On May the 11th I was involved in a vehicle collision. I was driving down a gravel road, when a car came flying around a blind curve. He saw me, and panicked, hitting his brakes. This threw him out of control, although I’m not sure that he would have remained in control, even had he not held down his brakes, at the rate of speed he was going. It is completely reasonable to believe he would have fishtail-ed, and who knows if he could have corrected it, while remaining on the road. At any rate, He hit his brakes, throwing his car sideways, I had slowed to what I guess was approximately 20 mph, and got over as far to the right as I could. A small bank prevented me from leaving the road. Still, his car kept coming sideways, (driver’s side) straight at me. I saw him grasping the steering wheel with both hands, trying to retake control of his vehicle, which was about as possible at this time, as it would have been to control a vehicle sliding, at a high rate of speed, on a sheet of ice. He was lined up perfectly with the front of my jeep, and was so close that I knew we were not going to avoid colliding. I cried out “Oh Jesus, we are going to hit, and I’m not wearing my shoulder belt!” I closed my eyes, and prayed, “Please God help us!” And then there was the sound of metal being crushed, and glass breaking. I held on to my steering wheel, with arms locked, and stood up on my brake pedal, while the force of my vehicle being thrown back and then forward and to the left, as he hit and bounced off me. When I closed my eyes, his vehicle miraculously slid so that the rear door, and rear quarter panel of his car, struck the front drivers quarter of my jeep, and not his driver’s door, spinning him 180 degrees, bouncing him of from my front quarter panel, leaving him facing the rear quarter panel of my jeep. Thankfully his vehicle stopped, just before striking mine again. I could no longer see him, and the sound of glass shattering falling, and landing, outlasted the sound of metal crunching. It was the last thing I head, before hearing silence.
That first instance of silence, I prayed, “Oh my God, please don’t let him be dead!” I got out and was so thankful to see movement, and then to hear him holler out, “Oh my gosh, are you alright? I’m so sorry! I’m so sorry!” Over and over again. At that point my maternal instincts took over. Here was a boy, my kids’ age. He could have just as easily been mine. He was understandably very shaken up. His driver’s door would not open, and his knee was hurting. He was not wearing a shirt, but, praise God, he was wearing a seatbelt. He had seatbelt burn, on his left collarbone, and shoulder, and it also appeared to be bruising. I called for help, and tried to calm him down. He climbed out of his drivers window, and as he walked around looking at our vehicles, he began to calm down. In the meantime my neck started to ache and to burn like it was on fire, and my head began to hurt, badly. We went to the hospital where we were both checked out, and released. His family was so kind, and he was too, all of them coming to check on me before he left. My head continued to throb and my neck continued to burn, finally after a series of tests, the doctor gave me a shot of demerol, which under any other circumstances, would have knocked me out cold, but for whatever reason, did nothing to relieve my pain, or my headache.
I came home, and dealt with a headache that would put any migraine to shame, for the next two days. My body continues to have spasms, a week and a half later, but they are beginning to be less intense. My middle back, while still in pain, has loosened up quite a bit in the last couple of days. I still suffer with excruciating pain in my lower back at times, bringing me to tears, like when I try to get into Terry’s car. My neck aches continually, and wakes me up in the night. I am happy that my range of motion, seems to improved some in the last day or so, but even that seems to more discomfort. I am not complaining, am only stating facts.
People ask if I am angry with the driver of the other vehicle. I have moments, but they do not last long. I do however get angry with my own son, even though he was not involved, but simply because he thinks driving erratically is a joke. I tell him over and over again, what can happen, and it makes no difference to him whatsoever. And now here I sit, the innocent victim who ended up on the wrong side of someone’s erratic driving. I know the poor kid was furious, and hurt, after finding out that his girlfriend had been cheating on him, but here I am, paying for that. I have missed a week and a half of work so far. I have not been able to do many of the things that I love, and things that need to be done, like cut grass. I can’t go anywhere, unless I have someone to drive me, because of the meds that I am having to take, just to keep my muscles from going spasmodic. I have to find a replacement vehicle, which is not easy at all. I can’t do simple house work, for more than a few minutes at a time with out aching. And most of all, I was so looking forward to spending a couple of days in Gatlinburg with my son, at the end of his pre-deployment leave. I was so thankful that I was going to have the opportunity to drive him back to base, and now, I don’t know that I will have the time left, to take off work, or that my body will be physically able to spend 28 hours in a car. So yes, I am mad. And I am sad. I am frustrated, not so much at the boy who was driving, but at the entire situation.
I am also thankful. I am thankful for any one of the random things that slowed me down that day, and kept me from meeting that car in the middle of the curve, head-on . Or further down that road, in another curve. I am thankful that he hit me at the angle he hit. I am thankful, that he hit me, and spun around, which kept his car from shooting across the road, and head on straight into a very large tree. I am thankful that he was wearing his seatbelt, and that his dad had strongly instilled that in him. There is no doubt in my mind that it saved his life. I am glad that I did not end up with broken bones, and neither did he. I am thankful for a mother who came over and fixed me breakfast the next morning, even if she did chuckle because when she said she would fix me anything I wanted, all I requested was a bagel with cream cheese. I am thankful that she came by to check on me, and to make sure I ate with my meds, so I would not get sick. I am thankful for a daughter who has helped out so much, doing extra chores, and chaffering me around. Even for a massage. I am thankful for a husband who encourages me to listen to the doctor, and take it slow. I was raised old school, tough it out and push your way through it, which when I told the doctor that I felt like a bum, by taking it easy, and wouldn’t the other way be better, he convinced my that old school is not always the best way, or the right way, and that if I wanted to heal properly I would lay around and rest, and let my body heal, while doing the exercises I have been doing in physical therapy. There are so many things to be thankful for, lots of them, I may not even realize for years to come, until one day when I am looking back.
So, I have a choice. I can focus on the good, or the bad. But really, what choice is there? When I consider all the good that I have to be thankful for, how can I even linger for a moment on bad. And yet I do. Not in a poor me way, but I do find myself becoming anxious, when I think of trying to find a replacement vehicle, or when I wonder how much longer it will be until my body is completely healed, and will it completely heal, or will there be effects that remain for the remainder of my life?
I know God is in control, and I know His grace is sufficient, and I find the anxiety taking control, I just need to stop, and continually remind myself of this.