All of us diagnosed with cancer know how the bottom can fall out of our lives at any time. We know we are not promised tomorrow. We live with that.
I recently went to lunch with a friend who is our local chapters “Compassionate Friends” director. It’s an organization for parents who have lost children. She recently lost a second child, and she found others who had also. At lunch we talked a lot about her second loss. How heartbreaking, I can’t imagine. She said now she has no fear of death, as it’s the only hope she has of seeing her children again. She met another parent recently who had lost one child and now had lost another to a car accident.
I got a phone call last Friday. If I don’t know the caller via caller ID, I don’t usually answer. But the caller ID had a name, though it was from an area code I didn’t recognize. On a whim, I decided to pick up the call. When I did, the caller asked me what my name was. Weird. I asked her what HER name was. Then she asked if I had a daughter by the name of Angela. I said yes. She told me my daughter had been involved in a motor vehicle accident, she was at the scene. I started shaking uncontrollably. I asked loudly and repeatedly if she was okay. I knew she was driving home from a southern part of our state.
She said my daughter had rolled her vehicle but appeared to be okay, with only scratches. She put my daughter on her cell phone…my daughter was hysterical, apologizing and apologizing for wrecking the car. I didn’t care a bit about the car. My daughter was sobbing. I was terrified. I talked to the police at the scene, they told me the car was totaled. I told them to call an ambulance and take her to an ER to be checked out as it was a bad accident. I was terrified, The good Samaritans who had pulled her out of a window of the inverted car stayed with her until the ambulance came. They later called me to tell me what hospital she would be taken to. When I got my act together, I packed a few things and my other daughter and I embarked on the 2 hour trip to the hospital she was taken to, We arrived just as she was being given ER discharge instructions. She was tearful and traumatized, but well. I was so, so grateful.
She had several items in the car, including a $1500 laptop, I got a hold of the police, they had towed her car to a body shop 45 minutes away. I left my daughter and her sister at a shopping mall with lunch money while I went to go retrieve her items. I figured she didn’t want to see the car. When I saw the car at the body shop, I started shaking again. The car was totally destroyed, mangled. Roof caved in, gas tank ruptured, both axles broken, windows crumbled, doors mangled, hood crumbled. I didn’t even know if it was safe to enter to retrieve her items. How had she survived that with only scratches on an arm and a leg??? A miracle for sure.
I retrieved her items….with difficulty and a few cuts and bruises. Glass and jagged metal everywhere. There was an inch of gravel and dirt on the floor of the car.We got home and tried to get the gasoline smell out of the items I had retrieved. Her computer, amazingly still works,as does her MP3 player and cell phone, though the computer battery casing was damaged. The only loss was her glasses, I’m sure they left her face when the windshield shattered. We can replace those. She doesn’t remember a lot of the accident, maybe God’s way of saving her from the trauma. The ER said they had never seen anyone with so few injuries in a roll-over.
I am so, so grateful. Two miracles in one family. We are truly blessed. As a nurse, the Good Samaritan act offers limited coverage if I stop at the scene of an accident, so I’ve been reluctant to stop. From now on I will.