Thursday, September 23, 2010

Our family LOVES the tradition of going to the state fair. We normally go more than once. Opening day Brandon and I brought the girls. It was a bit hot outside but we all had a great time. Tickets for the ice capades were on sale for the opening night so I bought two and Elizabeth and I had a “Mommy, Lizzy time” . Traffic was HORRIBLE on the way there and so we were thirty minutes late. I was quite frustrated considering I had already allowed myself an extra thirty minutes than what I needed to get there, but we still had a great time and it all worked out ok. My Aunt Rhonda always took us to the ice capades when we were little. I have great memories of those times and so I think it was a bit sentimental for me to take Liz. I didn’t take my camera to the show because I didn’t think they were allowed. So they are just memories in my heart.

Then on Tuesday evening the Werner family went to enjoy the fair. We enjoy fair food during this visit. We like to look around and watch a few shows and just enjoy each other’s company. Nanny and Papa are the stars of this trip since they, well, pay for it. J Elizabeth and Katherine LOVED riding the horses and Elizabeth enjoyed the camel ride with Uncle Justin too.  

With the events of the year I think we all cherished our Family Fair Tradition a little more this year. Thank you Lord for Your goodness to us!

Sunday, September 05, 2010

THE Event

Many of you have already heard that I was in a car accident on Friday evening just after 5:00 p.m. The weather had been absolutely amazing on Friday and I wanted to get some clean quiet country air to go along with the beautiful day. So, I headed out to one of my all time forever and ever favoritest places, Tuterville. My dad is home from Dallas but with mom still there I thought a visit from me and the grandbabies would be a welcome surprise. Originally I had planned on going out early in the afternoon but I had some things that needed done at our house so I finished those things up during the girl’s naptime. The entire day had been shaping up to feel like a Saturday. Brandon is off of work on Friday’s so he had been in and out of the house all day and had even helped me with a couple of projects around the house. When I got on the road headed out I was again reminded that today was not Saturday but rather a Friday evening just about rush hour. The thought of slow traffic didn’t bother me much though because after all it was a beautiful day and I was really in no hurry. No reason to let a little thing like traffic ruin my day. To make the trip more enjoyable, the girls and I began bobbing our head to some Veggie Tales tunes. Everything was splendid.

Not far past Anderson Road heading East bound on I-240 two interstates combine. It is a common place for traffic to slowdown and I’m pretty positive there is almost a daily “jam” in that location. This day it seemed backed up a bit further than normal. I’m not sure of the reason. Elizabeth let out a small giggle with a “Whoa” accompanying it as I noticeably hit my brakes to slow with the quickly stopping traffic. Naturally when traffic comes to a quick stop after getting your vehicle to an appropriate speed you check your rearview mirror to make sure the guy behind you has done or is doing the same thing. The view in my mirror wasn’t a real pleasant one. A truck. A big truck. Going fast. Very fast. “Slow down, “I thought. He was approaching at speed limit or greater and had appeared at no attempt to even slow. My suspicions were confirmed the moment he did see me and hit his brakes but it was all over. Too close, too fast. He took a quick swerve right and then a hard swerve left. In an attempt to avoid collision I went to the right a bit trying to get to the shoulder creating enough of a gap for us to remain on track for our original destinations, body parts and vehicles intact with nothing more than a tale of a super close call. But our attempts were somewhat in vain and crash, bang, whiplash and all our vehicles would never be the same. The impact was hard immediately shattering my back windshield and driver’s side rear window. Glass was now accompanying me in the front seat and my babies were shrieking in fear complete unaware and unimpressed with what had just happened. I’m sure at some point the words “oh gravy” slipped from my lips. I waited for a second impact not sure of where the other vehicle was currently at or what other cars might come flying my way at any minute. I feared he was a roll over as pieces of debris and dirt began to fly in all sorts of directions. I am unsure of what all came off of his truck but I do know he lost his tire. Yes, his tire came sliding across the road taunting me of April’s events. I realize I may be overly sensitive to flying tires but I feel I am justified in that sensitivity given recently family occurrences. The tire never became anymore of an issue besides a mere piece of debris and it came to a peaceful rest without causing further insult or injury.

