Hello dear ones, if it seems I dropped off the planet for a bit, well, I did. I’ve felt like a ghost since last Wednesday. Michael and I got in a very bad wreck yet miraculously no one was hurt but us and our injuries were minor. The van is totaled but I’m amazed that it’s not in worse condition.
It started as a stressful day with school and our puppy Annabelle but I wanted to make things better. So I packed up the kiddos (Michael and the 2 dogs, Annabelle & Tessa). We went to a park in another town and played and walked around everywhere. It was fun. I came close to leaving my phone. It fell out into the dirt by the van but thankfully I looked for it before we drove off (one of many of the God things that day).
I talked to my Mom and she told me to be careful because of rush hour traffic. I wasn’t in a big rush but we needed to get home so Michael could go to Awanas and see his Daddy. Chris was on his way home and had planned to go to his parents that day and stay thru the weekend. His Mom was having surgery Thursday morning and he was going to take care of her.
I put Annabelle in her basket with the seat belt around it. While driving I thought about how we needed to get her an actual car seat for dogs especially when we traveled to Washington D.C. The sun was bright and it was hard to see but I was doing good. Michael almost spilled something and I fussed at him for almost causing a wreck (I regretted saying that later).
Michael was reading his book and looking down. I was in the right lane of the Hwy behind a slow truck with a trailor. Everyone was passing him. So I looked over to pass as well. Traffic was moving nice and I had plenty of space. So I started getting in the left fast lane. But as I was getting in that lane the Camaro in front of me (in the left lane) slammed dead on brakes. I was shocked and could do nothing but slam on brakes and swerve to the left…then watch in horror as we hit them and went off into the median area into the bulrushes (Chris says it’s pompous grass). I didn’t have time to think about dying or any possibilities. I just had the feeling of shock that this was happening to us.
I was going 50 or so miles per hour. The jolt from it all was enough to throw my glasses off into the floor. I can shake my head violently and these glasses wouldn’t move….so yeah…it was pretty rough. My cell phone was between my legs (bad idea) and flew into the floor…thankfully neither got lodged under the brake (another God thing). I hit my knee very hard on the dash. Annabelle was violently thrown from her basket into the floor. Michael was looking down so he hit his head on the seat in front of him and the seat belt hurt his chest.
When we stopped, my next feeling was shock that the glass didn’t break and that we weren’t all bloody. Michael cried out that he hurt and I couldn’t see him because of my glasses. I was scared about him but figured if I wasn’t bloody then surely he couldn’t be too bad. I frantically searched for my glasses and found them. I lifted up his shirt and didn’t see any bruising etc. We were both crying hysterically.
The lady that was behind me didn’t hit us but she pulled over and ran to check on us. I asked her to call 9-1-1. I kept saying I needed my phone and then I remembered that it had been between my legs and was probably in the floor. I was thankful to find it intact. The lady called 9-1-1 and went to check on the two other vehicles in the wreck (the people who suddenly stopped in front of me). I tried to call Chris but couldn’t get a hold of him so I called my mom and told her to call him.
The lady came back and said no one else was hurt. I wasn’t sure who I had hit but I found out later that it was a young man in a Camaro. I had spun him into traffic and by God’s grace no one hit him. He had barely nicked the lady in front of him. She claimed that someone had suddenly stopped in front of her but that that person had driven off.
Chris called and said he was on the Hwy too and traffic was backed up. The lady was trying to calm us both down. The front was steaming and I kept asking if we should get out of the van. I didn’t know if it would explode or something. I was scared to move. I looked at the puppy in the floor and expected to see her smooshed but she seemed okay except she was drooling everywhere like she could throw up. Tessa had slid around in the back but seemed fine.
I texted my best bud Hannah to say I wouldn’t be at the homeschool group the next day. Yeah, weird but that came to my mind. I wanted to hold Michael but I felt frozen. I didn’t feel like I could do anything. Michael was scared and angry. He and I both were surprised that we weren’t dead. I praise God that we are alive and that we landed in the bulrushes/ pompous grass and not in the opposite lane (a God thing). We were both thankful and praising God for our lives but we also both felt survivors guilt. We didn’t understand how something so traumatic and horrible didn’t take our lives or even mangle us. We felt that we should be dead. Michael even said to my Mom that he wished he’d died instead of living through that. I don’t understand it but we both felt this way for a bit.
Chris arrived before the police did (it was a long evening and wait). It was getting dark and cold. My husband seemed like super man. He had the lady help him get Michael and the dogs in his Jeep. I couldn’t open my door and I thought it was stuck in the grass but there was a piece of my fender holding it shut. So Chris snatched the door and got me out. He wanted me to sit in the Jeep but I was too much of a mess to sit down. My knee hurt bad but the shock kept me from thinking about it. Michael sat in the Jeep comforting the dogs and crying his eyes out.
I kept thinking about how Chris was supposed to be driving home to take care of his mother and I remember telling the lady that. I felt guilty for keeping him away. The day of the wreck was a day of guilt. I felt guilty for telling my best bud about my stress when she was having blood pressure issues during her pregnancy. But I did not feel guilty at first about hitting the other car because I knew that it wasn’t morally my fault. That changed however when I found out the insurance was putting it as my fault since I was in the rear.
The guy’s parents came right away and was with him. I eventually walked over to the two people in the wreck and asked how they were. They weren’t hurt at all thankfully. The first car told me about the person in front of her who had supposedly caused it all and driven off. I saw the van all smashed up and that the Camaro’s tail pipe was stuck in my van. The guy’s mom laughed about that since he loved his vehicle so much. I wasn’t in a laughing mood…my kid just experienced the most traumatic event of his life and we thought we were dead. I talked to the mom for a bit but nothing she said was helpful…it was in fact irritating.
