It’s taken me over a week to write about this. The pangs of fear have ebbed. My son lived through this. Thank God…
I came upon this scene not expecting what I saw. Our Jeep Grand Cherokee was laying upside down against a tree in a yard maybe two miles from our home. They say many accidents happen less than two miles from home. I guess either because we travel that distance so much or maybe we let down our guards so close to home.
I sat in the car crying hysterically -the shock of what I was seeing was horrifying even though what I knew was that my son was alive. He was alive. He lived through that. He was the one who called to tell us to come. He said he had an accident in the car. He said something about hitting a mailbox. And it was bad. He never said how bad and I never asked that as I ran around my bedroom looking for my shoes and yelling for my other teens to go find their dad because there had been an accident.
My sweet son saw me crying as we pulled into a neighboring driveway just feet from where the car layed upside down. He opened the door to the car and leaned in to hug me. He was sobbing. We hugged and cried. He was breathing and whole. The paramedics needed to look at him. He pulled away.
Kevin was out of the car talking to the police. I was a mess. A stranger who helped my son out of the car held my hand as I cried and cried. I couldn’t control it. My son was alive yet I cried at what could have been. This outburst so unlike me yet it took me over like an alien being. I could have lost him.
The slap in the face of the fragility of life that wakes you up is palpable in all part of my body. Life is so fragile. I thought I knew that already. We’ve lost a number of people very special to is just recently. But this. This is my kid. What is God or the universe trying to tell me? I’m listening!
You let your kid leave the house and say a little prayer or cross your fingers that they will be safe when they are out of your site. You look for other things to keep you busy otherwise youd worry 24/7 about them. Maybe after a while you let your guard down a little. Then boom -the call. An accident.
Parenting is not for the weak. We don’t have any control when they walk out the door. None. All the things I was dealing with that seemed so important before this happened seemed unimportant in the aftermath. If anything you get some perspective when these things occur.
We spent the requisite four hours in the ER where you enter a surreal world where time is suspended. It never feels like hours and hours. Yet it does. And when we leave the ER it’s like we are spit back into the real world. My son was lucky nothing but scratches. The accident caused by low blood sugar . They checked him for diabetes but they suspected that he had hypoglycemia after running a cross country race just before getting in the car. He hadn’t eaten since his lunch hours before his run. That was out of the ordinary for him. He usually carried a snack.
An officer came to see us in the ER to give us the accident report. No ticket was issued. He wasn’t speeding or driving wrecklessly according to witnesses. He simply went off the road a little but right near a small embankment and his reactions were muted because of the low sugar. The car took its own trajectory through a mailbox and a yard and then flipped over. Airbags deployed. Amazingly that Jeep as bad as it looked stayed together around him.
My son remembers very little. And that’s good because he isn’t afraid to drive. He knows now not to get in a car after a race without snacking first. He knows what signs to be aware of that indicate low blood sugar. Not remembering is also bad in a way because you want it to shake them up – to teach them something so that you never have to get that call. Or see that scene ever again. But I think he learned. And really we just have no control.
If we could do it all over I would have made sure he had snacks and some drinks before he left that morning. My husband who saw our son right after his race would have stayed around longer and probably would have taken him to the local sub shop just like he always did before our son got his license.
But these things happen and that bites! I’m so thankful for his being ok. I’m still shaken up. I was just putting my guard down and relaxing a bit about his driving. Now I’ll be on high alert again.
We can’t wrap them in plastic wrap. We have to let them go and do what they are going to do. But I want to wrap them in plastic wrap but I know I can’t. And I can’t wrap my heart in plastic wrap either.
The heart sits vulnerable in my chest … and that’s the hardest part..