Jul 4, 2009

Really, REALLY bad timing.

Here's my car after I was cut out of it July 1st. (News story here.) I like little old ladies as much as the next person, but I don't necessarily think they should be driving unless they can stay in their own lane. She didn't drift into my lane; she turned so quickly, it was like she was aiming for me. I was able to swerve just enough to avoid a head-on collision — which means she nailed me right in the driver's side door. I remember that awful crunching noise, glass, smoke, spinning as if the car was airborne, and airbags. I actually tried to get out of the car when it stopped, because I watch enough movies to know that cars explode when they crash. But I couldn't really manage anything other than dialing 911 on my cell, then handing it to the guy who appeared in my window. Turns out he was an off-duty paramedic, David Gurnee, and while I couldn't pick him out of a lineup, I will be grateful to him for the rest of my life. He started an IV, gave me gauze to hold on my face, had another guy climb in back to hold my head still, called my parents and talked to everyone else who called after that. Most important, HE WAS THERE. I was completely in shock, shaking uncontrollably and not at all comfortable with the amount of blood soaking my clothes. It took the emergency crew what seemed like FOREVER to arrive, and I simply cannot imagine being alone that whole time, or even being with just regular good samaritans (who also stopped). He was my guardian angel that day.

I thought I could blog about this with some sense of perspective, that it might even be cathartic. I was glib about the accident on facebook, probably because of the painkillers. But now that I'm home with Grace and I realize how close I came to never being home with Grace, I don't think I have enough distance from the experience just yet. So I will say this: thank God I was alone in the car and that the old couple wasn't hurt. My face is a mess and my body is sore, but I'll heal; I'm lucky to be alive. I'm not sure when I'll get behind the wheel again. I suppose when I get a car and need to go somewhere.


Peggy said...

Laurel, I am so glad you are ok! I wouldn't want anything to happen to one of my favorite new authors. Plus, you've got a book to finish!

Girlbert said...

Oh, Laurel - I'm so glad you're okay. And on perspective - we really aren't given more than we can handle. I know, YIKES! on the cliche, but it's all I've got. Must mean we're pretty tough chicks, huh?

Hang in there - I'm thinking about you as you heal from this...