It was a normal work day just like any other. Stressful and tiring. I went to work with Lily and handed her off to Koty. I went into work and instantly felt like I needed a way out of my jobs environment. I wanted to leave and never look back. So I did. I walked out. As much as I regret how I left a place where I met my husband and bestfriend I’m glad I walked away. I was always tired and always stressed. I left work in tears to Koty. What would we do? We needed the money. I called Koty’s mom and asked her if we could come to Montana. She said yes and the next day we packed our car and left. I couldn’t tell anyone goodbye. If I did I knew I wouldn’t leave. I knew I needed a change in my life and this was the time to do it. We drove for two days and made it to the small town of Whitefish. It was small and charming. Full of hope for new adventures and opportunities.
But soon I become sad and depressed all over again. We knew no one. We had no money. And we were living with Koty’s mom and step dad. I felt like I hated my new decision but I had to stick by it. I knew if I voiced how much I hated it I wouldn’t hear the end of it. We moved into a tiny house down the street a month later and slowly began to like our new home. We weren’t fully there yet when Lily was hurt but we were so close. Koty and I decided to hire a local 14 year old girl to watch Lily a couple of hours on the weekends. We only had his mom, step dad, and brother to watch her and they were not always available. So we introduced her to her babysitter “Eliot” but “El” for short. It still gives me chills writing her name because I hear Lily’s voice call her name, so happy to see someone who ended up hurting her.
While in Whitefish Lily loved to feed the ducks, play with chalk outside, get ice cream, she saw Glacier National Park, we were together more as a family than we had ever been. We were waiting for Koty to apply to become an engineer on the railroad. I would become a stay at home mom and we would be able to provide a life for Lily and our future children that we always wanted.
So….here begins the part of the story I am dreading. It was a normal day. I slept in because Koty always let me. Lily tried to wake me up and I slowly did. We both had to work again that night so we stayed inside that day. Koty left for work that afternoon. Lily and I took a nap before I had to leave. When I was getting ready for work I was so irritated with her being upset. I figured it was because I had to leave. The babysitter arrived before 5pm and I left. I gave Lily a kiss and hug even though she was crying. The babysitter who had long brown hair and braces brought bubbles with her. A kind gesture to make Lily happy. I will always remember this day. Was Lily trying to tell me something but she didn’t know how? Why was she upset? Why did I leave her? Why didn’t I notice that something could have been wrong? I will forever regret this day.
A couple hours after being at work I checked my phone. The babysitters mom called me a few times. I knew instantly something was wrong. I got on the phone with her mom and she told me there had been an “accident.” I left work right after the phone call. Speeding down the windy roads of the town next to Whitefish. I called Koty over and over. No answer. I got a call from the paramedic telling me my daughter was unresponsive, I felt like my heart sunk all the way to the bottoms of my feet. I finally reached Koty and we rushed to the hospital. Both of us scared. Is our daughter okay? What happened?
We finally reached the hospital, waiting for what felt like hours to speak with someone. The babysitter and her mom arrived within minutes after us. Eliot said that Lily fell off the couch. In my heart I wanted to believe her but I knew it was a lie. Koty and I were directed to an area outside of the emergency room. We were following a nurse to be taken to Lily. Soon another nurse walked out of a room I knew we should have been going into. She said “Im sorry but the doctors are having to put a tube down Lily’s throat because she can’t breathe. You need to wait in the waiting room.” I fell to the ground. I screamed. I cried. I was scared. Koty and the nurse had to pick me up off the ground.
We were shown into a waiting room. We were in shock. How did this happen? Why did this happen? Soon a pediatric neurosurgeon explained Lily needed to have brain surgery. There was so much blood and pressure in her brain and she was in critical condition. So we signed the paper work and waited. What if she is never coming back? What if she dies on the table? What if she becomes special needs forever because of this? What are we going to do? There was nothing we could do. But wait. We talked with nurses. We talked with CPS. All while waiting for our baby to get out of surgery. Thinking about her not only having surgery, but on her brain? Hours later we got to see our daughter. We were sent back to the PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit) She was in a crib. She had gauze wrapped all over her head. She had tubes in her mouth. Her eyes were swollen. She only had a diaper on because she had a temperature. She looked so small in that crib.
She looked broken. We grabbed her hands and kissed her. We told her we were sorry and we loved her, and we waited for the news ahead.