At 2:00 am we decided to head for Columbus. TJ had shared his story with Julie and a few of their friends multiple times. He seemed content and ready for some sleep. I'm in a good place, mentally awake with a Red Bull buzz. The roads don't seem to be as bad as before. For that, I am grateful.
We are retracing the same route TJ had taken earlier in the evening before the crash. He does not remember it though. He does not seem to have any recollection of events about 1/2 hour before or once the crash happened. He tells me he remembers the truck driver standing next to his car and telling him to be still and that he has called for help. After that, he remembers nothing. The doctor told me that is normal.
Shortly after getting on the freeway, TJ has dozed off. I turn the radio on. I remember Diane telling me they were at mile marker 165. I have driven this I-71 stretch between Cleveland and Columbus hundreds of times, yet I have never paid attention to mile markers. Who does? This time, my eyes are riveted to the side of the road watching as the numbers change. As we start to get close, I decide to wake TJ up. I want him to see where his accident happened. I believe it will help in the healing process of the mind. It might help him get behind the wheel of a car sooner. As we near the exact mark, I note that the condition of the road changes significantly. the pavement goes from being dry and clear, to snow covered and somewhat slick.
I talked to his roommate earlier in the evening and told him we would be spending the night at our condo in Columbus. I got him all tucked into bed and then go downstairs and collapse on the couch. What a day. What a day!!!
My mind is still wide awake and starts to recreate the events of the day. I begin to wonder what caused this accident. I start to think about that call. About that woman named Diane. I wish I had taken her number down. I want to call her to thank her. She made all the difference in my ability to handle this situation.
I find myself going to TJ's cell phone that he has left on the counter. I turn it on and look at the outgoing calls. There were none for several hours and then a call to our house. That's odd. He knows we have been living in a hotel for the past few weeks. Then the call to my cell phone that lasted 13 seconds. I ponder that for a while. Surely that call lasted longer than 13 seconds. It probably took longer than that just to find my lipstick to write with. So I flip open my phone and look at the inbound calls. My phone indicates that call lasted well over two minutes. How can that be? We are on the same phone service, the same shared plan.
Then I start to think about the conversation. Why did Diane have to leave me when she saw the ambulance coming? That number for the hospital. It was a non-working number. Her voice. I described it as melodic, definately soothing. My adrenline is rushing. I go down to the first floor and turn on the computer. I quickly look up the number for the State Highway Patrol. I tell the persont that answers the phone that my son was in an accident and I need the number for the woman that helped him. "I'm sorry ma'am that report will not be available for 7-10 days." Oh come on. "Please," I beg. "I just need to know about the woman." She puts me on hold. "No woman. There is no mention of any woman at the scene."
Am I loosing my mind? Not enough sleep, I know I have not been getting enough sleep. The Red Bull. I don't even know what is in that stuff, I just know it keeps me awake. I go over the details once again. I know I was talking with a woman. How else would I know the accident happened at mile marker 165? I look at the cell phones again. Both mine and TJ's. I need some sleep. I drag myself upstairs and collapse into the bed. My mind will be clearer in the morning...