Upon realizing all vehicles had come to a complete stop, mine about 25 yards on down the road from the initial impact now resting in the grass rather than the pavement. The truck was now facing south bound in the center median still upright not having rolled. I turned my head in an effort to check on the girls. All visible signs gave me a peace that they were nothing more than scared. I reassured them we were fine and proceeded to do the next thing, call 911. No Brandon. No 911 is who you call first. I forced my brain to work the fancy features on my phone and begged my brain to send loud and clear messages to my hands to calm themselves and stop shaking. A touch screen is very difficult to use with shaky hands. Even dialing 911 can be the most difficult of simple tasks. My brain demands worked and my hands steadied enough to dial in the numbers, 9….1….1. “Wait, what if they want me to stay on the line with them until they get here because they hear screaming children in the background? I think I should call Brandon first. Yes, I need Brandon. He can do the thinking for me.” Backspacing the emergency numbers I had worked so hard to enter I dialed now the digits to my love. My hero.

Starting the conversation with “We are fine, we are all just fine.” He cut me off before I could get to the point of the call.

“Have you been in an accident?” he asked

“Yes, a pretty bad one, but we are all just fine. The car is not fine but we are.”

The conversation ended and he was on his way to help.
By this time passersby were stopping to check on us. I couldn’t open my door and the girls continued their screams. Trying to prioritize things I decided we needed to exit the vehicle. But how was I going to get out? I had already given the man checking on us a “thumbs up” that we were ok and he was headed over to check on the other guy. His back was to me. How would he see that we were stuck? As I looked to try and get someone’s attention I saw fluid pouring from the other guy’s vehicle. What if my car was pouring fluid? What is it was gas? Our situation could go from just fine to dead in an instant! I’ve seen the movies. No one, and I mean no one survives those explosions besides Jack Bauer, who was not currently present, and we all know Hollywood’s main goal is to make those scenes realistic. Yes this could get bad! It was then that I realized my car was still running and I could in fact just roll down my window and ask for help. I told my brain to stop the drama and to think rationally. I would reward myself later with a cappuccino chunky chocolate shake made with coffee instead of milk from Braum’s. The bribe worked and the following events were dealt with in a non Jack Bauer manner. The kind passerby opened my door and then when to the passenger side to help me get the girls out. I discovered that Liz was crying mostly because the impact had caused her to lose her snack bag of pretzels which had fallen to the ground. Her tears quickly subsided after I had reunited the two of them together. Kate also calmed quickly after I had her out of the vehicle and in my arms. She also had “buckles” her trusty steed, that she takes with her everywhere, to provide an extra measure of comfort. All parties involved were ok besides jolted and sore. Soon I would discover muscles I didn’t even know existed had been tensed up during the ordeal. These muscles introduced themselves to me and I have thrown them a welcoming party with Loratab. The two are getting along beautifully. My hero showed up about the same time as the emergency vehicles. He did exactly what I was hoping and took care of things for me. We ended up transporting Liz by ambulance to the hospital to get check out because she was complaining about one spot on her back and because these things always tend to happen on Friday’s after doctors offices close and Monday is a holiday. Go figure. If something was wrong I’d rather nip it in the bud.
 She was thrilled to ride in an “ambilance” and before her hospital discharge she was more concerned about going out to see and play with Nanny and Kate than the spot on her back. The doctor and Brandon encouraged me to get myself checked out too and by the time we had gotten to the hospital I was rather sore. So, after Elizabeth’s discharge transport took me to the presby tower to be seen by a doctor. I feared we would be there for many hours as I heard people in the waiting room complaining of waiting for three hours without being seen yet. Fortunately I didn’t have to get an official room and within the hour x-rays had been taken, prescriptions written and we were on our way home, all in one piece thanking the Lord for his protection over our family. On the way to the hospital the paramedics told me when they got the call on the wreck medi-flight was in route because with the sight of the wreckage they were certain someone would need it. Greg and Kim took our girls for the night and so I was able to get a good night’s rest and sleep-in in the morning. I snuggled up next to Brandon that night grateful I wasn’t in a hospital bed or mourning the death of one or both of our daughters. Today I took an extra minute to tuck my girls in bed to look them in the eye’s saying “I love you”.

After you read this I hope you will take a minute to go snuggle up next to your loved ones just because you can and look them in the eyes and say “I love you”. Not to bid them farwell as you rush out the door with a million other things on your mind but in an effort to savor a moment. Because the truth of the matter is that the chances of that happening to me are no less than the chances of that happening to you and not everyone is blessed enough to walk way. Cherish each moment. Know your eternal destination. And always pay attention to the traffic in front of you.

You know what? I still owe myself that shake from Braum’s.