A Brave New Life.
This last week on my way home from Boise for Thanksgiving break, I got in a car accident. I remember saying two prayers for safe travels before we got on the road. I was about 2.5 hours out just passed Burley and there was a pile up of traffic from another accident just a half mile ahead. I had my boyfriend on the phone with my earphones and he was saying, “Woah. Careful slow down there’s an accident ahead.” So I slowed my car to a stop before hitting him and the car slowed to a stop behind me. I remember sitting there with traffic stopped for a surreal moment thinking “I am going to get hit. Someone is going to hit me.” There was no way to get out of it nothing I could do but sit there and brace myself.
Out of nowhere, my car jolted violently. I remember yelling at my boyfriend, “Someone just hit me! I just got hit!” I tried to pull to the side of the road, but my car wouldn’t move. I looked in my rearview thinking it was the car behind me but there was no damage done to the back of my car. The man behind me got out of his car and I asked if he hit me and he told me, “no, the same person that hit me, hit you.” Then I was very, very confused. I looked down and saw that my rear left tire had broken off the axel and was jammed into the wheel well. This explains why my car wouldn’t drive. At this point, my boyfriend had gotten out of his car to come check on me then went ahead of him to check on the girl who hit us all.
Upon later light shed on the events, she had been looking at her phone. She didn’t see that traffic was backed up until it was to late to stop. She hit a car, swerved to miss the man behind me and clipped his rear bumper, bounced off the guard rail saving her life from going into a freezing river, jammed my wheel and broke the axel, bounced around my boyfriend’s car and slammed into the car ahead of him. This was quite the sequence of events but consider how lucky I felt to be traveling with someone, and of all those someone’s the one I knew would protect me against all costs.
The police showed up awhile later and checked on everyone. The poor girl who had hit us was in hysterics, her life was about to change in a big way. Luckily, no one was seriously hurt. Whiplash, some bloody noses and cuts but no serious damage. After I was hit I immediately tried to call my mom. Once, twice, three times. No answer. I realized she would freak out if she saw these so I left an explanation. I texted her saying, “hey there was a pile up and i got rear ended I’m safe I’m not physically hurt my car is in rough shape it won’t move there were about 5 cars involved I’m gonna have to get towed but I’m fine and Adams here too.” She called back in a panic asking what happened, asking if I was okay. When I finished telling her everything that happened, she just sobbed. This is her worst nightmare. One of her kids getting in an accident on the way back to school.
After we sorted everything out, I called a few other people. I called insurance and all the while people were trying to talk to me and things were going on and my boyfriend was handling it all. He wrote the police statement, he talked to the other drivers, he handled the tow truck, everything. Having him there was the absolute greatest blessing. And beyond that, his car was untouched. He commutes an hour every day to get to work in Utah. Because he was there and he didn’t get hurt, he was able to drive me home, carry all of my things and still was able to get to work. Although it was rough, my prayers were answered. I did arrive to school safely.
This experience has caused so many thoughts to well up in my mind. First of all, life is so fragile. I have made that trip so many times, my family has made that trip so many times, yet this one time I happened to have been involved in someone else’s inattentive mistake. My life could have been taken in an instant. I could’ve gone over the railing into the river 15 feet below. She could’ve hit me head on. So many things could have happened, I am simply lucky to be alive.
Since being back at school, I have found a new sense of motivation. I feel like my life is a Claritin commercial and the foggy film has just been lifted. I don’t look at my phone anymore as I walk, I smile at strangers, I take in the scenery, I compliment people, I talk to cashiers. Life is so precious, why waste it on something as trivial as looking at the lives of others perfected and encased in an account, a series of codes and numbers being shot into space. Real life is lived in the moment with the people surrounding you. Never take them for granted. Love as if it is your last day to love. Be willing to be loved. Literally stop and smell the roses. Hug your family. Pray. Do all the things you think of doing because you never know when this gift of life will be suddenly wrenched out of your hands.
There is no time for grudges or hatred. There’s no time for wallowing in self pity. There is no time waiting around for people you know aren’t going to change. Forgive people, even if they don’t deserve it. Let things go, no matter how badly it hurts. Do things for you, don’t keep toxic people in your life, it’s too short. Live with no regrets so when that time comes when you are staring death down the barrel of the gun, you can smile and say, “I have lived.”