I had a completely different blog post mostly written and prepared, then I got a call from my mom Thursday afternoon. It wasn’t unexpected. She had asked me what my schedule was like and said she would try and call me. They were on their way to Bowling Green for a car show and we were going to see them on Sunday on their way back home.
They were in a terrible accident on the way to the car show. I’m going to ask permission before I post this, because I know they initially didn’t want anything on social media. They are upset, and rightly so. I’ve been in accidents. They’re very upsetting. Even when it’s not your fault you sometimes feel incredibly guilty. Things go through your mind of things you could have (maybe you even think ‘should have’) done to prevent it. Then you tell yourself to be thankful that you’re alive. And you are. But sometimes you still beat yourself up.
I was glad to hear about the accident after I already knew that they were okay. (Although, I wish I had heard about it sooner and could have gone to help.) The car was totaled, the trailer that they were towing was totaled. Somehow the car inside the trailer survived other than a smashed window, so that’s what they were driving. I have offered to come up, I’m only an hour away. I’ve offered our car. So far, they’ve not decided they need help.
It’s very strange, I feel almost like I’m disproportionately upset about this. The accident didn’t happen to me, and they walked away from it. Cars can be replaced. I’m not sure why this has hit me so hard.
Life is so fragile. I feel like I keep getting this ‘lesson’ taught to me by the universe over and over. I get it! I really do! Dean has told me before that he feels like I think about death a lot. Personally, I don’t feel like I consider death in a morbid way. More like, “well, I want to save money, but I also know that we could die at any moment, so we should enjoy life and go on a good vacation.” I constantly have conversations with myself like that. Yes, I want to save for the future and I hope I have a good long one, but I also know that the only moment we’re guaranteed is the moment that we’re living in. I don’t feel that this is morbid, I feel like it’s appreciative.
This morning was a cross training day and I was out for an hour long walk. There is one section of my route where the sidewalk stops for a couple of blocks and I walk on the grass beside the road. I passed some men doing utility work around that area. They had cones out, narrowing the lanes, and all of the traffic had to slow down. Nothing really remarkable, I smiled at them as I passed. I got to the turn-around point about a half a mile later and decided to head back. I have the option of continuing straight and making a big loop, it would be about the same distance, but I like the view better heading back.
I heard a metal clunk and wondered if there had been an accident. I told myself to stop thinking about accidents and kept walking. I got within sight of the utility workers. There was a truck smashed into a tree. I keep looking at it as I got closer. I knew it had not been there before. One of the workers was talking on the phone and looking into the truck. There were two men standing nearby. I figured it was their truck and they looked alright. They must have been surprised by the utility truck and swerved to miss it. As I got closer, I walked past the truck, there was no other way to go, and I looked inside. There was a woman still inside with blood streaming down her face. Her entire face was completely covered in blood. She was looking inside a car seat with a baby inside. The baby seemed unhurt, but there was some soft crying coming from the truck. The truck’s front was wrapped around the tree and the axel was clearly broken. The utility man was calling an ambulance I assume. The two men standing there must have just witnessed the accident and stopped to help. I considered stopping, but didn’t know what I could do other than add another gawker. I kept walking and a fire truck passed me on it’s way to the accident.
It hit me that if I had been walking a little earlier or a little later, that truck could have hit me and killed me as I walked.
When I got home, I began getting ready for work. I considered not biking with all the accidents that had been happening. Then I decided to go ahead and bike. There’s no telling when an accident is going to happen. I could be killed walking along the side of the road just as well as biking. Or driving a car. Or in a mass shooting. On and on.
As I biked I saw yet another wreck. I man had somehow missed the driveway that he was pulling out of and had dropped his car into a ditch. There was a cement edge to the driveway and his car was straddling it, trapped. A police officer was talking to him. He was going to be fine, but I bet he felt dumb.
I’ll feel better after I see my parents. I know that they’re okay, having talked to them, but there’s something about seeing someone.
Please wear your seatbelts. It’s the reason my parents are still around. Hug your loved ones. Call a friend you haven’t seen in a while. Plan those trips. Do it now. Live big. love hard.