On Friday night, I was running Activity Days at our church building in Lincoln Square from 7-8 PM. I didn't have my phone on me because of this. Kate was at a birthday party for a friend in New Rochelle- about 45 minutes north of the city. They were celebrating at a trampoline park- you know, one of those places that you sign your child's life away before they can get in the doors? Yeah, those. No biggie.
Well, I was chatting with a couple of moms after the church activity, when I thought to check my phone and realized that I had several missed calls and an ominous "911" text from Brian. Nervously, I called Brian, and he explained that Kate had had an accident where she incurred a massive cut on her face, and was in an ambulance on her way to the hospital. I was terrified for her and felt so bad for how scared she must be! And I was also at a complete loss as to what steps to take next. Brian was all the way in Brooklyn picking up my race bib for the half marathon early the next morning. It would take him at least 45 minutes by subway just to get back to the UWS. Kate was 45 minutes away in a town only accessible by car, which we don't own. I had Tessa, Lauren and Taylor with me, who needed to get home for the night. I was a mess- totally didn't know where to begin to get to Kate and make sure my other girls were taken care of. My dear friend, Lynda, happened to be there when I got the call. She could see right away that something was really wrong and offered to get my girls home, so I ran back to my apartment, trying to get ahold of myself to make some big choices. I called Brian again to try and see what could be done. Lynda got there with my girls, offered the use of her car and then Brian, who is waaaay more calm and controlled than I am in situations like this, decided to get back from race pickup, drive Lynda's car up to the hospital in White Plains and take care of Kate and relieve the sweet parents of the birthday girl, who were total champs and rode in the ambulance and stayed with her the entire 3 hours before we were even able to get up there! I am just so so so grateful for good people and they are some of the best (we hadn't even met them before this incident!). It was so tricky trying to figure all of this out without the car, and we are also so grateful for Lynda, who offered her car without even thinking twice about it.
Kate was so brave- both Brian and I talked with her on the phone while she waited to be seen and she was in such good spirits. You'd have thought she'd been through this before??!! ;) Turns out she was doing a flip off a trampoline into a foam pit "one last time" before the party ended and her knee collided with her head at such an incredible rate that it blew a hole in her forehead.
Once Brian arrived at the hospital and told the nurses that we'd like to have Kate stitched up by a plastic surgeon versus an ER doc, seeing as the injury was on her face and was quite severe (thank goodness it narrowly missed her eye). That also meant a really long wait, as the surgeon on call lives on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and had to drive up. When all was said and done, Kate and Brian didn't get home until 5:30 am. The surgeon was amazing and put 61 stitches in over 5 layers of skin. Brian took lots of pictures, but I still haven't been able to look at any of them- and probably never will. Our poor Kate has just been through so much already in her short life, and it makes me ache so much to see her in pain again. I cannot do it.
So, this picture is going to be as good as it gets for now. I really debated whether or not I should run the half early the next morning, as I didn't sleep well at all waiting for them to get home. But, when my alarm went off, I was able to get myself up and out the door for the train to Brooklyn. This race was different in so many ways, but the biggest part was how torn up I was on the inside. That made more more determined than ever to run hard and get home to see my girl. The first half of the race was great- felt easy and the run was through Prospect Park and charming areas of Brooklyn. The second half was BRUTAL. It was a 6 mile highway that was more boring than anything I'd ever run on before. It was mind-numbing. And, all I wanted was to be doooone and home. It was a really mentally tough half marathon, and I'm not sure how I pulled off a PR, but I felt SO MANY emotions as I thought about what had happened to my sweet Kate and how much braver she is than I ever hope to be. There was just no way I could let up on my run, no matter how mentally or physically painful it was, if she had to go through what she had to go through the night before. Tough is what she is and tough is what I was going to be- no matter what. This run and my medal were all for her because she pulled me through it. Just so grateful for the body's ability to push past pain and overcome, and the lessons and strength you get from it when all is said and done.