13 Apr Betrothed Part II: It Wasn’t the Saw.
Why, hello people I love.
I forgot to tell you guys yesterday, I got my wedding dress Sunday! Hooray! Well, actually I ordered it, same difference. I’d post a picture, but The Man is nosey. He asked if I’d text him a picture of it… Uhm… No. I’m so sweet. Some traditions are worth keeping in my opinion, and him seeing me in the dress the day of is one of em’. Anywho, I love it. You’ll get to see it in October. Holy mess, that’s coming up fast!
OK, so yesterday I told you guys how God and me had a moment in the middle of Kays in Cool Springs Galleria and let me know that Jeremy Clayton Landers was “the dude” I was marrying. Today I’m going to tell you one of the biggest moments in my life, and certainly Jeremy’s life, that even further solidified that.
There have been 5 major scary moments in my life that freaked me out to the point of needing some Depends, figuratively speaking of course. The first is when I was 16, I had a really bad car accident. The accident itself didn’t scare me as much as turning around and seeing my car look like a Transformer got eaten and spit out. The second was when I was 5 or 6 and I rolled my head up in my granddad’s Old Crown Victoria trying to look at lions in a drive-thru zoo. I think the main problem in that sentence was “drive-thru zoo”. Sounds like something Jeff Foxworthy would have a joke about. Anyway, I have never felt closer to death than I did with that window choking the life out of me, a lion in a chain link fence starting at me, and the sound of my Gunga’s (that’s what I called him) teeth flopping loosely in his mouth from laughing at my pain.
A third scary moment was when I found out my dad had a heart attack a couple of years ago. He fully recovered, but that was really scary. And then a 4th was when I was 10, I hung out with 4 little boys that lived in my neighborhood. I had a crush on one of them, big time. We were all building a fort and “he” sent me out to get water from the creek in the cow pasture behind our house. I didn’t know why we needed water (probably a way to get rid of the stupid girl), but I didn’t care, he was cute. I went in to the cow pasture and low and behold the cows were in the field that day. Now, little boy told me cows didn’t swim, so if they started walking towards me just jump in the creek. Little boy lied. Those cows came running to me like I was Simba on the stinking Lion King. I jumped in the water and the cows jumped in right after. I swam all the way to little boy’s house, where he pulled me out of the water and said, “That was awesome!”. Ah yes, I had that all planned anyways. I’m cool like that.
All those were scary moments, some scarier than others. But there was one moment that completely changed everything for me and The Man, and an assortment of other people. A year ago yesterday, some few weeks after we looked at engagement rings, The Man and I were eating out with some friends from church. He wasn’t feeling well and I told him to go home because he had a test the next day and he needed to be suited up for that. He agreed, kissed me, and oddly enough before he drove off, he honked the horn, stuck his left hand out, and waved at me again. He had never done that before.
I went back to church that night and then out to eat with my mother, Debbie and some church people. I was in the middle of telling everyone some story about about Jeremy when he called and interrupted the story. I said something smart allic like, “Speaking of!” and he said, “Hey baby”. Sounded completely calm as normal. Then I heard what sounded like sirens. I said said hey back and then asked him what that noise was. And then he said those words that no mother, wife, person wants to hear,”I’ve been in an accident.” Of course, if you don’t know me and Jeremy really well, our friends will tell you, I’m the one that freaks out and he’s the one he pets my head till I chill out. So, I asked him what was wrong. All he would say is that he was in an accident. From that I figured it was a car accident, so I asked where he was. He said he did it at my parent’s house. This made no sense to me as my parent’s live in the country and there really nothing to hit except maybe a mailbox or a dog. Then he said that my dad was with him and he was on the way to the hospital and he had to go. So, confused me told my mom we gotta go to the hospital, I didn’t know why, but we just did. On the way, I called my dad. My dad, trying not to freak me out anymore than I was, was very vague and wouldn’t say much more than Jeremy was in a a really bad accident, it was serious. That’s about it. Finally, after Jeremy told him to, he said, “He’s cut a couple of fingers off.” Hmm. This just didn’t register with me. I’m thinking tips or his index or something. That can’t be that bad.
I called Jeremy’s mom. We all got to the hospital before Jeremy did. I saw Jeremy’s ambulance pull up and my dad in my parent’s little VW bug pull in front of the emergency room entrance. He jumped out of the car and he had a ziplock bag with ice in it. Everybody got quiet. I felt like I was going to throw up. We all knew what was in that bag. Dad ran inside. Finally, after a little bit of waiting, I was able to go see him. That’s when I found out that he didn’t lose a couple of fingers. He lost all everything but his pinky on his left hand. Jeremy was groggy, but responsive. He gave me his True Love Waits ring on his necklace and said I love you a whole bunch. Mainly because he was high as a kite. Then the doctors said that he needed to be transferred to a hospital in Atlanta for a hand doctor to see him. They loaded him up. I went and got some clothes and then got the hospital about 5 minutes after they took him back for surgery. His dad let me know that the prognosis was very poor. It was looking like he’d have a pinky and they might be able to reconstruct a thumb out of one of his fingers. That was it. And at that point, that was fine. I just wanted him alive.
