The Idea of an Essay, Volume 4

28 The Idea of an Essay: Volume 4 Rebekah’s Story Nathan Shinabarger I’mcoming down the stairs, and I overhearmymomon the phone. “Ohh no..” I hear mom utter faintly, as if to herself. She quickly hangs up and orders “Everybody in the car! Rebekah just stopped breathing.” Ninety seconds later, I’m in the car with two of my five siblings and my mom, and we’re rushing down the driveway. We race down the county roads; the trees passing us in a blur of color, until we make it to the highway where our mom really lays on the gas. Mom issues an order to my brother. “Noah, get my phone. Call daddy.” Noah obeys and hands the phone off, but dad doesn’t pick up at first. Mom calls again, and he still doesn’t pick up. She knows better than to get upset right now, so she focuses on the road, and we keep rushing forward. When we come to the stoplight before the hospital the light is red but, mom rushes into the turn anyway, and grabs the nearest parking spot she sees. In a frantic rush, we arrive at the third floor – the Surgical Trauma Intensive Care Unit – uncomfortably familiar with the hallways and back stairways through the hospital. We burst through the unit doors, and are met by our younger sister, Elizabeth. She’d been staying with our second oldest sister, Rebekah, who was in critical condition. Yesterday the room had looked so nice, with countless gift baskets from caring friends, and cards expressing others’ prayers, but now we only see a medical team swarming around her bed. She’s lying there, unconscious, with a ventilator forcing air into her lungs. We watch anxiously from the sidelines as the medical staff run more tests on her. Families of friends gather outside, but we’re emotionally too wasted to see them. Our family alone together gets in a circle, and we cry and pray. * * * * * Rebekah’s medical complications had begun about a month previously. I was inThanksgiving day chapel and I had been planning