Thursday, November 14, 2013

I was 18

It was a warm night in August.  The State Fair was going on in our state.  A couple of friends and I had made plans to go.  I went to another friend's boyfriend's apartment to pick up this certain friend.  When I got there they were drinking.  I didn't really know it at the time but I just knew she decided to stay and didn't want to go with me.

I was mad so I left quickly.  I went to my other friend's house.  I honestly don't remember what we did but I think we did make it to the fair.  I was living at my grandparents at the time.  A back story on this was that my parents were divorced and I went back and forth between their houses while I was growing up.  But after I graduated my mom and stepdad decided that they wanted to move out of state so I just decided to live with my grandparents.  They lived in a huge house and I would have my own huge room plus my grandma was a great cook plus I loved them to pieces although I still went to my Dad and T's quite often.

The only problem there was that my grandpa was a huge worry wart.  So I always told them when I would be back.  They expected me to be back at that time.  On this night I told them I would be back at 10pm.  Now, these were the days before there were cell phones.  Yes, I know I'm old.

Back to the story - after my friend and I went out I dropped him off at home.  He lived a good hour from me so I was in a hurry to get back home to be on time for my grandparents.

I remember getting onto the interstate.  I vividly remember that I was actually cold that night so I turned on the heat and I turned on the radio - then blackness.

I woke up in a fog and I looked down at my sheet covered legs.  I heard a child screaming in the next curtain over.  I kept waiting for someone to come to me but I did not see a nurse.  Finally when a nurse passed me I asked her, "Did I hurt that child?"

I honestly had no idea what had happened but figured I had been in a wreck and I was so afraid I had hurt someone.

"No." she said.

"I can wiggle my toes."  I said.

"That's good."  She said.

And then she walked off.

A few minutes later a policeman came in to talk to me.

He asked me so many question but I couldn't remember anything.  He asked me if I had been drinking.

"No." I told him.  Well, they would have to get a blood test anyway.  I'm deathly afraid of needles but at that point I was so groggy I didn't care.

They tied the tourniquet on me and blood starting squirting really high out of my hand.

"She's going to need stitches on her hand."   Yelled whoever it was that was taking my blood.

I watched it all in slow motion still having no idea what had happened to me.

The officer wouldn't tell me anything until he finished asking me questions.  But towards the end he told me something.  He said, "I don't believe this was your fault but I have to write you a ticket but if you show up in court I won't show up."

Therefore I wouldn't have to pay my ticket.  And he was true to his word.

He told me that there were people that helped me out of my car at the scene of my accident.  He said I told them my Dad's name and phone number.  I started to panic because I think I asked them what time it was and it was about 1 a.m. and I knew my grandparents would be sick but I wasn't allowed to use a phone.

They still had to take me for x-rays.

I remember asking the nurse if I could have a mirror to see my face.  She didn't want to give me one.

I pleaded with her and she finally decided to get one and told me that I shouldn't panic or be scared that I had some cuts and bruises and may have been a little swelled but it would all get better.

I had so much glass in my arms and all over me.  I still had no idea exactly what happened but they finally took me to get an x-ray and I had no broken bones.

My dad finally arrived with my stepmom and sister.  I told them they had to call Grandpa and Grandma because they would be so worried.  My dad didn't stop to call them before he left home when the hospital told him to come and get me.

The hospital released me and I vividly remember being in the backseat of our car and telling my dad to take the interstate.  Even then I was a bossy, back seat driver.

I can't remember if we knew what had happened that night or not or if we didn't know the whole story until we received the police report.

I went to sleep that night and woke up the next morning and I was laying in my bed with little pieces of glass everywhere.  I took a bath to soak my arms and legs so we could try to get more of the glass out.  I still can't understand why the hospital wouldn't get the glass out.

My aunt came over after church and she started crying when she saw my face.  To be honest it did look like I got beat up but I didn't think it was that bad.  My mom was freaking out because she was so far away.

We still hadn't seen the car at this time and my Dad and Grandpa went to get my belongings from it a day or two later.

When they went to the junkyard this is what they found:

See the corner of the hood of the car?  That is where my head was suppose to be.

Here is a close up of the steering wheel and again - where I was sitting.

See this side of the car - not too bad.

Another look

We finally found out that either my air bag had accidentally deployed or I had fallen asleep (something I never did nor have I done since).  This made me hit the guard rail on the interstate and spun me around in the wrong direction into oncoming traffic.  I was then run over by the trailer of a semi.

In the police report the semi thought he had hit a raccoon or something small - yep, Geo Storms are pretty small.

Basically what they surmised is that I was wearing my seat belt but I must have been knocked sideways into the passenger seat or else I would not have a head right now.

There were a few witnesses that stopped to help.  They said that I climbed out of the passenger seat of the car myself and  they quickly stopped me and had me lay down.

Here is another "God" part of the story.  When my Dad went to get my things from the car he brought back a blanket that I had never seen before.

When I was at my Dad's a few days later I got a call from a lady.  This is really incredible.  She said she had been behind me and saw it all happen.  She and her husband stopped to help me and brought me that blanket to put under my head.  She heard me say my Dad's name.  She happened to live one town over and she called all of the people in the phone book with my Dad's name until she found me.

She wanted to know if I was okay because they obviously wouldn't tell her anything.

Isn't that amazing?  I told her I had her blanket and thanked her so much.  I asked her if she wanted her blanket back but she said no. 

Honestly, being the dumb teenager that I was and thinking that I was invincible - this didn't mean a lot to me then.  My mom kept these pictures up for me to see at her house and always pointed to them and told me how God had saved me and reminded me not to forget it.

I mean when you look at the car - yes, it looks like a person shouldn't have survived that - especially the driver.

And I still have no idea why it happened.  I often forget that it did except that I still have some scars on my arms and legs to remind me.

It was also the first car that I bought myself (my dad co-signed) - and I had only had it for a month - so it was paid off in a month, ha! 

Why did I get to walk away from that accident when so many don't?  I don't know why.  I don't know why it happened in the first place and I don't need to know.

I just need to remember it - and be thankful for



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