Outside the Udvar-Hazy Center, an extension of the Air and Space Museum.
We took my parents to the National Arboretum. The azalea garden is amazing right now.
I recently realized that I never wrote my account of this day. If I don’t do it while it’s still fresh, I’ll kick myself as the memory begins to fade.
There aren’t many days in my life that I remember with great detail. April 27, 2009 is one of those days though. I was interning for a Member of Congress as well as for a nonprofit organization in Washington, DC. Jenny was in Georgia finishing the school year teaching. The plan was for me to finish my internships and find a job so we could permanently relocate to DC.
Four years ago, it was a Monday. Jenny and I were really into Chuck and planned to have a ‘date’ watching the season finale together while on the phone. I had just arrived home from a day of meetings at the nonprofit. It was about 4:30 or 5:00 when I received a phone call – it was the hospital. Coincidentally, it was the same hospital where I was born. The woman on the other end was extremely kind and calm. She gently told me that Jenny had been in an accident and her right leg had a compound fracture. I quickly asked if Jenny was conscious and if they knew she was pregnant – she was and they did. I thanked her and hung up so I could call people to rush to Jenny’s side.
I made three quick phone calls – the first was to my brother-in-law, Derek. He and my sister lived within minutes of the hospital, so I was hoping he was home from work so he could get to Jenny to give her a blessing as soon as possible. He was still at work but he told me he’d leave right away. He worked in Atlanta, so I knew his commute would be messy. I called my mom’s best friend, Jill, and her husband, Jay. They told me they’d head to the hospital. Then I called Mom and Dad to let them know about the accident. They were on their way too.
After these quick calls, I called some other family and friends to let them know and began figuring out how to get to Georgia as quickly as possible. Before I got too far into that, Mom called to tell me that Jill and Jay had arranged to get me on the next flight home. I told my roommates I’d be gone for a week or two. The woman from the hospital had been so gentle on the phone that I honestly had no idea how severe the accident was. I knew compound fractures were bad, but I had no idea how bad.
At the time, the Jansons lived in the basement apartment. I told them why I was heading home. Tana had just made no-bake cookies the right way, without peanut butter, so she gave me a bag for the flight. I hopped on the Metro to go the one stop up to Reagan National. I got to the airport and through security and headed over to McDonald’s. After getting food, I called Mom to get an update. I was able to talk to Jenny right before she went into surgery. I was still calm and collected.
The flight went by quickly. It’s a short flight anyway, but I was perfectly relaxed. I don’t remember what time I landed, but my sister and her husband picked me up at the airport. It was the first time I had ever flown without checking a bag, so I walked right off the plane and to the car. The drive only took about 20-30 minutes and I enjoyed being home. We got to the hospital and went right to the waiting room. My folks were there as were some friends and our bishop. I enjoyed hanging out and catching up. I pulled up my laptop to send my intern supervisors an email saying I would be out for a week or two (the next morning or a day later I would email saying I would not be coming back).
A few minutes after I got there, the doctor came out to update us on the surgery. One of my first questions was “how’s the baby?” His answer finally let me know how serious the situation was: “Unfortunately, I’m not worried about the baby, I’m just trying to save her leg.” He told me they had a sonogram tech monitoring the baby the entire time, but it didn’t look good.
About half an hour later, I was finally allowed into the ICU to see Jenny. She was drugged up, but she was able to have a small conversation with me. I was just so happy to see her. Everyone came back to give a quick hello and they left for the night. I settled into the chair next to the bed and called my little sister who was in school in Rexburg. After a quick conversation, I leaned back and tried to get some sleep. It would be my first of about 18 nights sleeping in the hospital.
I will be forever grateful that I had no idea how serious it was. It was around 11:00 by the time I met the doctor. It had been at least 6 hours since I found out about the accident. If I had to travel knowing the gravity of the situation, I’m sure I would have been an absolute mess. They say ignorance is bliss. I don’t know about that, but on this day, ignorance was a blessing.
A few months ago we cut the cable and went with an antenna. Well, we fixed the cable.
We had a small party for the Washers. Andrew’s being deployed and Jessica’s birthday is on Saturday.