This Christmas break, I will be honest, has not been a productive one. It wasn’t bad or anything, it’s just that, if I am honest with myself, I don’t think I used my time wisely. Yesterday, I had a dentist appointment at 3:30. So around about three I grabbed Charlie Chan in London and my brother’s Library book that I was going to return on the way, got in the car and headed to the appointment.
We plan a lot without really running it by God. I know I do. (Before you get all super spiritual at me, when was the last time you prayed about when to schedule your bi-annual dental cleaning.) I headed off for the dentist–minding my own business. I got into an interruption. Life is full of interruptions–As my brother is fond of saying, life is messy and that’s okay.–Well anyway, the interruption, by no choice of my own, was a red suburban. As I was traveling through the intersection, this red suburban pulled left out in front of me.
I don’t think life slows down in an emergency; not really anyway. I slammed on my brakes, but I knew it was too little too late. My mind let me know I was going to be in a traffic accident, and I believe my emotional response was something like “Oh, bummer.” My car, which I have always loathed, colidded with the red suburban, faithfully deploying the drivers and passengers airbags–which I now heartily endorse.
Airbags in real life are nothing like what you see on TV. It happened so fast, I cannot tell what it feels like to hit one. I just know I was driving, then this white pillow was in my way–it felt like being restrained by a seatbelt, which was thankfully doing it’s job too. My car must have been just low enough to tip the suburban over on its side.–Turning this simple t-bone accident into a roll-over. (On behalf of my low-profile vehicle, I apologize to those of you in high profile vehicles–they tend to get tipped over.)
Another effect of the airbags deploying was that the Charlie Chan DVD and the library book were slammed into the passenger seat–this caused the library book to destroy the DVD–which is completely unimportant, but since I grabbed that Netflix DVD out of the car with the keys–it is good story telling to tell you that that broken DVD was with me through the rest of this story–the library book, riddled with guilt at having assassinated another form of entertainment, was hiding in the car and won’t be included in this account any more.
I doubt you care, and I certainly hope you never have to experience it, but Air bag gas is disgusting smelling. The car was now at a complete stop–it won’t be going anywhere under its own power again, and the cabin was filled with smoky disgusting gas. I remembered a commercial about what to do in an accident–turn off the car! So I did, and then not feeling any pain got out. Another fact slammed into my brain–if you’ve been in an accident, you could be in shock–so sit down! I never thought those public saftey commercials were any good–I now fully disagree. So I sat down, next to the driver’s rear wheel and waited. I now knew I would NOT be making my dental appointment.
Response time is an important thing for the those in emergency situations–well, my accidents response time was less than a minute–A police crusier was going through the intersection at the same time and a fire truck was two cars back waiting for the red light. I never suggest accidents but if one must have them, right infront of the police and fire-department is a good place to have one.
They checked me out and the driver of the suburban I tipped over. I don’t know how she is. but apparently she was talking when they took her away in the ambulance–they also suggested I go to the hospital in an ambulance too. (I certainly wasn’t going to get there in my car.) I consented to go, the only thing that hurt was the tip of my nose, and the insides of both of my arms which got a little scraped by the airbag. But I could feel the huge jolt of adrenaline going through my body, and I firmly believe on erring on the side of caution.
The trip was uneventful, although I was tempted to wave at the people in the cars behind us. I’ll make two observations about ambulances–one, the gurneys are very narrow, not made for those of us that have as the paramedic said, “sucessful American syndrome” Two, God is good. As I was going I made the observation that maybe the accident was from God trying to get my attention. “That seems a little harsh,” the paramedic said. (his name is Randy–If you read this, thanks for everything Randy) I thought about it and said, “maybe this is God’s way of getting me a new car.” Randy said it was better to be optimistic about it.
I don’t know–the next day, my car seems ridiculously unimportant–but I’m safe and sound, and God has much more of my attention and gratitude. I don’t recommend it, but traffic accidents have two very good side-effects–one, they remind us we’re mortal. Two, they remind us to be thankful for everything. This morning I woke up, a little sore, but nothing like I was expecting. I have never felt more thankful for standing on my own two legs and being able to walk. It was easily the happiest I’ve been all Christmas break. It might be harsh, but I’m very thankful for it.
The hospital visit was interesting * (*meaning a whole other story made even more so by the stupid neck-brace! You’ll have to wait for another post about that one.) I am going to be a little sore, but I’m fine. They prescribed a mild mussel relaxer and ibuprofen. My family was very concerned and I thank them for their love.
So now to answer the questions I’m sure friends want to know.
No, I don’t think it was my fault-neither did the police officer at the scene.
Yes, my car is totaled. No, I don’t really care about that.
Yes, I’m fine. It was a horrible experience I hope to never repeat.
I don’t know the other driver’s condition. I hope and pray she is all right.
I’m sorry it happened, but I wouldn’t have it any other way–God knows best. It was His car. And I’m His too. He’s fully allowed to with both His car and His son as He sees fit. He’s never let me down before and even if I hadn’t been fine, He never would have. I’ve never been so thankful to be alive or so aware of my mortality and dependence on God.
And it’s all thanks to the fact, that yesterday, I tipped a suburban over.