Sunday, December 19, 2010

Plans and Car Crashes

I keep replaying it in my mind.  I was leaning forward, turned to hesitantly ask my husband if my 6 year old son had brought his Japanese soda bottle with him from the restaurant.  He has a cute little collection, and I didn't want him to get upset (or drive back to the restaurant) when he realized he had left it.  Suddenly, my husband yelled loudly...something like "Oh My God!" or "He's Gonna Hit Us!"...and I heard the deafening crash and felt the terrifying impact.  All I remember was screaming, struggling to turn to make sure my son was ok in the backseat as our car spun out of control through the intersection, and then jolting into a sudden stop.

You just sit there for an instant, stunned, wondering what the hell happened.  You realize you are ok, and the adrenaline kicks in as you struggle to evaluate the situation and assess everyone else.  That moment... that moment... it's one of those moments that will haunt you the rest of your life.  You are not in control, and you are helpless to protect those you love most in this world. 

I turned, and realized my son was ok.  My husband quickly exited the car to get him out.  We were fine.  "Thank you, God" was all I could say as we hugged each other on the side of the road, realizing other people had stopped and were getting out of their car to help us.  Our car had been driving through an intersection and was hit at a good speed by a young man trying to turn left from the oncoming direction.   He drove directly into the back of our car as he was turning into the intersection.  He was fine, though he totaled the entire front end of his car.  Our car, had minimal body damage, but all four wheels were almost unidentifiable... the tires completely twisted and melted off their wheels.

Plans.... what was meant to be a simple evening out for a special dinner turned out completely different.  Our car is now in the shop, our bodies are sore, and our spirits are traumatized.  We can't do much about any of this until Monday.  Our weekend was planned with cleaning and Holiday preparations, and next week was planned with a trip to the mountains to snowboard.  I planned on writing a blog post about great gifts from Etsy artists today.  I planned on starting to run again on Monday.  I think the people who stopped to help us last night planned on continuing on their merry ways for the evening.  The young man who hit us probably planned on having fun with the other passengers in his car.  My mom, who came to help, planned on finishing her Christmas shopping.  I had planned to mail those last few Christmas cards that were on the dashboard of the car.  But it didn't work out that way...

We plan, we prepare, we make responsible decisions (and we should or we'd all be a mess!)  But sometimes life happens anyway.  It's humbling.  It's scary.  It's completely unpredictable.

So I am thankful... thankful for my family, and for our health and safety. I am thankful for our friends who care for us.  I am thankful for the kindness and goodness of strangers, who have hearts big enough to stop their own plans to help someone in need.  I am thankful for our country, and the men and women who serve and protect us: police officers,  firefighters,  soldiers.  Mostly, I am thankful for a God who loves us, protects us, and forgives us for all the times we screw up, giving us another chance to get it right. 


  1. (((hugs)))

    There is so much to be thankful for. I'm so sorry this happened, and so glad that everyone involved was okay. How scary! ... and how fast it can happen.

    I've been reminded too many times in the last couple of weeks how quickly life can change. I have a cousin who works on a police force in NY, and he lost two of his fellow officers in two days. (I don't think they were work related... I live in another state and don't know the details.) It reminds me to be grateful for every day.

    I'm glad that you and your family are okay. You're in my thoughts. What a difficult time to have this happen!


  2. This was a chilling account of, as you said, something that will stay with you for the rest of your life. I know this from a similar experience I had nearly 40 years ago. I hope you can be kind to yourself and realize that PTSD takes many shapes and forms. Meditate and stay as calm as you can. Forget about holiday busy-ness. I'm so very glad you & your family weren't hurt. --SallyA

  3. (((BIG*BIG*HUGS))) Erin - there is no worse sound then a car hitting you. I am so glad you all were able to get out safely! Sometimes we need to scrap all our plans and just be.Prayers for your bruised spirits - XOXO to you and your family!

  4. I am so very glad to hear that you and your family and the young man who hit you are alright. Something like this really puts life into perspective.

    Be still and know that God has great plans for you. Those are the only plans that matter.

    "Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day."

    Find your 'something good' through all of this.

    Enjoy the day.

  5. Just popping back in to wish you a Happy and Safe Christmas!XOXOXOXOXO, Patty

  6. I am so thankful that you and your family are okay. My husband was nearly killed in 2001 on our 2 month wedding anniversary and I still remember the plan for that evening after work was to go out to dinner and as I was thinking of what to wear and where we would go later I got the call "I think he's dead" my heart is in my throat as I write this. We had no children at the time and I cannot even imagine how terrified you and your husband must have been for him. I know I would throw myself in front of a bus for her.
    I will say a prayer for calm spirits for you and your boys ;-)
    Shannon C

  7. I can't imagine how this would feel, you tell a very chilling account. Very thankful your family is alright. Thinking of you all.


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