky furnace) against us. In all likelihood, they wouldn’t cover Everett’s medical expenses either and would drop us, making it difficult – if not impossible – to find coverage elsewhere. We also received a letter from the driver’s insurance company stating they will deny any claims we submit to them because the police report didn’t find the driver at fault.

It’s how I feel when I find myself getting riled up about the financial aspect when, for crying out loud!, MY SON IS OKAY AND I WILL PAY ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD.

It’s how I feel when I think of parents who have lost a child.

It’s how I feel every single day when I watch Everett do perfectly normal things like eat oatmeal, read a book, brush his teeth.

It’s how I feel when I see so much strength and fearlessness in such a little body. He wants a new scooter. He wants to take his wrecked trophy helmet to school as a reminder to other kids to wear their helmets.

It’s how I feel when I think about these events making for a good story one day after the shock has worn off.

And it’s how I feel about the support my family has received in real life and online in recent weeks.

If I could, I would eloquently tell you how much your comments, emails, good vibes, well wishes and thoughts have meant to me, Everett, and the rest of our family. I am so grateful for your kind and encouraging words even as mine fail me.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Thank you for allowing me to step away from the blog, guilt-free, for a few weeks to focus on real life. And thanks for being here now that things are slowly settling back to “normal.”

image: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

246 Comments

28.April.2015

Like you, I don’t have the words to express how much this post moved me, or how thankful I find myself for the speedy recovery of an awesome little kid on the other side of the world :) I know we don’t know each other but I wanted to tell you I have been thinking about Everett and your family everyday, checking back on the blog to see if there has been an update. & today there was!
Sending all my good vibes to Everett; kids are amazing!

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28.April.2015

Stunned by another well written post at House Tweaking, but I shouldn’t be, because every one of her posts is. It’s so obvious your posts aren’t well written because you choose the right words. They’re well written because you write what you feel. Thank you for sharing.

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28.April.2015

Wow, I had to speed read that to stop myself getting too emotional. What an absolute champ Everett is, wanting to take his crash helmet to his classmates to show how important it is to wear one. Your whole family has been through the ringer and it will probably still take months to feel on an even keel once again. I am also appalled at the financial situation you potentially find yourselves in (whilst knowing its not the most important aspect of what has happened), I truly find it incomprehensible insurance companies will do anything to not pay. Our NHS might be a bit of a shambles sometimes but I am very thankful for them in light of your issues. My thoughts and best wishes go out to your whole family, I had been checking in every few days and appreciate you coming back to let us know how you all are. All the best xx

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28.April.2015

Great news! What a blessing that your baby boy is healing so well! I love “that helmet.”

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28.April.2015

I did not see your last post so this is the first I am hearing of this. First of all, thank goodness he is okay! I can not even imagine how you must be feeling. I’m in tears just reading your words and I don’t even know you, imagining my own child? Can’t do it. My nephew was hit a couple of years ago. We got there as he was being air lifted to a hospital upstate. Longest drive ever. Thankfully, he is fine also, had a fractured skull and can’t do as many sports as he would like but he is alive and can do everything else. My thoughts are with you as Everett’s body and your heart heals. I hope you hear good news soon about the insurance situation. Thank you for sharing, I think we will be shopping for new helmets soon. ❤️

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28.April.2015

Dana, continuing to send so much strength, hope and love to you, Everett, and the rest of your Fam xx

We will all be here for you, whenever you decide you are up for it again. xx

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28.April.2015

Oh my goodness it’s so great to hear Everett is OK!!!
I didn’t comment on the initial post but everyday when I check the blogs and not see a post I think about him and you. This is great, no, awesome news!

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28.April.2015

Hugs from France, Millers. This post moved me to tears. And hurray for Everett who is using his accident to prevent his classmates from getting hurt by using a helmet. Take care.

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28.April.2015

Dear Dana,
I also missed your previous post. Oh my gosh – you had to live through my worst nightmare. Gladly with a happy ending.
Greetings to Everett from Berlin, Germany all the way across the Atlantic Ocean.
I am so happy with you that he is doing so well.
Happy belated birthday also. He will probably never forget this one!

Dana – I love you writing! You don’t seem lost for words at all!
Hugs
Imke

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28.April.2015

Dana, I am so happy to hear he is doing fine, nothing broken, no weeks tied to a hospital bed. It could all has been worse. But I am happy together with you that is was no worse. It must be really hard to go through the whole experience. But it is now somehow over, except for the fight with the insurance companies… but what the heck continue fighting with them. The happy energy is there, he is doing fine! higs from Germany

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28.April.2015

So glad that he’s fine. It takes a lot out of a parent dealing with what you have gone through. Take all the time you need to get back to ‘normal’ again. It will be a new normal for you. Things like this always changes your perspective of things for life. HUGS.

