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Remember exactly a year ago?
Itty Bit woke up sick and my sister volunteered to watch him. She drove all the way out to our place and stayed with him that afternoon when I went to work for a half day.
See, normally he would have been with me. I would have driven back to the office to pick up Mr. Daddy and the three of us would have been happily on our way home for dinner.
Instead, Mr. Daddy drove himself in, which meant that we each had a car. Quitting time finally came and we both headed out the door, Mr. Daddy following Ducky in Big Red. What happened next was something neither of us expected.
Heading down a 50mph road, we both suddenly saw a truck heading into my path.
I slammed on my brakes and tried to steer around, but the other driver continued and we crashed in one deafening instant that seemed both slow-motion and impossibly fast-forwarded.
The sound was horrific as the metal made contact. The airbags deployed with stunning force and slammed into my chest and hand. My seatbelt dug into my hip and shoulder and my glasses were thrown from my face into the backseat.
The impact was dead-on at the truck's driver side, and it spun around to crush the side of Ducky as well. Both vehicles were pushed to the other side of the road, narrowly missing a power pole and electrical box.
Clouds of smoke were immediate and a strange grey powder hung in the air around the airbags. The silence was disconcerting, then interrupted by a shrill sound.
Mr. Daddy came to my door, already on the phone with 911. My head was ringing and through my fuzzy vision, I saw him ask if I was alright. My hand hurt like the dickens and the first words out of my jumbled thoughts were, "I think my hand's broke".
My next thought was immediately the worst of my life.
What if someone is dead in that truck?
That shrill sound, Mr. Daddy was afraid, was either someone screaming or a baby crying.
I was petrified.
I asked Mr. Daddy to please go check on the driver. As he walked over, he realized the sound was heavy metal music, and saw the driver trying to kick her door open. After seeing her get out of the truck, Mr. Daddy came back and said he thought she was alright.
The next thing he knew, she had left from the scene. Within moments paramedics, firefighters, and police were at the scene - strapping me to a backboard and combing the woods for the driver.
(The rest of the story is still playing out: hit-and-run charges were filed, my vehicle was determined to be totaled, and a long road to recovery was started.)
Looking back at the pictures, I was amazed at how everything had to have been perfect for us to walk away from it. It was a matter of degrees and inches. And a matter of a little boy waking up with a cough.
See, when Mr. Daddy went around the car to try to find my glasses... he discovered that Itty Bit's car seat was tipped against the door. (I am teary-eyed as I write this). My friends... that door was smashed in.
My 1-year old would have taken the brunt of both impacts... impacts that even the car seat did not handle well.
So instead of being frazzled and upset at the unfairness, inconvenience, expense, and physical pain... I cannot escape the reality that it could easily have been so very different that day.
I am grateful.