It started out as such a lovely morning. I got up and went to a meeting. It was a working meeting as we were working on a presentation for our end of life program at work. We got so much accomplished in our short time working together and it felt good to be able to mark something off of my "to do list".
I ran home and picked up Erika. We had planned to put down the deposit on her wedding venue. Erika was excited. I asked her if she was sure about the venue and she said she was. The lovebirds have chosen to get married at the Muckenthaler Mansion. It is an older estate on about 10 acres of park grounds. It will fit well with Erika's plan to have a 'vintage' wedding. We looked around the venue again, paid our deposit and let the happiness settle in. Now we can really put the rest of the pieces of the wedding together. We have a date and a site. We can begin to book the florist, DJ and photographer. It is kind of fun to be doing this with your baby girl..yet, I still can't believe that she is going to get married....
Erika had made plans to visit friends for lunch and I had an exam due so we headed home. Finally I had a whole afternoon to concentrate on homework and ace this exam. I've had a hard time with this particular class. Part of it is that the class started before the last class was completely done (I was finishing clinicals and just didn't seem to be able to concentrate on this new class). And part of it is that I am just ready to be done with school. (Only 10 more weeks to go!!)
But back to my story...
Erika said goodbye and headed out the door to her friends new apartment. It was a lovely, sunny morning. Not as hot as it has been the past few weeks. She was happy. I was content. I was feeling like I was finally getting on top of things.
About 15 minutes after Erika left my phone rang...
It was Erika and in a very calm but matter-of-fact voice she says, "Mom, I just got in to a really bad accident and I think I've totaled the car"
I feel my heart drop in to my stomach. That is one of those calls that you never want to receive. Yet, I hoped she was ok. She was at least talking and had the where with all to call me and to tell me where she was.
I ask if anything is broken. She says no, mentions something about paper towels on the windshield.
I think, 'paper towels, what does that have to do with it?? Is her windshield full of blood and people are trying to cover it up?'
I reassure her that I am on my way and tell her to stay in her car. She was on the freeway and I did not want her to get hit or further injured by being outside of the car.
I tossed my exam to the side and run out the door. I ran right by my flooring contractor and asked him to keep an eye on my dogs. I had to leave quick. My daughter had just been in an accident on the freeway!
I take side streets to avoid the now bumper to bumper traffic on the freeway. I hope on the freeway just one entrance away from where she must be. I carefully merge in to the traffic. See an ambulance coming behind me in the emergency lane. That must be for my daughter. Oh God, please protect her. Let her be OK!
I decided to follow the ambulance in the emergency lane, flipped on my flashers and continued to pray.
Upon arriving at the accident scene I see 4 fireman surrounding Erika's car and it is really smashed up. I jumped out of my car but the highway patrol men would not let me go to her car. They tell me she is ok, that she is talking and doesn't seem to hurt. It kills me to just stand there but soon I see her getting out of the car. Oh thank God she is walking! Since she seemed oriented and was able to walk the paramedics decided that I could transport her to the hospital myself. I was just glad to have her in my arms.
I gathered a couple of things from the car and head to the hospital. As I'm driving I am assessing her for injuries and asking about her pain and about what happened. She remains calm, telling me she was sorry and about the events leading up to the accident.
I ask about the paper towels...I saw them sweeping stuff off of the freeway and she proceeds to tell me that a whole bunch of paper towel rolls and loose towels were flying around, momentarily obstructed her view then all of a sudden all of the traffic was stopping. She slammed on her brakes but it was too late....the next thing she knew she was headed straight for the car in front of her with no time to stop (though she tried to). I can only imagine how scared she must have been!
We arrive at the hospital and no one can quite believe that she walked in (well I made her sit in a wheelchair). I text her fiance with a play by play of what is happening. He is working in Arizona and I know it was killing him that he wasn't able to be here for Erika. I call my instructor and tell her that I am not going to have my exam finished in time. She tells me not to worry and to just turn it in as soon as it is done.
After quite a few hours and a CT scan, they fix up her injuries, and send her home.
She only has an eye abrasion (from a tiny piece of glass in her eye)
Back strain, neck strain, a fat lip and a contusion to her right hip.
Oh and this nice looking burn on her hand from the airbag.
But she is alive and well! I have never felt so thankful in my whole life. I know that she could have had much worse injuries. That airbag may have burned her but I truly think it saved her life.
She is in a bit of pain but able to come home. She is one tough cookie!
She says it will be a while until she feels like driving again. She says things happened so fast. I don't even care about the car. It doesn't matter that it only had 35,000 miles on it and wasn't paid off. It is just a piece of metal. I am just so glad that she is ok. When you look at the pictures of the car you may begin to understand the impact that she hit with. It is amazing that she got out of the whole ordeal pretty much intact.
I never want to get a phone call like that again!
And I will continue to praise God for protecting my little girl.
It was a lovely morning that turned in to a really long, drama filled day. This has been such a reminder to me to make each day count...you just never know when your normal, lovely morning may turn in to a horrible, ugly afternoon.
Thankfully ours did not have a tragic ending! And I have my baby home, in her own bed....