I am so blest to be alive and writing right now. Lately, I have been really all about makeup in my last couple of posts, but today I have to address the elephant in my head and heart. I am holding my living and breathing baby as I write this, and I am incredibly blest. Because after what happened two days ago, this current moment could be oh so different.
My friend and I wanted to get together, despite the tornado warning. (And why again was I surprised when the day went all wrong?!) But the thing is, I HATE driving. (sorry, little side note here–I HATE DRIVING. I didn’t learn to drive until my husband taught me my senior year of college. And I got my license just 3 days before our wedding…and ONLY because he was going to Basic after our wedding and I would be on my own for 4 months. And did I mention I had already failed the driving test twice?… back to the story). My friend lives a half-hour away and I told my husband I was really bad at following a GPS and driving at the same time. So being the wonderful mounted infantryman husband that he is, Jared offered to “do a convoy” and drive his SUV in front of me. Such a trooper! <3 That way he could show me the way, but I could park there and hang out with my friend while he went home to relax. A great plan! At first.
I followed behind him in our compact car, with my baby tucked asleep in the back seat. For the privacy of the other drivers involved, I won’t give the specific details of the road or where we were. But that’s okay because honestly, that’s the least important part of my story. We were going 50mph and the light ahead turned red. The SUV in front of my husband came to an abrupt stop, breaking a little too late at the light. But Jared squeezed his breaks hard, and was able to stop. I was surprised at how fast they both had stopped, and panic set in as I began squeezing, and then eventually stomping as hard as I could to get my car to stop. The tires started squealing, the smell of burned rubber began billowing up. I stopped just in time. But a horrible, terrible thought hit me, just before the SUV behind me did. I knew whoever was behind me wouldn’t stop. And they didn’t. At all.
My body flew forward at the steering wheel as the sound of a train attacked my car. I could feel the blood coming from my nose. Glass started flying as my car was shoved into the back of my husband’s SUV. My head flew back against the seat, and I saw my airbag erupt from my steering wheel as the horn sounded and my legs began getting crunched. I was hit by someone going 45mph, and hit so hard that my car hit Jared’s SUV hard enough to send it bumping into the car ahead of him. It happened so fast, and yet, I knew what was happening. And I couldn’t hear my baby. As the glass pummeled the back of my headrest, all I could think about was her. I must have jerked the steering wheel to the right, because my car started rolling into the lane beside me. My heart had literally stopped. I needed my baby in my arms.
And then, I heard her cry. It was more of a scream. She was wailing, and it was the most beautiful and perfect sound I had ever heard. At this point, I could hear my husband shouting at the top of his lungs too. I looked out my window, and saw him running to me, still shouting. It couldn’t have been done better in a movie. He was in his uniform, with the hardest look of love and devastation I had ever seen. He had no idea what he would find in the ruins of our first car. I turned to him, throwing open my door. I looked into his panicked eyes and said, “I’m fine, I’m okay. GET THE BABY.” But my car was still rolling and he tried to tell me to stop it. I just kept thinking baby, baby baby, over and over in my mind. And I finally managed to pull the emergency break to stop the car. I stumbled out of the car as he threw the back door open and leaned in for our daughter.
I peeked over his shoulder, with my heart dropped to the bottom of my feet. She had glass on her dress, and had her little hands bunched, screaming. He pulled her out and I didn’t breathe until he handed her to me. She looked at me, confused and awake and scared. But then she buried her little head against my sweater and let me console her. I knew she was okay. She looked beautiful.
By this point, everyone was running towards us, out of their cars. Everyone was asking how the baby was. Luckily, an EMS team was a few cars ahead and saw the whole thing through their mirror. They examined my baby there on the side of the road, and asked me if I was okay. I said I had glass in my fingers, but that I was okay and that my baby was okay. I knew she was. It was a miracle, that much was clear. I couldn’t stop stroking her head and I kept repeating myself. I was in shock of the accident, but I was so much more in awe that my baby was okay. The medics offered to check her vitals and I said I wanted to. They helped me get the few remaining glass shards out of her hair, and dry the blood off my hands. I was holding my baby, both of us completely unharmed, in the back of the ambulance. They shook out her clothes and I held her there in her little diaper. Nothing could take the sigh of relief away from me.
The rest of the story is a blur of unimportance. My totaled car. My husband’s dented SUV. The swarm of police, medics, and witnesses talking to me. I didn’t care. My body didn’t even feel the shock it had gone through. And looking at my smashed car smeared across the road didn’t even upset me. Yes, it was a little hard. I was looking at the car, that my husband and I had bought together in college, completely in shambles. The back window that our wedding party had written “Just Married” on with whipped cream for our wedding getaway drive was smashed into a million pieces. But for some reason, it truly and honestly didn’t matter. My baby was in my arms, and my husband was by my side. I only had blessings surrounding me. I had so many things to take away from the experience, and that’s what I’m sharing with you today.
- Nothing is beyond God’s Power. He protected my family that day, as He always does.
- Nothing is more important than my family. The feel of my baby is something I will never get over. The sound of her cry is something I will always love. The closeness of my husband is something I will always cherish. I have them in my life forever.
- Driving is overrated. I love being a SAHM, blogger, and writer. Only bad things happen when I leave my house. <– Only kind of kidding.
- I hate compact cars.
- I hate driving.
- I don’t want to “get back up on that horse” any time soon. (I recognize how immature that sounds. Oops. Still said it anyway).
- Car accidents sound so vague and like a looming possibility, but once you are in one, you realize how real and devastating and actual they really are.
- And you ask yourself how you walked away, completely unharmed.
- You don’t have to be a terrible driver to get wrecked. There are worse drivers out there, and accidents can happen to literally anyone.
- My husband saw the most horrible scene of his life in the review mirror. I might have seen my life flash before my eyes, but so did he…because my baby and I are everything to him, and in that moment, he thought he lost us.
- If I ever follow (convoy) someone’s car, I will pay even better attention to WHERE I am going and HOW I am going…not where THEY are going and HOW they are doing it.
- The silver lining here was that I got to see my husband running in full speed in uniform like the hero that he is, coming to rescue is wife and daughter. Heart throb. <3
- I will eventually drive again. But I won’t forget how important it is to be careful. I’ve always been a cautious driver, but now that I carry the most important cargo in the world, I will be an even safer and more prudent driver.
- I will thank God every day for sending His angels to protect us. And I will continue to rely on Him for everything, because in the end, I know it is all in His Hands.
My dear readers and friends, this was not the easiest story to type, but it was a lot easier to write about than to experience. And I wanted to document it. Most importantly, I wanted to share what I had learned. Because I honestly had a shift in perspective after this traumatic occurrence. I love more and live better. I truly have an insight into what people who almost lose their lives feel about. Probably because I almost did too. And I deeply hope my story can kindle in your heart an even clearer awareness of how important driving safety is, and how one afternoon in the car can make a lifetime of difference.
Drive safe and love a lot. Don’t wait until you almost die to start living your life the way you want to. The rest of forever starts right now! Go!!!