He said "No," but it wasn't a statement, it was a one word prayer, a plea.
The events that followed are a little hazy in my mind. At some point I got dressed and tracked down my dad. We dropped my friend off at her aunts house in town. We arrived at the hospital at the same time as my younger cousin (who my Aunt had been going to pickup) and my Uncle dropped to his knees right there in the parking lot. It seems like all of this took hours, but in reality I know it only took minutes.
The baby was with her, just two. So was the dog. The baby was brought to the emergency room in her car seat by two hunters, alive, but barely. My mom was working (as a nurse) that day. She didn't even recognize her. The baby was immediately shipped to a bigger hospital with pediatric specialists. My mom and uncle went with.
The rest of us were left to grieve and comfort my Auntie's other two children. The rest of the day was a blur. It was an earthquake of epic proportions and we would deal with the aftershocks for years to come.