I remember that day very clearly. It was Halloween October 31, 2003. It was a school day, a long school day as I recall. It was a long day because the next day was important for me; I had the SAT test and my very last home volleyball game. It was my senior night. I was in frenzy all day. I remember English class and my teacher returned my “About You” essay. I read over it one last time to see how I scored, and was glad to receive an A on the paper. I read the part about my best friend, Ginny Blackburn. I remember writing about some of our childhood memories and games.
I read the paper with a smile on my face. I thought about Ginny for a moment because we had always spent Halloween trick-or-treating together. Like last year, we weren’t going to this year either. I thought about how far apart we had grown in the past few years. I always had that on my mind. I remember as I was on my way to class, I saw Ginny walking down the hall in my direction. When we came close to each other, I smiled at her. She didn’t seem to notice. I didn’t even say ‘hello. ’ I will always regret not saying hello to her that day. That night I watched a movie with a couple of girl friends.
I ended up going home early because I was a little worn out and knew tomorrow was a big day. I crawled into bed as soon as I got home. I remember that I didn’t sleep well that night; my mind was racing. Eventually, I must have fallen asleep because the phone call at exactly 2:00 in the morning startled me. My mom ran down stairs to get it. I heard that tone in her voice that you hear when something is very wrong. I thought first of my grandma. I could tell by her voice something bad had happened. I felt a knot in my stomach and my eyes started to burn.
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She came upstairs past my room, but I asked her what had happened. She told me that the phone call was from Tammy, Ginny’s mom. She called to ask for prayers because there has been a terrible accident. Ginny and her boyfriend, David, were in it. My mom told me that David didn’t make it. I didn’t know David very well. She told me Ginny was seriously injured and had to be flown to a hospital in Kalispell. She told me to stay in bed. I didn’t say anything. I wouldn’t believe it and I couldn’t comprehend it. The accident was a few miles away from our house and Tammy had been the one to find it.
My mom went to help. I remember hearing the helicopter drive over my house and back again as I prayed to God over and over again. I cried in my bed feeling lost and helpless. The next day was tormenting. In fact, the whole next week was the worst of my life. The doctors gave Ginny a twenty percent chance of living. Those chances just weren’t good enough for me. It was a difficult time for me, but I tried hard not to show it in school. I let my pain go only when I was alone. Tammy called us often to let us know if it was a good day or a bad day for Ginny.
In the car accident, Ginny had hit her head and most of the damage was in her brain. I didn’t get to see her until the next weekend. It is almost as if I didn’t realize what had happened until I saw her. She was under an induced coma. She looked very different. Her face was puffy and bruised. There were a lot of tubes going in every direction. It felt strange to see her in that bed. I got to hold her hand and talk to her, but couldn’t stay for very long. I went back to Kalispell to see Ginny every weekend. She was in a coma for a whole month and didn’t give much response.
It was great news when she gave signs of reaction. Eventually, she started to open her eyes, but we couldn’t really tell if she saw us. I got to read to her and talk to her more often. Every week there were huge signs of recovery. She was clearly getting better and better every day. I know that God was there for Ginny in that hospital. She had many prayers for her and her family. She was moved to intensive care and later, from intensive care to rehab. In the hospital, Ginny was known as the miracle child. She beat the odds and did it in style.
Ginny was expected to have a metal plate put in her head and to have her sinuses rebuilt, but it all healed perfectly on its own. I remember when she could finally smile. It was uplifting to everybody. When the doctors thought Ginny was ready to communicate they told her to give a thumbs up for yes and a thumbs down for no. She surprised them when they asked her if she understood by shaking her head yes. Ginny is definitely a miracle child. During those difficult months for her in the hospital, she relearned how to do everything. The day she came home was very likely one of the happiest days of her life.
She was so excited to come home and we were all excited to have her come home. That week when I did not know whether my best friend, the friend who I grew up with, would make it, was very hard for me. I know that having Ginny in the hospital was one of the most difficult times I will ever have to face. I am there for Ginny now. We spend time doing things together. Life throws curves and you have to go with them. I am going to be by her side through her recovery and after. Though Ginny is the one who has gone through such an extreme difficulty, I would like to think that I was there and will be there to help her overcome it.
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