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28.April.2015

Dana, Ive been checking in every single day to see if you’ve found the right time to give an update on how Everett is doing. Today is a good day! So so so happy to hear that he is doing really well and that you all are too. Very touching post. Sending you good vibes and big hugs from Luxembourg!!!

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28.April.2015

Thank you for the update, we will never meet but just know that the Miller family will always be in my prayers. Sending lots of love.

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28.April.2015

I’m so sorry that Everett had to go through this but glad he’s okay.

On a different note, I work for a state agency that regulates insurance. Almost every state has an appeals process when a claim is denied. Most insurers will try and deny a claim when they can get away with it. Please go to your state government’s insurance department and file an appeal against the driver’s insurance. It doesn’t take very long and it may save you a lot of money.

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28.April.2015

Dana, as a mum of two boys myself, this post and your description of what happened hit me hard and I can’t help but get a bit emotional and teary with what u have all experienced. Everett sounds like he is a fighter/tough little survivor (just like his mum) and I’m sending good vibes and much prayers ur way for a speedy recovery for him and healing for u all. Xxx from Sydney Australia

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28.April.2015

That was very well written. Thank you for sharing your story. I have been reading your blog for a couple of years now. It has been a great little escape for me as I have gone through a challenging divorce. I am so happy that he is okay. I have two boys and it is so hard to watch them get hurt. At the same time, watching them overcome the pain and grow from the experience is so rewarding. God bless you and your family. That is one handsome and tough kid you have there. You are a super mom to a super kid.

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28.April.2015

sending love to Mr. Everett. Hugs to you to string momma. So sorry to hear he went through this.

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28.April.2015

My eyes fill with tears –
For relief
For fear
For anger
For blessings
Thank you Dana for sharing Everett’s & your extremely
personal story.
It takes my breath away.
God Bless

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28.April.2015

There are no words. I don’t even know you, but I have a scootering son too…and I can only imagine. I think I’m going to buy a motorcross helmet for his birthday.

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28.April.2015

I think every mother knows your words and emotions. We are members of the same big club. So glad your Everett is o.k. The scary stuff of childhood – your scars will remain in your memory and his will fade. ((HUGS))

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28.April.2015

Oh Dana, thank God he is ok. It is all that matters. Take care of yourself as well, you’ve been through a terrible ordeal, almost worse than Everett, so make sure you are okay too. Hugs to you all from Sydney Australia x

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28.April.2015

Reading this made me tear. I can’t even imagine how scary that was. Prayers will continue to go you and your family’s way.

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28.April.2015

So glad everything is “getting back to normal”. You have all been on my mind every day since. Take all the time you need to be with your family ..guilt free! I wish you (and other bloggers) weren’t so pressured to constantly be spitting out content just to please the rest of us. I love seeing a new post but as a mom myself, I understand that time with my child(ren) is more important than reading or writing about someone’s new paint color (or whatever). Take your tim; enjoy your babies, your husband, and pretty kitty – we’ll all still be here when you get back to “normal” or close to it or whatever the situation my be!

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[…] was very moved by Dana’s “Words” post on her HOUSE TWEAKING blog. She writes about a catastrophe that became a reality: “For […]

28.April.2015

Reading this gave me goose bumps. I had to stop half way through and come back to finish reading it. I’m so glad Everett is ok. It must have been horrifying for you all. I have been checking in daily hoping for a new post or update. Blessings to you all from Australia.

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28.April.2015

So glad to finally hear that all is well. Thank you for sharing with us. On a colder note – find a private insurance “adjuster” who will work for you and can most likely improve the insurance responses.

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28.April.2015

So choked up. Gonna hug my kids tight today. Thanks for sharing.

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28.April.2015

Thank you for updating us. I have been checking in daily to see if you’ve posted anything in hopes of hearing all is well. I’m so sorry you experienced this and so glad he’s okay. What a blessing that he was wearing the new helmet.

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28.April.2015

I can’t imagine. It’s glad he is okay and that things are getting back to normal. Make sure you fight the insurance – my son had health problems when he was a one year old and it took multiple calls to get anything. If they end up not covering things, ask the hospital because they have pricing for uninsured people that are vastly different than the rates they charge for things they know insurance will pay. Sending you hugs, one mother to another – I know how words fail in moments like this. Just know Everrett is ok and that’s all that matters.

