We've had a rough go of it around here this week. Charlie and I were in a pretty bad car accident this week, on Wednesday. We are both fine, the baby is fine and the driver of the other car is fine. I can't tell you how blessed, fortunate, lucky, amazed I am that is the case. Especially after going to see both cars again at the body shop yard Friday.
The accident was my fault. I was driving Charlie to preschool on Wednesday morning and got momentarily distracted. I actually can't even remember what distracted me. My phone was in my bag, so it wasn't that. Must have been something in the car. I wish I could remember. When I looked up, the car in front of me was at a complete stop, waiting to turn left into his neighborhood to go home. I ran right into the back of him.
My airbag deployed and the back windshield of his car shattered. I was confused right afterwards and thought the powder from the airbag was smoke so I ran around to Charlie's side of the car and got him out of his car seat immediately. He cried right after we hit because he bit his tongue and it bled a little bit. I asked him what hurt and he just said his tongue. The ambulance EMTs looked him over and said that seemed to be the extent of it.
The driver of the other car was young, maybe a teenager or young 20's, and as sweet as he could be. He ran over to check on us. He wasn't hurt and his airbag did not deploy. He started trying to call his mom and all I could think about was how worried she was going to be - just as I would be if Charlie was in an accident.
I got a chance to speak to his mom after the ambulance released me and my neighbor came to pick me up and so I got to tell her how incredibly sorry I was. She was so lovely and compassionate. She had every right to be angry with me, yell at me and do or say any number of things people typically do after an accident. But instead she told me they were praying for me. She and her son forgave me and for that I am so grateful.
I am also grateful for the bystanders, firemen and EMTs that all came to help us. The firemen gave Charlie stickers and the EMTs showed Charlie all around the ambulance. I didn't have the heart to tell them he'd just ridden in one two weeks ago.
And I am ALSO grateful for all my neighbors and friends who have helped us after the accident. Lending us a car until we got the rental, picking us up from the accident, watching Charlie while I went to the OB, feeding us, taking us to get the rental car, cheering me up and being supportive. I couldn't ask for better friends.
I'm not sure how much impact the baby felt, but she seems to be fine. The EMTs had a doppler and were able to find a heartbeat very quickly and I didn't feel any pain. I went to the OB a little while later and they hooked me up the monitor to watch her for a while. After 45 minutes or so, my doctor was happy with what she was seeing so she released me.
Brad was in St. Louis for work at the time and I know it had to be frustrating to not be able to do anything from where he was. He made phone calls to the insurance company and spent a lot of the day on his phone checking on us. I think it was pretty miserable until he was sure all of us were ok after my visit to the OB. He flew home the next day.
I have some bruising from the seat belt and my neck and shoulders have been sore, but I am otherwise fine. Well, at least physically. I I feel guilty for putting so many people at risk and causing so much damage. Sometimes I'll have a little flashback and remember the sound of the cars hitting. Both cars are totaled so the person I hit now has to deal with all of that as well.
I have a rental car for now while we wait for the insurance company to determine the value and issue a check. I'm hoping to find a replacement car very similar to what I had. I really loved that car and am sad I ruined it.
I have been smothering Charlie with hugs and kisses ever since. He's a pretty snugly kid but even he's been like MOM! Personal space! I don't know what I would do if anything ever happened to him.
Anyways, that's the story. The title of this post is kind of an understatement. Go hug your loved ones! And drive carefully!!