Friday, May 25, 2012

Life is Precious, Pay attention!

In response to the challenge put out there from Funky Vintage Lovely's blog, I mentioned that I would share a story with you. This is an example of how our actions as drivers can affect the lives and futures of others. Even if it doesn't affect their life. I April's story, the old lady didn't even realize she had hit someone! I have always been a crazy lady about Car Safety! After all, I did fall out of a car when I was 6! There are NO quick trips without a car seat or seat belt in my opinion!  I am NOT a perfect driver, and I had in the past been guilty of some of the same indiscretions that April described, maybe even worse??  Not anymore!

On October 27, my alarm went off just like any other morning at 5:35 AM...I woke my daughter up and went for the coffee. It was Volleyball season and there was a big game that day. Pink Out for Breast Cancer awareness...I made her breakfast, we chatted a much as you can at 6:15 in the morning. Neither of us are big on early mornings! It was a normal day...

Her Ride pulled in the driveway * She had mentioned that she had a sore throat * I asked her what time lunch was that day (they have rotating schedules that I can't keep up with...) I would bring her some soup * She gave me a kiss goodbye * I looked at the clock; it was 6:35 AM

I walked to the cabinet to get a glass * walked to the refrigerator for water * turned around * the phone rang. * It was 6:37 AM

It had been 2 minutes...

On the other end was my daughter, in hysterics. She is not a 'hysterics' kinda girl. She was talking so fast I could barely understand her. She finally choked out to "come to the end of the neighborhood, we've been in an accident"

My heart stopped beating and then I turned and bolted for the front door. Luckily I had the sense to go put on actual clothes. Something told me I better change out of pink PJ pants! I got dressed in seconds. My boys started to wake up. I told them to not leave the house until I got back. Their baby sister was still sleeping and I needed to find out what had happened to Bree.

I was the first person on the there. Before any police, before any medical professionals.

This is what I was all I could do to remember to put my car in park before jumping out. My Daughter was in the backseat of this car, in the seat behind the passenger. Everyone was still in the car at the time, and the entire trunk was jammed into the backseat. The front of the car was wedged under the jeep in front of them, and the driver of the car Bree was in wasn't able to get out of the vehicle.
There was debris was dark and misting this annoying rain. It was SURREAL... I honestly thought for a minute I was dreaming.

I went immediately to their car and tried to calm my daughter and the other girls down. Her friends mother was driving the car and was in agony. She was crying and couldn't move from behind the wheel.
I stood next to the car trying to calm everyone down. I didn't want anyone to get out of the car yet, there were cars were driving past us trying to get out of the neighborhood before the road got shut down. I didn't know what anyone's injuries were yet!
I was shaking, they were shaking and then suddenly the back windshield exploded. It sounded like a gunshot had gone off. The girls all screamed, and I mean LOUD, terrified screams!

NOT ONE person stopped and offered help.

I quickly realized, even in the surreal haze that there was something even more wrong with this situation.
The driver of the car that hit them started cussing at me. Demanding my phone and just ranting  complete nonsense.
I could smell booze and stale cigarettes.
I called the cops
She cussed me out
I yelled back
It was not a good...

In the meantime, my daughter and the other girl in the backseat were trying desperately to get the glass out of their hair, and clothes, and trying to wrap their heads around what was actually happening to them.

This scene continued to unfold over the next two hours. Eventually the driver of the truck that hit my daughter (and other passengers) was finally cuffed and taken away.
She continued to curse, scream and carry on at the scene. She even tried to drive off. If she had managed that, she would have killed my daughter, me, a cop and two other young girls.

She showed NOT a single ounce of remorse!

My daughter suffered a concussion.
Her seat belt never locked and she hit her head on both the front and back headrest. She was knocked out very briefly.  
Missed out on the rest of her volleyball season.
Spent 3 months under the care of a Neurologist and her Pediatrician for the concussion.
Spent 5 months in Physical Therapy.
And now, at 15 has a permanent back injury.
Still to this day has flashbacks.  

And, All in ALL...she walked away a VERY BLESSED girl!

The driver of the other vehicle.

A 43 year old woman...DRUNK at 6:30 in the morning!

Blood Alcohol Count: .21..... legal limit:  .08

BAC taken 2 hours after the accident occurred
Caused a 4 car accident, involving 9 people. 4 of them under the age of 16

Punishment: 60 days in jail.

I could go on and on and on about my frustration over the way the courts handle drunk drivers.  

The point of this story:
Put down the drink, the cell phone, the ice cream...Get the dog OFF YOUR LAP!

Be a better - more responsible role model for those you love and for those you don't even know!

Like the guy on his bike in FKL post, my daughter was just going about her business and someone else almost took her life.

We preach to our children to NOT drink and drive. NOT get in a car with a driver who has been drinking. NOT text and drive. NOT eat, put makeup on, play with the radio, etc...
BUT - what do we do to walk that walk???

I know what I have done to change. I can only hope that others will follow suit!

Along with my plea to be "better" behind the wheel, here is my 2 cents on just being present with our kids... 
Both before and after the accident, I have had many conversations with other Mom's and friends about my choice to get up with my older kids in the morning...after all "it's so early..."

AT 15 my daughter doesn't 'need' me to get up with her in the morning. She doesn't 'need' me to make her breakfast or her lunch. She is an independent girl...all my kids are. I have two in Middle school and they are also capable of getting up, dressed and fed on their own. Heck, my Kindergartner probably doesn't even need me in the morning! lol...

That makes no difference to me...
I need to know that I have laid eyes on my kids before they leave me in the morning (or any time really). I need them to know and hear me say; I love you.
In 2 minutes I could have lost my daughter

I would not be able to live with myself if that had happened and I was snoozing just because I wanted an extra hour or so of sleep.
And believe me I could USE IT!!!
Some mornings we don't even really talk...sometimes its just a grunt or two before coffee!  
But they know I am there...and they know when they leave (even if it isn't a perfect morning)that I LOVE THEM!

That's my story folks...
I hope you have a safe and happy Friday!  

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for commenting on my blog about your experience with your daughter's car accident. Life is so short and I am so glad that your daughter was able to walk away too. Wishing you continued blessings!