I feel like it has been days since Tuesday, since my schedule came to a screeching halt due to the auto accident I had when almost, just almost home. Thankfully everyone besides me is seemingly back to normal and I’m working on getting there myself. I guess this 40 year old tense body was more prone to injury than those precious younger folks who were with me.
As with all things that happen suddenly, there is no time to process it all mentally or emotionally until the dust settles so as I’ve found myself feeling distant, detached, and somewhat fearful these past few days, I’ve revisited those moments in my thoughts in order to understand more why I’m feeling this way.
Claire, Noah, Riley and I had just been to karate class and had a perfectly normal and wonderful time. We were driving home listening to some Christian Children’s music and commenting on it as we went along. I guess the last words I said before hearing that awful sound of crunching metal was “let the children come to Me.” The children…my two precious boys were all buckled up in their car seats content as could be when the other car made impact with ours’. Noah and Claire were screaming and I was expecting my air bag to hit me in the face. I remember feeling so confined I couldn’t get a full breath because my seat belt had done as it was designed to do in such circumstances and was gripping me tightly to my seat. Dazed by the impact and ensuing panic I remember thinking “I can’t hear Riley” and the most horrible feeling came over me. I couldn’t look back. I had to get my car out of the road. I could smell something burning and thought “oh no, is the car going to catch on fire?”
I unbuckled my seatbelt so I could breathe and looked up to see the old household waste area up ahead where I could get safely out of the road. I still couldn’t hear Riley. My head was hurting terribly…I’ve never felt anything like that before. Upon impact horrible pain shot through my head. When I told Claire she said it happened to her too. I asked Noah if his head was hurting and he said “no, my tummy.” I knew that was from the seat belt, it had done to him what mine did to me.
Claire reassured me Riley was okay. She got out and took Noah from the car while I took Riley into my arms. It was like time was standing still. I truly didn’t know if we were hurt or not. The car that hit us looked horrible and I was so afraid the driver and passengers were terribly injured because the front end was so smashed up I couldn’t even see inside the windshield of the car.
I phoned 911 and asked for help; police, and an ambulance. Within minutes a police officer arrived on the scene. He stopped at the car that hit us which was a good distance from where I had pulled off the road. There was traffic because it was right about 6pm and people were going home from work so I didn’t try to walk to him. I thought, “he’s just checking on them, he’ll be right here in a minute.”
However, he never came to us. Several minutes later another officer arrived. I flagged him down and said “we are the victims over here and no one has spoken with us or checked on us, can you help?” He was very nice and took down my information. We called for a wrecker to haul away our car. The wrecker came, the policeman finally told us we were free to go. I was shocked that the other officer never took my side of the story or came to at least ask if we were okay.
I have thought more and more about the fact that no ambulance came after I had requested one. I’ve mentioned already that I truly couldn’t discern if we were injured or not. I wanted someone to at least check my babies and my friend. I’m sure my blood pressure was soaring…it was the next morning when I went to the ER to be checked after a miserable night of pain.
I’m wondering if others would have the same lingering sense of negligence that I have in review of the handling of our accident. What if we would have been injured and needed emergent care. How many minutes passed, were wasted, while the initial cop ignored us?
Life is so precious…every life is precious, and I hope all those who work in such crucial public service positions will cherish the lives they are entrusted to protect, defend, and serve.
I praise God for allowing me to hear Riley’s voice again and to see Noah laughing and playing and telling his usual outlandish tales, that Claire is her usual beautiful, wonderful, and loving self and that I am home to enjoy them all.
Remember to kiss your loved ones goodbye as they hurry out of the house. Be kind to those you see in passing and let your light shine so that others will see Christ in you as we live every moment not knowing when will be the last.