Yesterday I had a ten mile run planned but at 8.5 miles I stopped running, stopped the Garmin and decided to walk the rest of the way home. My hip felt off and with a half marathon this Saturday I wasn’t willing to push it. Chris showed up (he might be stalking me!) so I hitched a ride with him. I had grand plans yesterday to write the blog about my run, the heat, my amazing family. I was excited that my great friend and aesthetician asked me to be a model for a facial this morning so I would have probably bragged about that as well….
But things happen so fast.
Chris and I were driving home last night and a car veered off the road right in front of us. Ten more seconds and we would have been part of the accident. Instead, we watched it hit the curb, the embankment and then roll 2-3 times before crashing to a stop on its side. I had 911 dialed and was out of the car running in a matter of a nanosecond. A 14 year old girl and her 31 year old sister were in the car. The 14 year old was conscious and hysterical, the 31 year old unconscious, bleeding profusely from her head – a river of blood out of the car window pooling at my feet. She was unnaturally positioned and her breathing was strangled and erratic.
It was incredible how fast firemen, paramedics and police were there. Chris was holding open the car door to help, I was talking to the hysterical 14 year old now shaking and in shock. She had called her brother in law and he was now on the scene trying to fight Chris in his panic to reach his wife. The firemen axed their way into the car windshield to extricate the still unconscious woman trapped inside.
I didn’t for one second ever believe she would survive. I hoped. I prayed. But the volumes of blood, the head injury… The paramedics had a tracheotomy in seconds, suctioning her mouth and lungs, bag breathing for her. She struggled for breath. They defibrillated her, they manually manipulated chest compressions. Then they all looked at each other and simultaneously checked their watches. Time of death. White sheet. She was gone. We watched as they walked to her husband, saw his reaction. Heard his keening cries of denial. Saw him hold her. Gave him his privacy.
Neither one had on a seat belt. The 14 year old sister hardly had a scratch. It was surreal. This woman was raising not only her 14 year old sister, but her own 14 year old daughter. And she’s gone. So fast. I have never felt so helpless, so lacking, so incompetent although I know with surety that Chris I did everything we could.
I’ve always been the type to almost obnoxiously tell people happy things. I’m generally happy but I think we’re in such a negative society that when someone does or says something nice, they should know it made a difference. I hug. I laugh often. I tell my children I’m proud to be their mom. I kiss Chris goodbye every day and tell him I love him. I try to embrace life. Now more than ever.
I modeled for my facial with my friend and it was divine. I slept horribly, tossing and turning with dreams I don’t remember. Being massaged felt amazing after an exhausting day and sleepless night. I didn’t wear makeup tonight, was casual all day. Just wanted to breathe today and appreciate everything in my life. I wore one of my favorite shirts – it says “Life Is Beautiful” and surely it is.