Our Battle Begins.

Our Battle Begins.

In the Belly of the Beast.

I grabbed Jessica in my arms and tried to arouse her… there was no response… her head was flopping limply. I laid her on our breakfast bar and began to massage her, pinch her, poke her.

She looked dead and was completely unresponsive. I remember her skin felt strangely cold and clammy. I continued to work feverishly on her.

I pressed on her chest and pulled her arms up to help her breathe… and time slipped slowly by… nothing… nothing… not breathing… ‘she is gone!’ I thought. But I couldn’t stop… I wouldn’t stop! This couldn’t be happening! I remember the rising desperation I felt in my heart.

All of this couldn’t have taken more than a minute or two maximum, but it seemed like an eternity! I am sure I was holding my breath and trying to will her to breathe again. As I worked on her, suddenly with a jerk, she took a gasping breath and then another, the color returned to her face and her eyes opened… she was still alive!

I took a deep breath.

I looked at the clock… it was 2:40 pm. I quickly grabbed the phone and called the doctor’s office. As the seconds ticked by while I waited for the nurse to answer, Jessica looked more and more normal. It was so very surreal.

“We have had a problem with our little girl Jessica and we are coming back to see the doctor!” I said with feeling and probably a little louder than necessary. Something in my voice made my point. “Okay,” the nurse said meekly, “…we are very busy and you may have to wait a long time…”

“I don’t care how long we have to wait. We are going to see the doctor today!” I said.

GUWJ4_P051.410.15_loresShock and Awe.

I hung up the phone and turned to Renée, who by now had cuddled Jessica in her arms and was staring at me with a tear stained face. Her expression said what I was thinking. Something was wrong, terribly wrong with Jessica, but what was it?

Even today, I remember how physically suffocating the fear of the unknown felt at that moment. My heart was thumping hard. In my mind I was fighting the shock of what was happening. It was a cold and lonely feeling.

Our Battle was Beginning and we would be Changed Forever.

Most wars start with a small seemingly insignificant event. Some start with a surprise. Our battle for Jessica began that quiet winter day in 1978. What had seemed like a scenic postcard day with the December snow tumbling quietly down, had become our personal nightmare in a frozen wasteland. Our war had begun and we were fighting back in the only way we knew. We had to solve this terrible mystery.

I remember our sense of foreboding as we hurriedly loaded up for our second trip to the doctor’s office on that fateful day… December 29, 1978. We had no idea what we were facing or how long it would last. I think we were hoping for a simple and quick fix. From that day forward, nothing would ever be the same.

Next Week: ‘Off Into the Void.’

I will continue to share the answers to the question “What happened to Jessica” every Monday in the weeks ahead. When I have received sufficient feedback and questions, I will add a Thursday episode, as needed, to this blog, focused on answering your questions and comments.

Thanks for your interest.

Jim, Renee & Jessica

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