It had started out to be a fabulous weekend. Saturday I had gone into the city (Toronto) to attend a Toronto Romance Writer’s meeting-all the members are such fabulous, giving people and I had a great time and met knew people and saw some familiar ones as well. The highlight was meeting and listening to the extraordinary, Candace Havens. She was so engaging, so wonderful-and her fast draft workshop was absolutely perfect and just what I needed. She’s a big believer in no excuses-the only excuse is if you’re dead. Which means today, I will write, regardless of a stiff neck or an over-active imagination, remembering yesterday’s events.
Yesterday (Sunday) was one of those days I will remember for the rest of my life. I am overwhelmed by a sense of gratitude and still shocked by the very real reality of what could have been.
We were at a fun party for one of my daughter’s friend’s. I had a great time chatting with the other moms and my 4YO had a great time playing games and of course, eating cake. The party had ended and we were on our way home to pick up my husband and son so that we could go to my mother’s 70th birthday. We were stopped at a red light. The light turned green and I accelerated through the intersection normally-only to be struck by a speeding, large SUV that seemed to have appeared out of nowhere-he ran a red light. There’s a crazy moment when it seems as though everything stops, time, reality, and I remember bracing myself, airbags were deployed and the car finally stopped moving. It was completely surreal. As any parent would know, the first words out of my mouth were my daughter’s name. She responded right away with a terrified, “mama.” I have never been so shocked, so completely dazed then at that moment. I knew we weren’t seriously hurt. Our SUV was completely totalled.
Seconds later, witnesses opened our door, holding our hands, talking to us, informing us they’d already called 911. Within five minutes paramedics had arrived, police had arrived. The entire intersection had been blocked off. I knew we were okay. As we exited our car, I scanned the area for the other SUV. Even though I was numb and trying to pretend like it was all no big deal for my daughter’s sake, I had this insane urge to run up to the other driver and yell, “WTF were you doing, ***hole! You could have killed us!” And it was that, the idea of what could have been, how much worse this all could have been that kept me up last night.
Anyway, the 4YO was a total little Miss. She wasn’t hysterical, she answered questions like a big girl, and let the paramedics check her out. And I have to say, all the men in uniform everywhere? They were awesome. They were so sweet to us, to my little girl. They kept her talking, kept her distracted, and even commented on her pink sparkly shoes. These were all big, strapping guys, and were so sweet. The mom in me? Felt completely safe, completely grateful. The romance writer in me? Each and every one of those guys have now been cast in future books :).
We spent the rest of the afternoon in the ER. One of the police officers came with us to take my statement. Luckily, there were witnesses who saw him run the light-at top speed. WTF he was doing, I have no idea. I’ll know all the details today, but the other driver was charged.
My husband and son met us at the ER and then my parents and brother arrived. It was such a surreal day.
I am so grateful that we weren’t hurt. But last night every time I shut my eyes I relived the accident, the impact of that SUV hitting us, and of course, thinking of what *could* have happened. I guess that’s normal and the memory will fade.
Today will be dealing with insurance, taking advil, etc. On the plus side (I’m a pretty positive person and really hate to dwell on the negative) I said to my husband last night-at least we don’t have to clean our car. We had been talking about how gross the inside of our car was. We’d had it since our daughter was born and it had all that gross kid dirt in it and we’d been planning on cleaning it out this spring-or forking over the big bucks to get a detailing done. Now? Not needed! There’s my attempt at looking at the bright side.
Oh, also? Gage and Meredith’s book is out tomorrow! Even though that means a lot of work, I think it will be a good distraction for me.