Yesterday, Little Man & I were witnesses to an accident between a semi truck and a dump truck on the highway. It was very, very scary, and I think my adrenaline is still recovering, almost 20 hours later.
After nap, I strapped a very unhappy little guy into his car seat in my husband’s truck; we were supposed to meet my mom across town to pick up free filing cabinets from her office. Then we were going to her house to drop off a cabinet and snag a rocking chair to replace the wrecked glider in LM’s room.
Well. Little Man hates to ride in the car for no good reason, and he didn’t see any good reason he should have to ride in the truck yesterday. Let me also mention here that my hormones are on high alert this week (yay for being a girl.). So as soon as I get to the other side of town, I pull into Steak & Shake for milkshakes: an offering of peace for him and a reward for being a girl for me.
They give me a strawberry milkshake instead of a dark chocolate one. So I’m already unhappy (waah, I know). Then we get to my mom’s office and the truck camper shell is locked, and amongst fourteen thousand keys in my hubby’s truck I cannot find the right key. So now we have spent well over an hour in the truck (and the car seat) for no good reason. And because Keith is home asleep, he doesn’t answer the phone.
I’m already upset. I hate driving the truck, it’s windy, so I feel like I’m blowing all over the road, and Little Man, while happily munching on mini corn dogs and a milkshake, is starting to ramp up his whining.
By this time we’re halfway home on the interstate, and we’re approaching a major intersection/ramp where traffic always stops. (Harding St, for my local friends). No sooner do I think to myself, “I wonder why we aren’t stopping for Harding St.” then BAM! The semi truck in front of me slams on his breaks, fishtails, and slams into a dump truck.
I am married to a truck driver; I know how to not tailgate. So I stand on the brakes, swerve toward the shoulder, and miss the semi, the dump truck and the other pickup truck that I have absolutely no idea where it came from.
Horrible crunching sounds, broken glass, eerie silence… And I burst into tears. I had sent Keith a text before I left saying how mad I was, and all I could think was if we had died, that would be the last message he ever got from me. And I have my baby in the truck with me. What if… what if… what if…
I call 911. I am hysterical, but thank God for the wonderful woman who answered the phone. She got me calmed down enough to tell her where we were, that we weren’t hurt, and what had happened. Then she told me to make sure I wasn’t blocking traffic and to just sit and wait for the police.
The pickup truck next to me leaves the scene. Little Man starts asking questions and wanting a hug. I am sobbing. I call my mom. Oops. Freak her out, but then get her to realize we’re fine, so if she hears about it, we’re fine.
(turns out my dad & stepmom saw footage on the news, but didn’t realize that the random truck behind the accident was us)
Finally the state police arrive. Two very nice officers walk through my statement four times and then, making sure I am calm enough to drive, stop traffic to let me out and head home. They weren’t sure why I was there, but I told them the 911 dispatcher told me to sit and wait until I was calm. They agreed that was a smart choice!
As I pass the front of the scene, I realize just how gross of an accident it was, although, thank God, no one was injured.
I cry the rest of the way home, and my son is upset that I am upset. And then, at dinner, knowing that daddy drives a big truck, he prays that daddy doesn’t hit a dump truck while at work.
By the time Keith leaves for work, I think I’m okay, but then all night I had horrible dreams. Dreams about kidnapping and death and violence and losing my husband and my son.
Life is so short. So very, very short. I know that Jesus was watching over us yesterday. Life is so precious. So very, very precious. Hug your family, your friends, your children.
You never know when there might be an accident that doesn’t have such a peaceful ending.