One of my favorite books in childhood was A.A.Milne’s “Now We Are Six”. And for the time being, that sums it up beautifully. I’m Sandra’s Uncle Jim and I wanted to share our story of Sandra and Glen.
We were out shopping at Ikea when the phone call came in from my parents. “Have you talked to Margot, yet? Glen and Sandra have been in an accident.” After several unsuccessful attempts, I was able to get through to Margot. For those of you that know Margot, much like A.A.Milne, she is a pretty easy book to read. It was clear from her voice that the situation was serious. I got a hold of her as she was arriving at the hospital to pick up Alana and Cameron.She had me repeat back to her where she was parked, because in her present state, she was afraid she would not remember how to find her car. (I texted it to her following the call so that neither one of us would forget it.)
Bit by bit, the story of what had happened unfolded. The severity of the accident, the reality of the recovery period, the logistics of what was going to need to be handled all started to come to light. I talked with Doug and knew that he was packing as we spoke. Cindy, Tom, and Doug would be here shortly after morning broke.
With that, my wife Samantha began asking about the kids. “What was THEIR status? Were they injured? Where are THEY going to stay? Margot, Doug, Cindy and Tom were going to need to place their focus on being with Sandra and Glen. WE needed to take the kids.” Samantha is my rock and support. She has helped me to pull it together when I have been overwhelmed by the enormity of this. She approaches it with a keen analytic mind that is needed when my emotionally driven mind is a jumble.
We have four kids of our own, ranging from almost-5 up to 16. We’re no Duggars, but it can be a handful. But, as the Duggars (who just announced #20 is on the way) figured out, once you have 4, two more is not that big of a difference. Lily and Alana are the same age, with Madeleine being a close runner up. They ADORE each other. It is constantly “Can we get together with Alana?” and Sandra had just recently shared with me that it has been the same on Alana’s end. After our recent Halloween party, when Alana had to leave, Lily stood in the front window just sobbing and calling out her name. So needless to say, when the idea came up to have them stay with us, it wasn’t a difficult conclusion to reach.
For me, the difficulty was going to be Cameron. Not because he’s two. I’ve been through that. He’s a BOY! What do I know about having boys around the house? Four daughters, a wife, and two female cats. Testosterone is at a premium in this Meeker household. Well, just to set everyone’s mind at ease, it is going great. Cameron is awesome. Talking up a storm and just loving being with the girls. Lindsey is really good with him and they have had a bond ever since he was born.
I sent out an email to Sandra’s principal on Saturday night and we spoke on Sunday. That was the beginning of connections at her school that have swelled to an enormous level. The support coming from the staff there is overwhelming.
But it doesn’t stop there. My school has also rallied behind Samantha and I, as well. Through a website called MealTrain, they have arranged to bring meals for the kids and us for the next several weeks. I have had baby gates brought to school to help with the stairs at our house. It has been amazing.
Knowing that Alana and Cameron are in a stable and familiar environment has helped me to cope with the situation. Alana is at her regular school and in her regular routine. Cameron is at Kids R Kids, like normal, and seems to be happy as can be.
For as long as it takes, whatever it takes, I am happy to have Alana and Cameron as a closer part of our family. And I am blessed to have such wonderful family as Sandra and Glen living close to us. Together, as a family, and as a community, we are going to see this tragedy through to happy ending.
On a side note, I record a Podcast each week called Waves of Tech, where the focus is on how technology impacts our lives. Tonite I will be talking about how technology, social networking, and websites have had an impact on Sandra and Glen’s story. The show is live at http://www.netcaststudio.com tonite (Wednesday) at 10:00 PM EST or you can download it starting tomorrow. Go to the website and go to the Waves of Tech page and you will find the iTunes links, as well as many other ways.