When the car finally stopped, the inside was full of smoke. I know now that that was
the powder from the airbags, but I didn’t realize that at the time. I was scared and just wanted to get out of the car. So even though it was pouring, I grabbed my purse and ran out into the rain. I called 911 and the police came to get me. At the time, Hans was actually in a final exam for one of his labs. He pulled an all nighter the night before because he had two finals that day. I called our good friend Andrew Taylor and he came
and picked me up. We went and picked Hans up from campus when he was done with his test. He did a good job of staying calm when his wife called him saying she’d just been in an accident, totaled the car, and needed to go to the hospital. Andrew suggested we skip the ER which would be a long wait and very expensive. Instead, we tried one of those urgent care clinics and it was awesome. There was no wait. We went right in, the doctor examined me and took a bunch of xrays, and we were out in under an hour. And they took my insurance. Woot.
My car was completely destroyed. The front bumper fell off. The engine fell down and some fluid (I don’t know what) container was burst and spilling. The whole front hood crumpled and the front left wheel well caved in (and the tire was blown, too). On the back end, I took out the b ack right corner, lights, everything, and managed to displace the trunk’s hood. None of the doors on the car, nor the trunk, could be opened without forcing them. The windshield was cracked and stuff in the car even broke from the impact (Hans’ sunglasses, to be exact).
And believe it or not, I am fine. I had wicked whiplash for a couple days after the accident, so bad that I had a hard time moving my head or body at all. I have a nasty burn on my chest from where the seatbelt tore across my skin. It looks and feels like a carpet burn. But aside from that, no other injuries. No cuts from the breaking glass. No burns from the air bag powder. No cracked or broken ribs from the seat belt. Nothing. I’m totally fine. And while I spun out of control on I-35 in 4 p.m. traffic, no one hit me and I didn’t hit anyone. I truly feel very, very blessed and believe that Heavenly Father preserved my life. It feels like a miracle.
There were other blessings, too. When I was standing in the pouring rain, too afraid to get back in my car, trying to call 911, I all of a sudden realized there was an umbrella over my head. A small, older Hispanic man had seen my accident, pulled over to the side of the road, and ran out to help me. I could see two little girls in the back seat of his car watching us (daughters, or granddaughters I assume). His name was Joe and I don’t think his English was great, but he said that he would stay there until the police came. By the way, not only was it pouring, it was freaking freezing last week. It snowed in Texas, if you didn’t hear. So this kind, wonderful man stayed with me until the police arrived, than wished me luck, gave me his umbrella and left. People like him give me faith in humanity.
The cops were also very nice. I was shaking so hard I couldn’t sign the forms they were giving me. But they were very patient, helped me to sit down, and one gently joked “Don’t worry, there’s no points for neatness.” When the tow-truck driver asked for my keys, in my daze I simply handed them over until one of the cops put a hand on my shoulder and said “No, honey, you’re going to need your house keys.” They were just very patient and gentle with me while I was in shock. More good people in the world.
That was the accident. It was horrifying, but I feel very, very blessed to be whole and intact. And people have been so wonderful. Andrew helped us all day, even stayed at the hospital and drove us home. Parker picked us up the next day and took us to get a rental car. Amy offered her car and Adam and Mandy offered rides and food. Denny sent me the sweetest email to check on me. And people from work were amazing, too! Obviously, I didn’t make it in to work. I called my boss immediately (like, after 911 but before Andrew) so that she could find someone to cover me. Not only did she tell me not worry about it, but she stopped by the urgent care clinic on the way home to check on me. My boss’ boss called me three times that night to check in and see how I was doing. I got home to find emails from four other co-workers offering whatever help they can give. It truly made me realize how abundantly blessed I am to have so many wonderful people in my life. And my brothers kept calling me too! I don’t talk to them much (they’re always so busy and talking to your sister isn’t cool) but I got to talk to them both for a total of several hours over the past week and that made me really happy. I really love those little jerks.
We're still working everything out with the insurance company, but they're going to cover everything. We went ahead and bought a new car last weekend, but I'll save that for another post.
All in all, I am surprisingly grateful for this opportunity. I realize how lucky I am to have such great friends and more importantly how good the Lord is to me in preserving my life and providing such comfort and peace. It's amazingly wonderful how trials bring us closer to Him and I'm grateful for that.
All hail my poor, dead Honda. She gave her life for me and I'll always remember her.