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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

You Might Not Want to Lend Us Your Car

We are not having the greatest time with cars recently. As I have mentioned, we are currently down one BMW*. Now we are down one old, but still running Acura Integra. It didn't even have 150,000 miles on it (149 and change, in case you were curious) and we've managed to destroy it. The car belonged to my mother-in-law, who's in France for a long visit with her family.

My husband, who I love very much, was driving on a two lane highway in St. Matthews, South Carolina yesterday, on his way to a hearing. As he crested a hill, actually going the speed limit, he barely had time to see a pickup truck driving down the middle of the road, headed for him. He swerved to avoid the truck, saw that he was going to go down an embankment, and swerved back across the road, lost control of the car and flipped. That's right, flipped. As he's been instructed to do, he called me and said,

"I'm totally fine. I had a really bad wreck, though."

I like to hear the "I'm fine" part right away, because car wrecks scare me. Several years ago, Nana, my mother's mother, died in a car wreck and I've been really skittish about cars since then, although I have to admit I wasn't exactly laid back before. I remember my Dad calling me and telling me about the wreck. My husband was at tennis and I was home with O and the X-Man, who were about five and two years old. I had had a glass of wine (that's why I had kids, by the way, so I would never have to drink alone) and I was afraid to drive, because of the wine (I have a very low tolerance, in spite of all the practice) and how upset I was. I was in shock; at the end of the conversation, I remember asking Dad if I had understood correctly that Nana was dead.

I called my friend Julie because I really didn't know what to do. She's the kind of person you need as a friend. She told me to get dressed and that she would come get me and the kids. My kids weren't wearing shoes or shirts and she told me not to worry about it. When she got there, I still didn't know what to do and I couldn't reach my husband or my parents. Julie put the kids and me in her car and she dropped the kids off at her house with her parents, who were there to visit their three grandsons. Her parents, who are as kind as Julie, found them some clothes and played with them while Julie and I drove to different hospitals, trying to find my family. Julie's husband Tom drove out to the tennis club to get my husband.

Nana is the only dead person I've ever touched. I never felt a need to touch the other dead people I knew because I was more prepared. I laid my head on her chest and I wanted to stay longer. I wanted to curl up in the hospital bed with her, for just a little while, but my mom and one of our priests were there, so I just put my head down for a few seconds and touched her hand. It was so sudden. She and her husband had just moved from their home in Winnsboro to a nursing home here in town. She was in good health and we were so excited to have her nearby; I had already taken the boys to see her and we were looking forward to seeing her a lot more. I really needed those few seconds with Nana and I wouldn't have had them if Julie hadn't taken charge. She lives in Mississippi now and I really miss her, but I have no doubt that she would drive here if I really needed her and I hope she knows I would come to her if she needed me.

Anyhow, after my conversation with my husband, he sent me this picture, taken with his camera phone.

The accompanying text read, "This is how I went." I have to admit that my heart stopped and I thought I had talked to a ghost. It seemed like one of those things you read about, where the widow swears her husband came home for dinner, even though he had been dead two hours already. But I called him back and he was fine, just not terribly articulate. The truck that almost hit him never stopped. Luckily, a nice couple came along right after it happened and they were able to describe the truck to the police; they remembered seeing it swerving right before the accident.

I can't stop thinking about what might have happened and I feel very, very blessed right now. His only injury is a little scratch on his hand, which is hard to imagine when I look at the pictures. My mother-in-law had a very sweet picture of our two older children on her dashboard; A. saw it as the car flipped and thought about them and Baby J. He said a lot of people stopped to help and he got a lot of hugs. I get a pit in my stomach if I think too much about what could have happened and I know he does, too.

We do feel a little bit like bad high school kids, though. I mean, his mom goes out of town, we use her car without asking and flip it into a ditch. Yikes. I bet we're gonna' be in, like, major trouble. I mean, that car was worth, like, almost a thousand dollars. It's worth a lot more to us, though, because it kept A. safe.

Namasté, y'all, and please don't forget to wear your seatbelts.

* Still for sale, by the way. Email Me! Please!


Margie said...

Wow. I am so glad he is all right. It's so scary how things can go from "tra la, out for a drive" to "Holy... " in a blink.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad he is OK.

Brenda said...

How terrifying. I am sure you are hugging him close tonight.

I am so glad he is safe. Thank goodness he was wearing his seatbelt.