I was in too much shock to be much help to the police. Chris talked to them the most. They called the ambulance to check out Michael. Michael was taken to the back of the ambulance and they checked out his lungs. He was fine thankfully. We found out later that he had a knot on his head when we got home but some ice fixed it. Since I was walking and babbling from shock I guess, they didn’t check out my knee but the policeman noted I had hurt it.
In the middle of everything, my Mom and stepdad drove up on the other side of the road and walked across. I was surprised and very happy to see them. They talked to Michael. By that time the tow truck was about to take the van and I was putting all our stuff in Annabelle’s basket. There wasn’t room in the Jeep for it all so my parents took it. They loaded up Michael and Tessa and drove them home. Chris and I had to wait a bit to finish with the police. I asked the policeman to tell Chris everything because I would forget.
I was just ready to get off that Hwy. The ambulance was blocking the lane and a lady had to swerve to keep from hitting it. I was terrified that another wreck would happen and we’d get hit while standing by the road. I was thankful when we left and very paranoid while Chris drove. Chris has a stick shift and I can’t drive that but I had no desire to drive anyways.
When we got home my knee started hurting worse and began to bruise bad. I told Michael that school was cancelled for the week and that he could play video games and sleep wherever he wanted that night. He was thrilled and lost himself in a movie. I on the other hand didn’t try to escape the pain. Instead I was the opposite. All I could do was think about the wreck and those traumatic images. I talked to people on the phone and then later ate a bit.
After calming down, Chris took me to the ER so they could check my knee. The doc moved my leg a bit and then said it was just bruised…no x-rays or nothing. He was in and out in 5 minutes. Well, it’s been a week and the last couple days I’ve had a hard time walking on my left leg because it feels like it’s on fire it hurts so bad. I really think it’s more than bruised. Had I came in an ambulance, maybe the doc would’ve given me more than 5 minutes but I was in too much shock to think about me. I was more concerned with Michael.
I talked to the insurance for a moment but she talked mainly to Chris. She told him I was too shaken up to talk. Chris has been handling most of this for me. I was so angry when I found out that they were pinning this on me as my fault…and that we’d have to pay for everyone’s vehicles including losing ours that’s probably totaled. I am thankful though that the damage to the Camaro wasn’t that expensive. I was so worried about that. It looks like our van is totaled but we’re waiting to hear more details. We were given a rental but I didn’t want to drive. We’ve been avoiding the Hwy but Chris drove us the long way to a movie. It was stressful for Michael and me. Traffic was scary.
I finally drove that Sunday and then yesterday but just down the road. I’d rather not drive for awhile. Monday this week was strange. Chris started class and was gone all day and some of the night. Homeschool started back and once again I was the main caregiver for all our animals. I had to walk up the hill and feed the chickens, walk the dog, stay up late making stuff for school, and stay on my feet helping Michael. Then there was housework and supper. I was on my feet all day and night Monday. Tuesday was somewhat better. I got a small break. So my leg has been hurting pretty bad since my venture back to the real world. I don’t feel as much like a ghost as I did last week. I haven’t had as much time to think about what happened. Still, it feels strange and too soon to be jumping into real life.
Yesterday was the first time I had driven with Michael in the car. It was nerve wracking for us both. We almost witnessed a wreck in front of us at a four way stop. The world just seems crazy and chaotic. I was limping and walking slow in Walmart and this elderly lady almost ran over us with her buggy. I had to turn around and ask her to go around because I have a hurt leg. That felt backwards. So I called this post “Selah” which means to pause. I feel like I’ve had to be slow. I’ve had to pause and I’ve had to rely a lot on my husband which I know is stressful for him. Money and physical disabilities are hard on a marriage and we’ve already had our share of these types of issues before the wreck.
I had a lot of dreams before the wreck…plans to travel etc. But now I’m scared of the Hwy and we only have one vehicle to our name. Maybe all that will change and things will get back to normal in time for us to take a trip. I don’t know. But for a moment it seemed everything was unraveling, time stopped, and I was dead inside. I felt guilty for living. I felt mad that something so bad could happen and then the next day be regarded like a walk in the park. I was also grateful to be alive and amazed the next morning to be eating Wafflehouse. I was amazed to still be alive and it all felt so surreal. I’ve got family and friends who have went through bad wrecks and they confirmed my feelings were normal….the grieving…the twilight zone.
So it’s been a week. I’m still shaken up a bit. I feel worn out emotionally and physically. I feel like a burden. I feel empty like I have little to offer the world right now. But I also feel entitled to rest in my time of hardship. Maybe it’s prideful but I feel like I’ve given a lot to others and right now I want to to be able to lean on someone. I’m homeschooling and doing housework so obviously I’m still giving. I did cancel my social duties. Thankfully Hannah’s baby shower was the weekend before the wreck and I had already thrown it. I couldn’t imagine doing all that after the wreck. So I’m thankful that I only had to cancel one major commitment. I took a break from social media and now you understand why. We’re still waiting to see what we’re going to do about the vehicle situation. I’m glad the van is totaled though. I don’t think I could ever drive it again. I’m glad the rental is a car and not a van.
Please keep us in your prayers as we sort through all this. Chris is still planning on helping his Mom sometime but it all depends on money etc. I feel bad he couldn’t help her during the surgery. Thankfully she has his Dad and other family members.
God bless and love. Remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover