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.