18 Aug

The road stretched out ahead of her, winding through scenery all too familiar to her younger self.  As she drove, the skies heavy and grey, thick rain drops began to fall with a clatter onto the roof of her car.  The rain ran down her windshield, pushed rhythmically aside by the steady swish of wipers.  She began to notice a cycle to the rain… heavy then light then barely there, all beginning again and again as she drew closer and closer to home.

She was careful, keeping the car to a reasonable speed in the right hand lane and moving quickly out of the way of the more persistent fast lane drivers.  Thanks to the weather, most of the cars on the road were keeping a good distance from each other, and she would later think back on that with relief.

In an instant, the road before her was a blur.  She could feel a swirling sensation as the car began a wild, out of control spin.  Somewhere in the back of her mind she knew she was crossing three lanes of traffic, and her body braced for impact.  The screech and crunch of metal and plastic surrounded her, and from somewhere inside the car she heard a scream that she only later placed as her own voice.

Before she even had time to process what was happening to her, she saw the embankment speeding toward her windshield.  Grass and dirt sped toward her windshield as she felt the impact spin her.  The car hit the embankment again, this time from the back, and was again spun around.  This time she knew it was the end.  She watched helpless as the car slid relentlessly toward a tree.  Only at the last second did it seem to jerk sideways, clipping the tree with the front corner instead of impacting it head on.

Finally the car came to a stop, and she watched in shock as smoke sifted out from under the hood.  A web of cracks disfigured the bottom right corner of the windshield.  The rain began to fall with a vengeance, the noice near deafening as she took mental stock of her condition.  She checked the mirror.  No blood, no bruises… not even a scratch.  Relief turned quickly to a shaking wail as the shock descended into panic.

She is me.

08.18.09 Honda Squish

For the record, I am fine.  Shaken, but fine.  Our car is a mess, possibly totalled.  Our insurance sent me home in a rental car, and the agent will be out tomorrow to look at the car and decide what our next steps will be.

I have never been so scared.  It is a horrible feeling to lose control that way.  I wasn’t speeding.  I had my lights and wipers on.  I was watching the road.  I wasn’t on the phone or texting or even turning the radio station.  I keep replaying it in my head.  My arms, neck and shoulders are sore, and my chest is a little bruised from the seatbelt.  Thank god for the seatbelt.

I was alone.  Evi wasn’t with me, for the first time since she was born.  I have never been more thankful.  Though the back of the car was virtually untouched, just the thought that she could have been in the car with me turns my stomach inside out.  Instead, she was safe and warm at home with her Daddy.

It will be a long time before I drive so far in the rain again.


13 Responses to “Blur”

  1. Rasee August 18, 2009 at 10:09 pm #

    Oh, good lord, I’m so glad you’re okay. *hug*

  2. Rainy Pete August 18, 2009 at 10:12 pm #

    I’m glad Evi wasn’t with you and and even happier you weren’t hurt or worse! I’ve been in an accident before and it’s no fun at all.

    I have to say that despite the tragic whomping the vehicle took you wrote about it wonderfully!

    I hope your aches and pains are minor and fade quickly.

  3. deepdreamer August 18, 2009 at 10:33 pm #

    Sh*t Heather!!!! I am so glad you’re ok…someone was watching over you. It’s the most horrible feeling, isnt it?

  4. Caryn August 18, 2009 at 11:13 pm #

    Oh no!!! I’m so, so glad you’re okay… I’m so sorry. I understand how much this sucks. I hope you start feeling better. *hug*

  5. a August 19, 2009 at 6:59 am #

    Yikes. Glad you’re OK…and in a way, I hope your car is totalled. I’d hate to have to drive it again after seeing all that damage, even though buying a new car is stressful. Very glad Miss Evi was at home with Daddy!

  6. tash August 19, 2009 at 7:40 am #

    Yikes. glad to hear you’re all right. Sometimes those kinds of things hit you hardest a day or two later — be good to yourself, take some pain killer and a bath if you’re so allowed.

    Hugs. Glad you’re here to tell the story.

  7. irunwithscissors August 19, 2009 at 9:22 am #

    soo glad your ok and that Evi was at home! Love you!

  8. Tara August 19, 2009 at 10:42 am #

    I’m very glad you are ok! And I am very glad Evi was spending some quality time with dad. I agree with the hot bath to help loosen up the muscles. If that doesn’t work I will send April down.

  9. Barbara (burble) August 19, 2009 at 11:13 am #

    Yikes! I’m very glad you’re ok and wow, beautifully written!


  10. Liz August 19, 2009 at 11:38 am #

    Delurking to say that I’m glad you are ok and that Evi was home!

  11. Jason Rohrblogger August 19, 2009 at 2:02 pm #

    I can tell by the way your front bumper reinforcement has collapsed that you probably have some frame damage. Depending on the age of your car and the miles on your odometer, you may have a borderline total on your hands. Did you hit anything else besides the tree and the curb? You may have taken out a chunk of the sidewalk. You probably also have undercarriage and suspension damage, as well.

    Did your air bag deploy? You don’t mention it in the story and since you were moving kind of sideways when you struck the tree, maybe it didn’t. Airbags are designed for direct front end collapse.

    You will be sore. The worst of it will be 24-48 hours after the impact. SO glad you and Evi are both okay!

    If the insurance company jerks you around, or makes you a lowball offer for the vehicle, let me know and I’ll walk you through it with your claim rep.

    Your car totally worked as designed. It is supposed to collapse and abosorb the energy released in the collision so the occupant of the passenger compartment doesn’t have to. I see your passenger compartment is not deformed, and it sounds like your seatbelt functioned perfectly. Your car sacrificed itself to save you which is exactly what is supposed to happen.

    Also, new blog rule: you are not allowed to have another post like this. 🙂 More memes and awesome family life observations, less twisted metal…

  12. Beautiful Mess August 21, 2009 at 1:46 pm #

    Oh my God! How scary! I’m so glad you’re OK, physically. Take care of yourself.

    Sending you lots of love!

  13. coffeegrl August 23, 2009 at 10:03 pm #

    Holy cow. I am soooooo relieved to hear that you are well and that the baby was home safe and sound. What a terrifying experience!

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