Baby Lily (Utah)

In the last couple of days, a story has surfaced about an 18-month-old child in Utah who survived a car crash and being suspended upside-down near or in a river for an extended period of time in 28 to 40 degree weather. Several different media outlets that I’ve seen (I won’t describe reliability because you can Google just as well as I can) have described rescue workers as either hearing a woman crying, “Help!” from within the car or hearing an internal voice saying there was someone alive inside… The little girl’s mother appears to have died on impact, but her little baby heart only stopped beating when they righted the car to get her out – and it was started again by rescue workers.

I mention this because when the boys were little, for several months – It seems like years, but such things do when you live them – I was absolutely terrorized by a particular dream. I had two tiny sons in car seats. (True.) A husband in the passenger seat who cannot swim. (True.) I almost always drive. (True.)  At that time, I crossed the Mississippi and Wisconsin rivers on a weekly basis, as well as their extended basins that include lots of standing water of indeterminate depth immediately adjacent to the road. If you go off the road for any reason in that area, the odds are very good that you will land in water, not in a ditch.

Every night, for nights on end, I would have the same dream: I am driving, my infant sons are in their car seats in the back seat, my husband is in the passenger seat. We go off the road – the car goes underwater. I unbuckle, I don’t, I choose one or the other or the other first to unbuckle, I release someone to float, I drag as many as I can to the surface and go back for the last one… I could never, ever, ever save them all. Tim, Olin or AJ. Someone always died because I couldn’t save everyone. Every night, I lived this… For a long enough time that it still makes me nervous to drive next to open water. I was never able to save everyone. Someone always died, and that someone was never me. Sometimes it was more than one, but never me.

I think the dreams finally ended after I had Evangeline, and I gave up trying to save anyone because I knew it was impossible. If I couldn’t save three, how could I even imagine trying to save four? And so, perhaps I defeated the nightmare with my own ineffectuality. (I don’t think that’s actually a word…)

As for baby Lily, I hope and pray health, recovery and restoration for her because she is an incredible miracle baby that the voice of her mama, or her angel, or someone appears to have called to every rescue worker in the vicinity with “Help!” or the knowledge that there was someone inside to save.  She has a purpose. What that is, I don’t know. But she’s got it.

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