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28.April.2015

Thanks so much for sharing this. I am so glad that he is okay – we have been thinking of your family a lot lately. Now, get back to caring for and loving that precious family that you have! Hugs from Saint Charles, IL.

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28.April.2015

This gives me chills. Think about all of you a lot and so thankful Everett is fine! Hugs!

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28.April.2015

Tears welled in my eyes as I read, so many emotions as I felt your relief, love, concern, pain and gratefulness. I grew concerned for you, Everett and your family with no new posts until today, so relieved for you all. As others have written, we will be here when you are ready to return to your routine, in the meantime enjoy your family. Sending you all much love from Melbourne, Australia

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28.April.2015

oh darlin… I am beyond happy to hear that your little man is doing better. You are a lucky mama and he is a lucky kid to have you! And your words….they are perfect.

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28.April.2015

Tears of JOY for Everett and your entire family! Sending big hugs your way…

Lastly can you share the brand of helmet he was wearing? I too have two boys and would love the extra security. Thx!

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28.April.2015

… you are welcome… you are welcome… you are welcome.
:'(

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28.April.2015

Oh Dana! I am so happy to hear your little man is OK! Your post brought tears to my eyes. God bless your family. Lots of hugs and kisses to you guys!

(PS: damn the insurance companies! what the heck???!!!!)

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28.April.2015

Oh Dana! I’m so glad your little babe is okay. All I can say is that God’s hand was all over him–especially in the helmet detail. Truly amazing.

Praying the insurance stuff works out bec. I’m a little riled up for you. . .

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28.April.2015

Prayers for you and your family from Chicago.

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28.April.2015

Crying and thanking God for preserving little Everett’s life! There are big things in his future, I just know it!

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28.April.2015

Tears and thanking God for His hand of protection on Everett’s little body. I can’t imagine how that must shake you as a parent. Can’t wait to see what is in store for Everett and his future no doubt it’s BIG.

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28.April.2015

Oh my. I’m not sure I have words either. Bless you and Everett and the rest of your family. And peace to all of you. Take care. Hugs.

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28.April.2015

So happy to hear Everett is doing well. It’s a miracle nothing was broken. Sounds like his spirit isn’t broken either-what a strong little boy! Please take your time getting back to the blog. We’re not going anywhere. My prayers and thoughts are still with you all daily.

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28.April.2015

Glad to hear Everett is ok! Thanks for being real and sharing your life with us all!

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28.April.2015

you and your sweet everett are so brave. please share if you are burdened with uncovered bills. this blogging community is amazing. hugs to you.

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28.April.2015

I’m marveling at the connection with the world you’ve created with your blog. Reading people’s comments that reflect my own thoughts and feelings – its just amazing that so many people who don’t really know each other actually do know each other on some level. I could pretty much repeat everyone else’s comments above – sending loving wishes to you and your family. It sounds as if Everett is an exceptional boy – he’s willing to ‘climb back on that horse’ by going back to the site and wanting a new scooter too; and wanting to help his friends understand the importance for helmets. Bravo for raising such a brave and generous boy! On a more practical note, don’t give up on pushing your insurance company to pay for what they should!

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28.April.2015

Thank you, Dana, for the courage and complete wisdom to share this scary story. It must have been hard for you to not only live through, but write. You and Everett should know there are going to be many lives saved because mamas and daddies will be buying better helmets and making kids wear them now, no matter what type of wheels they are on. Kudos to Everett for wanting to share his story! Very thankful Everett’s ok and this will be nothing but a memory for him someday.

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28.April.2015

I’m reading this on the train and welling up with tears. We all have that horrible fear as parents that letting our children be free and adventurous, which they so need to be, has these risks. Thank you for sharing this and finding your way back to “normal.”

BTW, you know my cousin Sarah in TN.

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28.April.2015

Like others, I have been checking back and waiting for an update. So glad Everett is OK, and that he is using this experience to help others. What a great kid! God bless you and your family.

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28.April.2015

Dana – I know God was with you guys that day. How could he not be! I was teared up at work trying to read this – he is such a sweet kid and it hit home. I am so thankful to God that Everett was miraculously saved. Please let me know if there is anything I can do. I can’t imagine the dreams you must be having – I pray for your healing as well. Love ya!

Robyn

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28.April.2015

My heart goes out to your and your family. And I also want to jump for joy that he’s seemingly totally fine! Best wishes to all of you. Thank you for the reminder to make sure my boys (6 and 5) wear a helmet always!!

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