From the book
"I think a little vacation in Virgin River is exactly what Angie needs," Sam Sheridan announced as he looked around the table at his family, all gathered at his home for Thanksgiving dinner. Angie gave her grandfather a grateful smile, relieved to finally have someone on her side. "She's been through quite an ordeal," Sam continued, "and I think medical school can wait while she figures things out. A little rest and relaxation--a chance to visit with the rest of the family--it will do her worlds of good."
"Well, I think if anyone knows what's good for Angie, it's me," Donna replied sternly, glaring daggers at her father. "A visit with Jack, Mel and Brie sounds all well and good, but I'm her mother, and I've supported her from the day she was born. A vacation should be the furthest thing from her mind right now. The accident--" She hesitated, glancing over at Angie. "Well, let's be honest, Angie--the accident has really...affected you. There's nothing that needs 'figuring out.' You need to get back on track academically as soon as possible. That's where your focus should be. That's where it was before."
Before. It seemed for Angie as though things would forever be divided into life before the accident and life afterward. While there wasn't much that she remembered from the car accident itself, there were certainly a few moments that stuck out in her mind. She remembered how close she came to dying that cold, drizzly March evening, lying in an emergency room covered with blood, and that it was her long-dead grandmother who was attempting to help her cross to the other side. She hadn't told anyone in her family about that little detail. Why bother? Some of them already thought she was half-crazy.
On the day of the accident, Angie had been the passenger in a car with her friend. A car on the opposing interstate lane had lost control, crossed the median and hit two oncoming cars--including the one Angie had been traveling in. The crash could've been caused by a flat tire or from the driver's attempt to avoid another car, but there was no clear villain, no alcohol or drugs to blame. It was truly an accident.
The driver of the other car had been killed, everyone else injured, Angie the worst. She'd suffered a couple of serious fractures for which surgery had been required. She also lost her spleen, had a collapsed lung and a titanium rod had been placed in her left femur. But the big issue had been the head injury--there had been an impressive laceration on the back of her head and, while there was no open fracture, her brain began to swell and the neurosurgeon had needed to implant a shunt to drain the edema. After her surgery, Angie had been in a coma for three days and had to fight her way back to the world through a postanesthetic and pain-med haze. Friends, family and medical experts had wondered for weeks if this bright, driven young medical student would have any mental handicaps as a result. She did not.
However, as often happens, the experience changed Angie forever. And those changes were what had led to the current impasse between Angie and her mother, a university professor who wanted to see Angie back in med school as quickly as possible. Today, Angie was fully recovered from her accident and could have gone back to school in September, but she'd chosen not to.
"Well, maybe a brief break from school is within reason," her father, Bob, said to Donna cautiously, once the rest of the family was happily starting dessert and the three of them had offered to start the dishes in the kitchen. Angie rolled her eyes....