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Blind spot

December 5, 2010  —  Written by Julia Marcum 

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Yesterday, we woke up and got in a little tiff about how I don’t eat enough because I just wanted cereal for breakfast.  We made our grocery list and did our shopping, which ended up taking a lot longer than we anticipated thanks to our cashier who was “just so tired.”  (She was literally leaning on the counter while checking us out.)  On our way out, Greta got her picture taken with Santa.  While Greta took her morning nap, we cleaned up and got ready for our re-do family pictures.  Thanks to Brandon and Steph and a game of copycat, we got some of Greta smiling.  Chris took Greta Christmas shopping for a couple hours and I was alone.  Bored at first, and then I just ended up sorting through Greta’s clothes and hanging some pictures in her room.  We dropped off our video camera that we sold (we’re upgrading) to a guy in army fatigues at Ikea.  Returned Chris’s brand new phone to the verizon store and got a cheaper, better one at Best Buy…he’s in love again.  We stopped by the house to unload Greta and the stuff that had been accumulated throughout the day.  Chris was feeding her dinner and I was going to go pickup Greta’s picture with Santa so that she could post it to her blog.

It happened in a split second.  Shorter than the time it takes you to check your blind spot…because that’s exactly what I was doing.  I was in a merging lane that was ending in less than fifty feet.  The road was a 45 mph and I had just come off of a red light.  I was gaining some speed and the car in front of me put on their right turn signal to merge.  I signaled and checked my blind spot and crashed, apparently.  I didn’t know what was going on.  I didn’t know if I was upright or okay.  The car was filled with smoke and a weird smell and my hands felt like they were on fire.  I thought maybe they were.  My head was resting on a cushion…oh no, an airbag.  I was in a crash.  I was having trouble breathing.  I felt for my phone and called Chris who is on speed dial. “Honey….*breathe breathe*….I was in an accident.  I am having trouble breathing.  I’m by the bank.”  We got disconnected.  I think I was hyperventilating and I still couldn’t see anything.  A few samaritans opened my door and told me to get my head out in some fresh air.  Finally, air.  I was trying to take some deep breaths and my phone rang.  A guy reached around me to answer it.  It was Chris.  “She’s alright.  She has some burns and she is a little shaken up.  The police and ambulance are on their way.”  They got there before Chris.  As they walked me over to the ambulance, they explained to me that the chemicals from the airbag were burning the skin on my hands.  I saw the other car.  The trunk was in the back seat.  The man escorting my hands to the ambulance must have seen me eyeing the other car (who had stopped instead of continuing to merge) and reassured me that everyone–including the girl driving who was just 17–was okay in that car.  I was shaking.  I was still in shock and in extreme pain.  I felt so relieved when Chris climbed in the ambulance.  So relieved I started crying a little.  “I’m so sorry, honey.” He told me not to even go there.  It was becoming more and more clear that I was okay.  I had no serious injuries and I didn’t feel the need to go to the hospital.  It was a miracle.  They flushed my hands several times and put on some burn cream and wrapped them up.  They gave Chris some instructions and within a half hour we were on our way home and our car was being towed in the opposite direction.
I have thought about the accident over and over again.  I thought about all of the things we did yesterday and it feels surreal.  The same me that went grocery shopping in the morning also got in car crash–several hours later.  Life changes so quickly.  In less than a second.  Suddenly little tiffs about breakfast cereal seem so insignificant and uncalled for.   I am alive.  Thank goodness I was wearing my seatbelt and the airbag deployed.  We are grateful: that there was no one in the backseat of the other car.  That Brandon and Stephanie live around the corner and were able to come be with Greta while Chris rushed to my aid.  For full coverage auto insurance.  For the good samaritans that pulled me out of my chemical-filled car and comforted me and reassured Chris.  There were no burns on my face or arms.  That Greta wasn’t in the car.  That we have two cars.  For hospital-strength Ibuprofen.  That I got my license renewed last week before it expired.  We are grateful that we’re in love and have love in our lives from family and friends and each other.  Thankful that we have a new, greater appreciation for that and life—together.
I am sore today–from my neck down my back and my burns still sting, but my hands
don’t feel like they are on fire anymore.  Just another thing to be grateful for.

What do you think?

  1. Emily says:

    Aw Julia, this made me cry. This happened so long ago, but it popped up on the “more good reads” section and I just read it for the first time. I’ve grown to love your little family and your blog updates so much and I’m glad you weren’t hurt!

  2. Linda says:

    So sorry to hear about the accident! :-( Your poor hands!!! Hope you are doing ok.

  3. Steph says:

    Again, we are so glad you are ok and that the situation wasn’t worse. Reading your blog, I am reminded of how many miracles were placed during this trial in your life. He was really watching out for you. I love you Jules and I am too grateful we were able to be there for Greta! (more Brandon than me but still!).

  4. kbclogger says:

    Hey cute neighbor! I am soo sorry about your wreck! please call me if you need me to help with Greta.. or anything else you may need, im always driving by several gas stations on my way home from work if you need a soda! :0)
    love, Kristi

  5. That is so crazy — We were just saying that we never know how long we are going to be here on this earth and not to put off time that we could be spending with our family!
    I hope that you get better soon and if you need help with little Greta we are in Rexburg!

  6. so sorry to hear, hope that your hands heal and that you feel better soon. have you heard of the nie nie dialogues? check her out at http://www.nieniedialogues.blogspot.com she was also in a crash {helicptr} and was burned and grateful for life. her words will comfort you. so glad you are ok! xo

  7. Jules. Ken sends “our condolences.” How’s the Acura? Was itnames Harrison? Are you dizzy or anything? Whiplash? Utah drivers. Oye.

  8. JULIA!!!!! Seriously can’t believe it. I am praying for you day and night until you feel better!

    Can’t believe you TYPED that HUUUUUGE blog post!!

    It is amazing how life changes SO quickly. This gave us the push to check our car insurance to make sure we have full coverage. I hate that it takes something like this to really recheck yourself and your mannnnny blessings. We ALL need to be more careful while driving and make sure that we are safe.

    LOVE you. Hang in there. Lots of love and prayers sent your way from ALL the way out here!!!

  9. OH MY GOODNESS! I am so glad you are okay, for the most part, and soooooo glad Greta wasn’t with you. What a blessing! I have had my share of accidents with many a airbags deploying, but never had the chemicals burn me. OUCH! I hope your hands heal quickly! Car wrecks sure do make you realize what’s truly important in life!

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