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Posted 08 June 2009 - 08:02 PM
Weekday mornings are a little hectic at my place as I run around getting three kids ready for school and pre-school, packing school lunches, urging the kids to eat their breakfast, feeding our puppy Milo, cleaning up after Milo and if I can fit in it, washing my face! All this and it’s barely 8 am. Most days I’m lucky if I get to brush my hair in the morning.
Friday morning was no different, except that I had made plans to meet up with my sister and a close friend for breakfast. It was rare that I’d allow my self the indulgence of a day off from work but I had decided that since I’d been working especially hard the past few weeks, I deserved a break and was looking forward to some quality time with two of my favourite people. Breakfast was to be followed by a trip to the travel agency to book my first overseas trip in 14 years – a week in Turkey with one of my best friends and a week in London catching up with friends and taking some time to carry out some research for a book I’m working on.
I had no idea that less than an hour later I would be living one of my worst nightmares.
When the kids got into the car before we left home for the drive to school, Maya (3) refused to sit in her booster chair. But, as always, I insisted she had to sit in her booster and strapped her in.
The drive to school was nothing unusual. I dropped Isaac (7) and Mariam (5) off at school and continued the drive to Maya’s preschool. Only minutes away from the pre-school as I was driving straight down a busy road, I was absolutely shocked to see a car suddenly jump out of a side street and straight into my path. I tried to break but the other car was too close and avoiding a collision was an impossibility.
Even though I wasn’t speeding, the force with which my car hit the other car was stronger than anything I had ever experienced. It all happened so quickly. One minute I’m driving along, looking forward to the day ahead and the next I’m surrounded by air bags and smoke. I think I passed out for a few seconds and when I came to, I was in a state of absolute shock. The interior of the car was covered in smoke and I remember thinking “I have to get Maya out of here”.
What ensued was an attempt to scream for help and frustration as my voice failed me. I tried to open the car door but was initially unable to budge it and then, by some unknown force, I managed to push it open wide enough for me to squeeze through. I got out, pulled Maya out of her car seat, walked a several steps and almost collapsed on the side of the road.
I was in a state of complete shock. But even then, with the world spinning crazily and darkness threatening to engulf me, I knew that I had managed to do the most important thing - ensure both the safety of myself and that of my child.
What followed was a horrible experience - watching the unconscious driver of the other car stuck in the driver seat, watching her get cut out of her vehicle, both cars getting towed away most definitely to be written off, feeling my self slipping in and out of consciousness and feeling my body convulsing in the ambulance. And through all of that, I remember praying to God, asking Him to let both myself and the other driver (also a mother of young children) get through this experience unharmed so that we could both continue to be there for our children.
Thankfully I have walked out of the experience with (hopefully) nothing more a battered, slightly bruised body, a lingering headache and a deferred overseas trip. I have spent the past three days and nights in a state of extreme exhaustion, wanting nothing more than to rest and be in bed. Of course, most often that has not been possible. Not with three kids and a puppy in the house.
But if anything good has come out of this experience, it’s an awareness of my inner strength and all the blessing that I often take for granted. Simple things such as good health, being surrounded by loved ones, hearing the contagious laughter of one of my children, taking a moment to bask in the sun’s rays, the safety provided to our children by something as simple as a booster chair and getting through a day unharmed. And most of all, I am grateful that Maya was unharmed. I feel blessed for the gift of having walked away from the accident with my body and mind intact and being able to return home to my children’s welcoming arms.
Have you had an experience or read about something, recent or distant, that reminded you of the gift of life and its daily blessings? I’d love to hear your stories.
Posted 09 June 2009 - 10:24 AM
I had the same experience a few years ago, my children were 1 and 2 at the time and a car decided to do an illegal uturn in front of me on the Hume Highway. I was travelling at between 60 and 70 kmh (the speed limit being 70) and had no time to break before hitting the car. Thankfully I hit him so the front of my car copped the brunt of it. By some stroke of good fortune a police car came around the bend straight after the accident and stopped to render assistance. I am thankful I had the state of mind to move my car in to the inside lane an get myself and my hysterical children out of the car and collapse on to the grass. Although we were all unharmed, of which I am thankful everyday, I still have trouble driving pass the spot that it happened and am fearful of the same thing happening. I think it is something that will take along time to forget.
Edited by mummynicole, 09 June 2009 - 10:25 AM.
Posted 10 June 2009 - 04:58 PM
I am so glad you and your child are okay and the other driver is in my thoughts. Car accidents are so frightening. Congratulations for keeping yourself and your baby safe and thank you for sharing your story.
Posted 10 June 2009 - 07:59 PM
I am so glad you guys were ok...
So strange to read this story-
My whole family was almost taken out by a B-double semi on the highway yesterday- by an IDIOT truck driver doing over 100- On the phone- who decided he needed to get off at the exit he was about to pass- Didnt check/look and moved straight across on our people mover- (He was in the right lane- us the left and he went straight for the exit)
DH forced another car off the highway into the breakdown lane just to avoid the collision- You have no idea how close he was- I am sure it was mm to hitting us- needless to say my heart was racing and I burst into tears..
I hate to think what could have happened.. His whole trailer would have crushed my entire car..
I thank god that someone was watching over us yesterday
Posted 10 June 2009 - 08:48 PM
Hi mummynicole - thanks for sharing your story. Were you okay with driving again after the accident? i've been told not to drive for at least 10 days but am a little anxious about getting back into the driver seat. I had to go empty out the car yesterday and as soon as i opened the door, the smell of smoke hit me and i was transported back to the moment of the collision - needless to say, it wasn't very pleasant.
beth81 - thank you for your kind words and thoughts. The other driver is now back home and recovering. We spoke yesterday and she is doing okay, although feeling very depressed about the accident, which is understandable. Like you said, accidents really are frightening events.
Fringe82 - thank you for sharing your story. It's really sad that no matter how careful we are as drivers, our lives are often put at risk by the carelessness of other drivers. If the accident on Friday taught me anything, its to be even more careful when driving. I am glad that you and your family are safe and well. Thank God for our angels who watch over us.
Posted 11 June 2009 - 11:34 AM
I had a pretty severe accident about 13 years ago, and was more fearful of getting in to the car and driving again after that one. My father in law made me do it, and the first little bit I was shaking uncontrollably, but it didn't take long for me to relax.
The first accident 13 years ago had me being rear ended and to this day I still get tense if I think a car is coming up behind me too quickly. The more recent accident I referred to in my post did not effect me as badly, however I do get a bit edgy driving past the spot where it happened, which is quite close to home so therefore happens quite a lot. I guess my only advice to you is to get in and drive as soon as you can. The longer you leave it the harder it'll be.
Edited by mummynicole, 11 June 2009 - 11:35 AM.
Posted 12 June 2009 - 03:12 PM
Your story brought tears to my eyes. It is probably one of my greatest concerns, all the things that can go wrong over which we have no control - whether in the car or in other situations. Praise God you are safe and not too badly hurt! How wonderful that your instincts were so strong that you took all the necessary actions immediately, to take care of yourself and Maya. I'll be praying for a quick physical and emotional recovery for everyone involved!
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