Sunday, August 6, 2006

Standing Up and Brushing Off

Have you seen those new Jetta commercials?  I don't exactly know how new they are, but it seems I've only been seeing them for a couple says...  There's a few different ones ~ all starting out the same way, with friends riding along, unaware of any oncoming danger, chit chatting about their evening as they go ~  And all ending the same way.  As they're driving along, out of no where, they are pulverized by an oncoming vehicle... it's instant and violent... air bags inflate and glass smashes all around them.  Then the screen goes black.  In another instant, you see all the occupants of the vehicle standing beside the wrecked car, shaking their heads, unscathed, and counting their lucky stars.

I am always a bit stunned.  Even though I know what is coming!  I guess it's because I can relate to it in many ways.  I'll share one of those ways with you.

A few years back, we were driving home from my parents house.  They lived just minutes down the road from us at the time, and we usually visit them once a week for dinner.  They love spending time with their grandchildren, and it's been a tradition since they were born.  Every week they ask what day we are going... 

SO, It was spring, and the days were getting longer.  For this I will always be thankful for, as well as many other aspects of the evening.  We left my parents house a little earlier than usual, as the girls were younger than and if I recall correctly, they were acting up a bit and I felt they were tired and needed to get to bed early.

There is a very windy road that leads from one side of town to the other.  A very beautiful road, I might add, that has been recently declared "scenic" and given a cute little sign that says as much.  Our home happens to be right at the end of this road, and we were driving along, unknowingly... yes, you see where this is going.

We were on the one straight, flat section of the road that drops down a hill at the end... Out of nowhere, a car came,no FLEW, up over that hill going so fast that it was literally in the air.  I think I swore, a bit shocked, never having seen a car fly before (geesh!), and as it landed and swerved out of control at us, I knew we were in trouble.  I tried to move over, but there is a ledge that we would have gone over had I gotten too close.  With no time to think, I watched the oncoming, little blue car ram into our front driver side, and continue ramming us until it was out of sight.  I remember my girls screams and cries as we spun around and started to roll... It was all happening so fast, and yet it was also in slow motion.  I remember just feeling it happen, thinking so many thoughts... Mostly that we were going to roll over the ledge and into the trees below.  When we came to a stop, still on the road, we were upside down and the windows were all smashed out.  I sat there for a moment, unsure of what action to take at first, but also thankful that I could still hear both my girls cries.  Yes thankful.  I reached up (or was it down?) and felt the roof with my hands, trying to make sense of what was happening.  Immediately, I then knew that I had to get us out of there, and fast.  I had visions of the worst happening next that I don't even want to get into.

So I got my wits about me and unbuckled myself while telling the girls that it was ok, and that we had to get out.  I fell out of my seat and quickly got BACK upside down to manuever myself into the back to unbuckle M's booster seat and then A's seatbelt.  I could then see that they were fine, and I quickly crawled out of the broken window, turned myself around and helped them out as well...

We crawled out onto the street and saw that the other car had flipped over the edge and was resting upside down in a tree!  It was all so surreal.. and yet here we were, standing beside our upside down, totaled Tahoe (I recommend them HIGHLY!) just inches  away from the ledge, unscathed other than a few little cuts from crawling out over the shattered glass.  We quickly made our way over to the embankment where we were checked by the paramedics once they arrived. 

So this commercial obviously makes me think of this episode in our life.  It reminds me that even though it seemed that we were very unlucky that night, we were so very blessed.  So blessed to have come out of that unharmed, and able to shake our heads at the thought.  It was definitely a life changing moment.  For the girls, it taught them that driving at a high rate of speed is dangerous, don't drink and drive (oh yeah, the driver of the other car, who was also unhurt and extracted with the jaws of life, was arrested that night for DUI and driving his girlfriend's FATHER'S car with a suspended license!), and that mommy is really telling the truth about those seatbelts! 

....And I learned a few things, as well. 

And now that I'm at the end of this, I can't quite figure out the words to explain it to you.  Here's the simple version.

Standing up and brushing off can really feel good.

Count your blessings.

Be thankful for ALL things, good and bad... there is always a lesson there.

Sometimes when you think something has happened to you, it really may have been meant for someone else to experience and learn from (hoping that this young man learned his lesson and won't drink and drive again and kill someone.. this thought was given to me by a coworker at the time.)

And always wear a seatbelt...   but I knew that anyway.




radar446 said...

Wonderful story with so many great lessons to be learned.  Thanks for sharing.  I'm glad you and the family came out of that unhurt.  It is usually the opposite.  The drunk driver really hurts somebody, while they stay completely unhurt.  Then as the ambulance is loading up the patients to rush them to the hospital, the drunk stands there and pleads with the officer not to arrest him, the fact that they wrecked thier friend's car (believe me, drunks NEVER wreck in their own cars) is enough punishment.  Never once asking if the passengers in the other car are OK.  I feel a soapbox coming on, so I'll stop here.  Really good story though.


am4039 said...

wow what a story. So happy everyone was ok including the guy and I sure hoped he did learn a lesson. I did see those commercials and don't like them. I'm always wondering why they would have a commericial like that.

lisa41076 said...

Yea I got in !!!!!!! Your journal is awesome !!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for giving me the link, So glad all of you guys survived that close call, I'll send you the link to my journal too, Take Care Lisa

dklars said...

Wow, I've been reading here for about 20 minutes, and I love your journal!

demandnlilchit said...

With me, I always think that if I am running late at being somewhere, or I get delayed on route or on those rare occassion that I am early....if it's not divine intervention that stops me from being at the wrong place at the wrong time..........with you a second or two earlier or later could of resuted with you going down the embankment even though that instant that you were there, it was only that instant that saved you from an even more horrific crash.........I'm so glad you and your girls came out with just a few scratches and a lot more belts, the girls learned that lesson the hard way and even a biggr lesson on the perils of drinking while driving. Those lessons will last a life time!  Thanks for the words of encouragement you left in my journal and the link back to yours!