Or How Many Thoughts Can Actually Occur in the
Time It Takes for Your Minivan to be Totaled
Gratitude. Yep, that's the emotion I feel when I look at this mangled mess of my minivan. And not just a light dusting of the stuff - of gratitude. No, I feel a deep expansion of it in my chest, pressing on my breath and forcing me to take a deep breath- of gratitude.
Not for the wrecked vehicle. The amount of problems that has caused me is just one more headache in my life lately, especially when I'm down to half a house still, I'm experiencing a major Crohn's flare-up and my income is wacky.
Being down half a house can be frustrating like the girls are living in the 'dorm room'- which is all their mattresses on the bedroom floor. Half the time they hate it- no privacy, their personal items packed in boxes and stored in the garage, no where to escape from the Baby Blueberry who thinks that sisters should play with her all the time. And forget the state of the mattresses, they seem to think that the mattresses are giant trampolines.
But they have gratitude too. They realize that they still have a house. They have heat. A roof over their head. So these things are inconvenient- and frustrating. And Baby Blueberry still hasn't potty trained- it stopped the day she watched the toilet explode with poopy water but it will happen.
But I don't hear a lot of complaints from them.
But onto the minivan.
I was driving Bean to dance. Abu was already at dance and Blueberry was in the back in her car seat. The roads were nasty that night but let me back up a little bit further...
The night before I had the weirdest dream. This old woman gave me three silver charm bracelets that had been blessed to protect my girls. I woke up feeling a bit unnerved. What did my girls need protection from? And does a bracelet given in a dream really provide any sort of blessing?
That morning my father-in-law worried about the state of the tires on the van, called and said he was going to take the minivan that night after dance and have snow tires put on it. Since the bald tires weren't working great on ice and snow, I agreed gratefully with his suggestion. But in a few hours, I think bald tires actually worked in our favor...
On the way home from dropping off Abu to dance all I could think about was being in a car accident. My thoughts were getting quite chaotic with what am I going to do tomorrow without a car and I have interviews to get too and kids to drop off to dance. The thoughts of having a car accident were heavy but I assumed it was because the roads were nasty and people were driving stupid. - no, seriously, people if the roads are icy, slow the hell down. But I swear, people really don't understand physics. If that is one subject we need to spend more time on in school- it's physics. Not crazy, abstract, concepts they refer to on The Big Bang Theory physics- but simple laws of motions.
Back to the story....I told Bean we needed to leave a bit early for dance, I didn't want to be in a hurry. And while I drove I was super aware, trying to avoid the sinking we're-going-to-get-a-car-accident- feeling.
We stopped at one of the main intersections, in the turning lane, waiting our turn. As we have done a million times before, as we have done since.
When this oncoming truck decides to run the red and plow into the oncoming car...right in front of us. In less than a second, the pick up truck hits the oncoming car- no breaks applied- ricochets off of them, and hits us head-on in the turning lane.
There is no time to do anything except realize that we are going to be hit and hopefully it doesn't hurt too much. I let my foot off the brake, I wasn't going to fight against the force of that beast coming at us, and with bare tires, when the pick-up hit us, it slams us back into our seats and we slid about 10 feet back and six feet to the right, luckily into a buffer lane between the turning lane and the other lanes. So we avoid hitting anyone behind us.
There is nothing like the image of a huge ass truck bumper coming right for your vehicle, aimed towards the passenger side with one of your babies in the passenger seat, knowing it's going to hit and there's nothing you can do.
NOTHING. There wasn't time to move the vehicle. There wasn't time to throw it in reverse, which wasn't much of an option, because there was cars behind us.
In less than 2 seconds you just have time to know. To know that events put into place are about to happen and you hope or PRAY that it will all be okay when that 2 seconds is over.
Abu asked Bean later, "Did your life flash before your lives, like in the movies?"
Bean answered, "No, there wasn't even time."
Luckily, when she realized we were going to be hit, she took a deep breath, relaxed and allowed the motion of the crash to move through her. She didn't brace, she didn't tense and all those talks of physics I had with her and car accidents and explaining that sometimes bracing can be the worse thing you can do, actually clicked and she was fine.
The first thing I did was check my girls. Bean was okay. Blueberry was okay. Quiet, not even crying.
But in a few moments she says from the backseat, "That was scary. Oh, my God."
And then after I realized my girls were okay. I was okay. We walked away without even whiplash. And even though I realized too that my minivan was totaled. Front frame bent into the engine, radiator destroyed, bumper damaged, alignment screwy...all I could feel was gratitude.
My girls were okay.
The minivan I can replace. I miss my minivan but it's totally, completely 100 percent replaceable.
My girls were okay though. More than okay, they weren't even hurt.
So yes, losing our main car has been a pain in the ass. Especially when the other driver didn't have insurance and due to my own dumb ass I only had liability on my van. (When we were first married we could only afford liability on our vehicles and our vehicles weren't worth much. When we got the van, I should have switched it but I didn't even think about it. Lesson learned.)
But if the other driver had insurance, than I would at least be getting a check to help replace my vehicle from their insurance company instead I have to take them to small claims court. Which seems like a waste of time, because if they weren't paying insurance...
But with all that being said...gratitude.