Jannigje (Jean)

Jannigje (Jean) 

I wish I had known you.
I can’t count the times I’ve been told how much you would have loved me and how we could  have been so close.
You loved medicine and encouraged Wendy to pursue it.
What happened that day in May of 1990?
You were just supposed to be driving to a wedding with Grandpa.
You were probably sitting there reading when the car veered off the road. Was Grandpa tired? Did something startle him while driving?
He never said what really happened, before the car went into the ditch, before the seatbelt dug  into your abdomen on impact.
Who knew that would lead to so many complications and so much heartache? You likely thought you would get checked out and then still be able to make the wedding. You were bleeding.
You were bleeding inside and they didn’t know until it was too late.
Why didn’t the hospital in Grants Pass do a CT scan?
Apparently you were in a lot of pain, but they figured you were just sore and told you to fight  through it.
If I had been there, with what I know now, I would have told the doctors so many things. She has 5 children, all married, and 8 grandkids. Three more will be born in the next 5 years.  Please do something. She’s in pain. Something is wrong.
But no.
They waited a few days.
You talked to my father on the phone. I can imagine you talking in your Dutch accent asking  how my brother and mom are.
You walked around outside the hospital with my aunt to try to feel better. Some of your last  words were
I think I’m going into septic shock.
You were trained as a nurse, you knew.
You knew and it was too late.
Exploratory surgery revealed that your colon was a mess.
Sepsis had set in and there was nothing they could do.
My father and his sisters got on a plane, knowing that you weren’t going to make it. You were  already unconscious.
Jackie had to run with her son onto the plane to get there in time before you passed. Did you know that little boy became a doctor as well?
I know you were a wonderful person. I know this because of how much people talk about you  and all the wonderful things you did.
When my father said, “You know, when I talk to you, it’s like I’m talking to my mother” I almost  cried. It’s one of the best compliments I’ve ever received.
I believe you can be connected to someone you’ve never met.
I like to think that we will meet someday. I have faith.
But I wish I had known you. 

Allie Kroes, UUSOM '22 is from Idaho and graduated from the College of Idaho with a degree in Biology. She enjoys reading, writing, and all things Disney

MED '22
Issues: Volume 7
Rubor Participation:
2020 Prose, "Jannigje (Jean)", web edition
Prose Content Editor, 2019