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1. This has been quite the interesting week. I know I can be over dramatic, but I can say with all certainty that I am lucky to be alive. Yesterday morning on my way to work, I was at a complete stop and was rear-ended by a woman traveling at approximately 40-45 mph. She completely totaled my car (confirmed today by the Insurance Adjustor) and scared me up pretty good.
That's what's left of my car. I did walk away with just a few sore muscles and some misalignment in my back (probably, still need to get checked by my chiropractor). This pic is from yesterday when I was surprisingly calm during the emergency. She hit me when I was stopped - this is where my car landed - about 50-75 yards from where it began. As I was moving, I was trying to stop but couldn't - as you can see, I don't think my breaks really exist anymore! I got out, and she did as well - asking if I was okay. She said she was okay as well. I was thinking we should call 911, but until I turned around and saw the back of my car (I saw hers first which was bad, but not like this), I was thinking we might both drive away (haha).
So I calmly dialed and spoke to the woman regarding the incident. Then, I called Father to tell him and someone else - it was all kind of a blur. Then one of the pre-school teachers was on her way to work and saw me, she stopped and came over to stay with us. A fireman came upon us and called it in again as the Fire Engine pulled up, then the police, followed by the ambulance.
2. The good news is that I'm okay - I walked away with some sore muscles from an accident that could very well have killed me if a few things had been different. For instance, there wasn't anything in my trunk - so nothing could get pushed into the back seat (which was pushed in very slightly). Also, my wheels weren't turned when I was waiting - so I did not get pushed into oncoming traffic. Thirdly, I did not see it coming at all in my mirror - this allowed me not to tense up as she was coming, or to avoid her running into me and me trying to turn into the other lane or go forward, or any number of things. All in all my guardian angel and the Blessed Mother (yeah for Miraculous Medals hanging from the rear view mirror) were doing overtime protection work.
3. Another good thing (that I don't really know what to do with) was this one fire fighter - very cute! When they arrived, after assessing the scene, they got my purse out of my car (and as many valuables as I could stuff in there), moved it to the other side of the road so it was easier to tow, and took care of me. The nice young man made sure I didn't break my neck by checking on my vertebrae got me a brace, made sure my earrings didn't get stuck, and helped secure me to the back board before belting me onto the bench in the ambulance (the woman who hit me was on the rolling bed they carry). Biggest regret - don't even know his name. Love of my life and I'll never find him again - maybe my guardian angel can figure that out!
4. At the hospital I called in the claim to my insurance company who said they would take care of things from there. Now I've just been speaking to all kinds of people on the phone like the adjustor (who is giving me a good price for the car - about three grand more than I expected based on the blue book value), the medical claims representative, my claim representative (who got me into a rental), and today the other woman's insurance agent (of a company I've never even heard of). So just resting, icing down my neck muscles, and figuring out what kind of car I want to buy since my is 'no longer in service.'
5. This has been an interesting experience. Yesterday when I saw the car at the scene it was evident that I was blessed to be alive, the entire trunk is smashed in. I walked out basically unharmed - a few sore muscles and the need for an adjustment doesn't classify as seriously injured to me. However, after seeing the car again today where I could make further inspections as I was cleaning it out, I can see more damage. I don't know how this would have happened, but my driver's side seat is broken. It was laying flat down, don't know how it gets that way. Today when I was looking for cars I saw a feature on the Hyundai called 'whip lash prevention seats' or something - maybe that's what that was and it's why I'm not worse off. Also, I could see how the back seats were bolstered out about an inch or so. No one was in the back, but if they were, they would have been protected.
6. Hopefully this is as close to 'near death' as I'll get before I have a heart attack in my sleep at 95 and die in peace. But I was thinking about it today - I could have died yesterday. My life is already a miracle, but a miracle occurred yesterday. The adjustor was basically astonished that I was at work and walking around. That said something to me - he sees this stuff all day long. I'm grateful to be alive; and only annoyed at the inconvenience she has placed on my life. I wasn't planning on buying a new car this month - I was planning on paying off my car in February and being years without a payment. I was going to keep my car until I had too many children to fit into the back seat! Apparently, there are different plans in the work.
7. However, now I feel like I'm driving weird. Maybe it's good - I haven't been taking risks (not that I'm a risky driver - but I used to know my car and how it handled, the rental is so different). I've also been overly cautious about how close people are to my rear, which is really ridiculous. This woman did not just rear-end me - she came up on me from afar. There was no one behind me when I stopped to wait for the traffic yesterday morning. She should have seen me from far away - but she wasn't paying attention and did not stop. She told me, before the police arrived, that 1) "I tried to stop, I tried to stop" over and over and 2) this was her "second accident in a month." There was nothing I could have done to prevent this except not be on that piece of road.
Really, there are so many things in our lives that we cannot prevent - our character is tested by how we respond and react. I can only hope that this has been a testament to my character and that I can thank the Lord each day for my life. That I can always remember to be grateful for the life I've been given and say thank you for one more day to praise you.
Back to light-heartedness next week! Oh and if anyone knows how to find out which fire engine company reported to your accident scene (I think E-27) and how to locate a particular fireman - be sure to send me an email! I was thinking of baking them some cookies and taking them over to say 'thanks for helping me out the other day'!
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