My dad came up. You have to know my dad. He is very calm, very together. That night, he was broken. I could tell he had seen something really bad. He LOVES Jeremy. He proceeded to tell me that Jeremy was working in the shop with him. My dad went over to the neighbors house for a second and while he was there, Jeremy was cutting a piece of wood on a table saw. The wood got stuck, and the table saw rejected it toward Jeremy’s face. He put his left hand up to guard his face and the wood hit his hand so hard, it knocked his thumb, index, middle, and ring finger of his hand. Jeremy ran in to the house to tell my mom Karen, that she needed to take him to the hospital. After that he ran back to the shop to get his fingers. My dad came back over when Jeremy was running back into the house holding his fingers in his left palm with his right hand over them. Dad loaded him up in the car, went about 80mph in a 45ph which ended up turning into somewhat of a high speed chase with a Aragon police. When he finally pulled over, the police had been notified that there was someone injured in the car and had an ambulance come to them. When the ambulance got there, Jeremy noticed something. He was missing 4 fingers, but he was holding 3. He forgot his middle finger. My dad drove back and got his middle finger, put it in a bag and caught up with the ambulance. My dad is kind of a beast.
The next day, we waited, and waited, and waited. After a 14 hour surgery, terrible prognosis, the doctor finally came out. 4 fingers were reattached. 4 fingers had blood flow. Jeremy had 5 fingers again. Umm. If you were wondering if there’s a God, there ya go.
I went to see him. He was high as a kite and his face was swollen from laying on the table for so long. He kept yelling, “Hey baby! Am I giving a thumbs up?! When are we leaving?! I want Flying Biscuit! Look at my fingers! Am I giving thumbs up?!” I’d pet his head and smile and say, “Not yet, babe, but you’re close.” Thing was, Jeremy was far, far from recovery. These fingers could just stop circulating blood at any point. There were so many things that could happen that were critical. It was just the craziest thing ever. Jeremy was in the hospital for a week. Me and his mother swapped out on naps on a recliner for 6 days. During his surgery, he got pneumonia, so he was barfing (which is my most favorite thing ever), having a lot of problems breathing, and all the other yucky stuff that comes with that. On top of that his left arm looked like a bazooka gun for all of the wrapping. It was placed under a lamp that helped it circulation and it couldn’t be moved. His right armed had several IVs in it. So basically he sat like a mummy for 7 days. The room had to be set to a certain temperature for the blood flow, so he was sweating profusely. The lamp didn’t help that. It was honestly the most pitiful thing I have ever seen. He had blisters on the back of his heels the size of half a tennis ball from his feet rubbing the sheets. The guys was just in a terrible shape. He was having to do breathing treatments every 2 hours. It was terrible. There was a time I think the Tuesday after where I was thinking, gosh, something bad could go wrong pretty easily, and he could die. The funny thing is, through the whole time, I never once wanted to leave him, or panicked when he got sick, or thought I can’t deal with this and I don’t want to be here. I would have stayed forever and done whatever needed to be done just to see him a little bit more comfortable. And so independent Haley had even more confirmation that God had put someone on earth who she’d walk the sun barefoot for.
Jeremy was released 7 days after his accident. His index stopped circulating blood and eventually it had to be removed, but the rest of his fingers kept. Things were critical for a few months. He basically lived at therapy til around our engagement. The doctors were saying that maybe a 6 months from his accident he would be able to move his fingers a little. In 6 months the dude was pretty much making a fist. His ring finger is fused and he can’t bend it, but his thumb is pretty normal. His middle finger still has a little bit of work to go, but it’s doing way better than before. He’s had 4 surgeries since, and the guy has defied all the goals the doctors had. He’s incredible. Even more so, God is incredible. Jeremy is absolutely the toughest, most persistent person I know. If you say that he can go this far, he will figure out away to go 10x further than that.
I’d say that after that happened, the whole year of 2010 changed for us. It became solely about getting his hand where it needed to be. It was stressful to say the least because everything was just so critical. Here was a man who used his hands for EVERYTHING having to make it work for himself, when the rest of us don’t even think about how blessed we are to just be able to use our hands however and whenever we want. Things like money and what we needed to do to provide for ourselves when we got married were in question, because we weren’t sure if he would be able to do what he did before or how long it would take till he was able to work again. Everything was so uncertain, and just when something started to look concrete, the rug would be swept out form under us again. Satan threw obstacle after obstacle, but in the end God prevailed. We are now in a place where we look back and go, “Ohhhh, I get it. That’s why this or that had to happen. Thanks, Lord!” I have a healthy fiance, with 9 fingers and 10 toes and is still as hot as he ever was, if not hotter. He is very capable, and will sit you down and gently tell you how capable he is if you treat him like you’re sorry for him. Haha. God has provided financially and we are getting married October 22nd and I am beyond stoked. I sure do love him. I’m about to cry actually typing this, and I never cry.
Oh yes, and if you’re retracing this story to see what actually happened, I will reiterate. It wasn’t the saw. My future in-laws will appreciate me saying that. You wouldn’t believe how much we’ve had to say that.
So that’s that. Thursday, I’ll tell you the proposal story and you’ll get to see me in gym shorts looking rrrrrrough:)
I’ll see you then? I sure do hope so:)