I just wanted to pop in quick and thank you all for your kind words and thoughts. I really appreciate it. My cousin Whitney will be greatly missed, but we know she is in a better place and although that doesn't make it better, it does help ease the pain. Whitney was only 21, but was a wonderful young woman.
They aren't doing the funeral until Tuesday to try and get the other kids healed enough to attend. They are planning on cremating her afterwards as that was her wish and they want to honor that, but it will solely be a family affair for the five of them. Whitney spent time in Australia for a summer when she was a teenager and always said she wanted her ashes spread on the Great Barrier Reef. In a year or two the family will take a trip to honor that request.
I miss my kids and my husband horribly and I know they need me right now, so I'll actually be flying back to SLC tomorrow (Friday) morning. I know that I needed to be here for the last two days, but now my focus is on my family and making sure my kids know how special they are to me, and try to get them back to normal. Everyone here understands that we won't be able to come back for the funeral, but they know why so it's alright. Also, my friends husbands memorial service will be Saturday afternoon. He was cremated today and so Saturday will be a celebration of his life so Jake and I will need to be there for that.
My cousin Thomas was on the passenger side of the SUV and Whitney was in the front passenger seat. They received the blunt of the roll-over, but Thomas (16) is recovering more quickly than they even expected. He is still in the ICU and probably will be for another day or two, but they are very impressed with him. The biggest concern with him is he was basically scalped from the gash on his head so he received several stiches on his head and was in a neck brace for a couple days. He has pins in his wrist and will have problems with his right side for a while, including his legs. He looks really beat up, but is a fighter.
Merritt (13) received several cuts and bruises and broke her leg and foot in two places. Her foot will need skin grafts as it was down to tendons on the top of her foot. Merritt is an elite dancer so they have a podiatrist who is taking every precaution and is doing extra steps to ensure she'll be able to dance again. She had a surgery today to place a machine called a wound vac on her foot to help stimulate tissue growth. They'll need to keep doing this for at least two weeks or so before they can do the grafts.
Lauren (19) was driving and received the least amount of damage. Her one leg is pretty banged up and one of her fingers has several stiches, and both will just need some time to heal. Her arm received horrible road rash and had to be scrubbed and will also take awhile to heal. She was released from the hospital today. Mentally she is in denial and is coping as she only knows how to. The family will get individual counseling as well as family counseling. Physically, Lauren will heal and will carry some scars, but emotionally and mentally she has a long road to travel.
As for myself...I'm hanging in there. I will take my time later to have a really good cry and a little breakdown, but only when I am back home with Jake. From the moment I got the call until this very minute typing I haven't had a chance to really greive yet. Its been tearing up here and there (and a quick cry in the shower Wednesday morning), but I know I've had to be strong for my family. Tomorrow evening when its just Jake and I, I will take the time to mourn my cousin. I will cry for her, for my grandparents that lost a granddaughter, for my parents and aunts and uncles that lost a neice, for my cousins who also lost a cousin, for my cousins that lost their sister, and for my aunt and uncle who lost their daughter.
All of the children were wearing the seat belts.