I am in a hospital but still not sure what is going on. I remember trying to explain to someone I only had one kidney and I was from Minnesota, but don't know if I was making any sense. I could hear my friends but couldn't see them. I told my friends I love them.
I woke up in the dark with a woman sitting with me, "I am Brenda's mom. Do you know what happened?" "No." "The car was hit by a train. You are in the hospital in Brookings."
A Collect Call From Your Daughter
It is how we called home back then. I don't remember knowing what happened or even what I said my mom, Brenda's mom was there to help explain what happened. I later found out there are other things going on at home that my mom was dealing with and my dad was flying a trip.
One thing my dad always told us was to where our seatbelts. The first I remember is my dad asking, "Did you have your seatbelt on?" "No." "Good, it probably saved your life." I was sitting in the backseat behind the driver at the point of impact of the train.
Darla was driving the car that evening and ended up with a giant gash on her left shoulder. Brenda was sitting in the center on the front seat and had the cut on her nose. Jen was in the right passenger seat, she fared well with some bumps and bruises and a very sore neck. Justin was in the backseat with me, he had a bruised knee because I hit him when the train hit the car.
My parents brought me back to Minnesota with a broken ankle, inflamed kidney, and a lot of bruises. Having only one kidney there was concern and the need for me to see the urologist that had been taking care of me all my life. I stayed in the hospital a few more days to have my kidney watched in my ankle put into a cast. I remember one nurse working in saying, "you look like you were hit by a train." I told her I was and I smiled. I spent a couple weeks at home recovering and eventually went back to school. I could not believe the support of all the people I've known a few short weeks.
Jen, Darla, Brenda and I remained friends; Darla and I were roommate sophomore year, and Jen and I were roommates junior year. In 1992, after my junior year at The University of South I stayed in Minnesota to work for Mall of America. I wasn't in contact with my friends (social media wasn't around then) with the exception of Jen's wedding, and her sister Joan's, we didn't get together. In 2008, I received a phone call from Jen saying Darla had past away from her battle with breast cancer. I regret that I didn't stay in touch with her. I found out she had a daughter that some day I want to meet.
In 2009, I wrote a list of things to do before I turned 40; one thing was to reconnect with my friends from USD. We made it happen! These women were part of a life changing event in my life. I live with the regret of not seeing Darla and being there as she fought cancer.
25 years later I still don't remember much about that evening., but when look at pictures of the car I realize that night God said there is still reason for me to be on this Earth.