With that said, Kenzie's story deserves a spot of its own
My aunt-in-law Lynne took Kenzie in when she was discharged (5 days after the accident). Jason was still at his parents discharged before her with multiple broken ribs, cuts, contusions, and stitches in several places. Ironically, though Kenzie was the only one of us to have ended up in the ICU, she was somehow the first of us girls to be discharged.
The visits she made to the hospital in the ensuing weeks are so much of what pulled me and Jade through. Each time she came in she came smiling. Her bright face, and soft hugs gave us motivation to get better and get home so we could all be together again.
Once we got home though, things became difficult for Kenzie. Jade and I required a lot of help and though Kenzie had been discharged and granted a clean bill of physical health on her follow up, other things she dealt with were going unattended.
We were so sick with worry over the physical aspects of Jade's condition that I'm not sure any of us really stopped to ask Kenzie how she was dealing with it - if she was okay.
One medical issue ensued after another with Jade and me - she randomly ended up with a boil on her ear from an infected earring, I ended up with a skin infection on the palm of my hands, Jade's bag was causing a rash.
One doctor's appointment after another.
The topic of the day was how much my hands and Jade's rash hurt, how our incisions looked, and whether our physical therapy was doing the job.
Kenzie fell between these cracks.
She fell between them but refused to fall willingly.
Instead she decided to leave for a party she was forbidden to go to and refused to come back.
Informing me that "accidents happen all the time," she couldn't grasp why all we seemed to discuss was the accident.
She needed to get away from it. She'd spent almost a week in a hospital room with her sister, watching her get sicker and sicker, laying helpless beside her, trying to heal from injuries of her own. With the deepest degree of laceration to her spleen, an additional laceration to her lung, and a busted collar bone, sternum and sprained foot she was no stranger to pain - instead she was a stranger to the attention she should have received.
I remember how completely helpless I felt when she ran away. In the midst of all that was going on I couldn't believe she would be so thoughtless.
Didn't occur to me at the time that all she was doing was giving me a dose of my own medicine - even if not consciously doing so.
Not knowing what to do (the law in Maine dictates that at 16 years old you can leave home without legal repercussion), I let her go and tried to give her a bit of space.
All I could see was myself. How scared I was, how difficult it was to make peace with my new scars, how little I wanted to ride in cars.
It never occurred to me how scary it must have been for her to have to heal primarily alone because both adults in her life were unavailable. Jade at least had the comfort of her older sister, but Kenzie - she had her friends.
Deciding to try and get her to see where I was coming from I wrote to her. I figured trying to talk in person or over the phone might cause an argument, so I wrote.
What I got in response punched me in the gut. She wasn't mean - on the contrary, for the first time since everything happened she opened up.
She opened up and I realized that as grown as she is she's still my baby. She was scared too - but because she didn't have surgery resulting in ongoing physical ailments she didn't have the same need to continue to discuss this thing that scared and hurt us all - as a matter of fact it was keeping her from being able to move on from it.
Communication is key.
Thank goodness I had the type of mom to instill that truth - it brought my Kenzie home.
I love my Kenzie :)