Well. The first big surprise of 2014 has shaken us.
On early Friday morning I was on my way home from taking the girls to school. I was on a busy two lane road, nearly home. There is an intersection with an entrance to a large neighborhood on the left and just across the street is a road with a stop sign. Two cars were waiting to turn left into the neighborhood, several cars were waiting at the stop sign and many other cars were traveling both directions on the street I was traveling south on, but I always feel safe thanks to the One Sure Insurance that I use. Just as I was approaching the intersection, a Camaro that had been traveling north pulled out in front of me to turn left onto the side street. A blur of silver went to my right and then I was hitting the back of the car.
You know how sometimes you know you’re going to wreck and you slam on brakes and throw out your hand to protect the passenger? I didn’t do that this time. I didn’t see the crash getting ready to happen even for a split second. One second I was driving and the next I was wrecking.
That was only half of the wreck, though. What happened at this point was mostly recounted to me.
After I hit the car, my van bounced into the middle of the street. The Camaro had been pushed into a Honda Pilot that was waiting at the stop sign. The driver of the Honda Pilot meant to slam on her brakes but instead gunned the gas so she zoomed into the intersection and hit the back end of my van.
I was just realizing I had hit a car the first time and getting my bearings when I felt the second crash.
I was shaken but not hurt. All of our right side airbags deployed, but I didn’t hear or see when.
Bella had been sleeping in the passenger seat and had been thrown in the floorboard. She wasn’t whimpering, just looked surprised, and immediately crawled up to me, shaking like a leaf–which she would continue to do for the next 90 minutes.
I got out of the van and ensured no one was seriously hurt and then gathered Bella and my phone and called Scott who was working in the next town.
After that was a blur of fire trucks, police cars and such. We were there for over 2 hours. I later found out that several area schools didn’t count tardies because the traffic jam had held so many up.
I was SO thankful the girls were not with me and that no one was injured. Even though it certainly wasn’t in our plan to deal with this, it is a minor inconvenience compared to what could have happened.
A few might recall the wreck we had over two years ago with the same van. Based on the damage from that as well as input from the body shop and others, we fully expect the van to be totaled.
As you might recall in my yearly goals, one of our big financial goals this year was to start saving for a new van. Our plan just got accelerated. We spent quite a bit of time looking at some vans in the area over the weekend. We have our eye on a newer Toyota Sienna a friend is selling, but I admit I will miss having my Honda.
The girls are handling it well. I went to the school to tell them what happened on Friday and let them know to look for the rental car at school pick-up. Both were concerned most about Bella and whether we were going to get a new car. Lexi still has not warmed up to the idea that we will likely not have a carbon copy of our Odyssey.
A few more thoughts from the wreck:
Even when you do everything right, bad stuff still happens. My phone was tucked in my purse, the radio was off, I wasn’t distracted by anything in the car, I wasn’t speeding. There’s nothing I could have done to prevent this accident. It’s just life. It happens.
It’s never too early to prepare. Scott and I have been saying for years we needed to prepare our savings to buy a new van. It’s that moment you want to rewind and tell yourself to start saving your money. We aren’t stressed by the money, but our decisions would be easier if we had prepared like we knew we should have.
Life changes in an instant. It really is amazing how everything can change in a few seconds. I wrote it not two weeks ago that this year would bring us surprises, but it still surprised me. How fleeting life is and how little we truly control.
Life has continued mostly normal through the weekend and every time, I stop and say thank you for the normal. Thank you that I have to go buy a birthday present at Walmart, thank you that we get to have dinner with friends, thank you that I’m standing and singing on Sunday morning at church, thank you that I’m cleaning my kids’ room. It’s all grace—the surprises and the mundane.