Sunday, April 20, 2008

They Walked Away

It was the call every parent dreads. The Girl called in sick to work and she, her godsister and two other friends went driving around yesterday afternoon - in TWO cars, no less. With the price of gas, "cruising" is on my list of pretty-much banned activities, but we were at Suz's helping her move into her new house - where apparently the teenagers don't have to lift a finger - and I didn't want to make waves. This has always been a bone of contention between the two of us. She thinks the kids should never be "bored," so she pretty much lets them do whatever they want (her two have always been brats, too - big surprise). I think that if you keep them busy, they don't have time to get bored or in trouble. But what could I possibly know about anything? Nevertheless, the girls got "bored" sitting around. Nevermind there was plenty of work available that they would have been perfectly capable of doing.

45 minutes after they left, Suz's cell phone rings and my daughter is screaming something about a wreck and wanting her mom. She didn't call me because she couldn't find her cell phone so she used her godsister's & Suz's number is programmed in at #1. The Girl was crying and screaming, "I"m sorry I'm sorry I'm so sorry!" As I calmed her down so I could find out where they were so we could get to them, all I could think was, "I'm so thankful she's able to make this call."

So we all loaded up in The Man's pickup and headed that way - down a windy, VERY bumpy country road. Apparently The Girl stopped so that the other 2 girls could catch up. When they did, she gunned it, lost control, hit a tree, flipped her Explorer and skidded many yards down the road, totaling her car.

Imagine driving up on this scene, knowing your child was driving that vehicle - yeah, the red one that's upside-down:
Or this:
Or this:

Interestingly, in a reflexive, protective move, The Girl threw her arm across Suz's daughter's chest on impact. Once the vehicle came to a stop, they both crawled out of the open windows. Had the windows not been rolled down, they both would be picking glass out of their skin today. Instead, they have only a few abrasions from the airbags deploying and on their necks from the seatbelts holding them in place. Oh, and the emotional toll on The Girl from losing both her beloved car and her equally beloved job in the same instant.

The police, fire & EMT guys said that they were lucky. If they'd been in a convertible, then most likely they both would have been killed or seriously injured. A convertible like the red convertible Mustang my goddaughter HAD to have, so Suz naturally bought for her. The car they almost drove but didn't because Suz's daughter isn't licensed yet and The Girl isn't on their insurance policy.

So in the postgame analysis, even though The Girl thinks I'm mad because she wrecked her car, I'm not. I am thankful to be able to call the insurance guy tomorrow about handling the totaling of her car instead of cashing her life insurance policy and finding myself in the surreal and unenviable place of having to plan a funeral for a child. I'm happy she's home watching TV and sending text messages to her friends instead of on life support or in the morgue. I don't mind being inconvenienced by taking her to & from school until she can afford to buy another car. I don't mind helping her find another job closer to home or even taking her to and from the new job so she can save money to get another car. I'm endlessly grateful that my only child, my precious Girl, is home, safe and mostly that she is still alive to be able to try out for drum major in a couple of weeks, go on her band trip, compete at All-State solo & ensemble and most of all spend another summer floating in the pool and solving all the world's problems with me.


Loving Annie said...

Oh My Goodness, of Dr. Brainiac, I am SO glad your daughter is okay.

Oh my. Even reading that, let alone seeing the pictures - made my heart stop and my breathing tighten.
You must have been terrified.

I would pretty much think she got shaken up so badly that she has learned her lesson.

And oh wow, so close, and yet, thankfully, okay. She is so lucky, and I am glad it turned out with her safe. A car can be replaced. A child never can be.

Thinking of all of you today -

cyber hugs,
Loving Annie

p.s. I assume she is grounded for the rest of her life until she gets social security :)

Dr. Brainiac said...

Thanks Annie. Yeah, she's pretty much not going anywhere for awhile. Not so much because she's grounded, but because I need to keep her close. The alternate reality of the nightmare that could have been keeps intruding my thoughts. I just want to be sure she's really still here with us.

Of course that didn't stop her from asking to go to her boyfriend's house today. She's cleaning house to start saving the money for a new automobile instead.

No, we're not buying her another one. The next one's on her dime. If it takes a year or more, so be it.

ZebraMom said...

I'm stunned - it took a few moments to all sink in. I'm so so glad she's ok. Cars can be replaced, kids are one of a kind.

Dr. Brainiac said...

Hey ZebraMom - ZebraBoy just called The Girl to check up on her. She's irritated that I emailed it to people who care about her, but I'd rather they find out knowing she's okay than have them worried that she'd been hurt or worse. Fundietonfieldvilleview is inordinately small and news - particularly bad news - travels fast.

Michelle said...

OMG Doc I'm so glad you posted this and then sent it out. THe pix are blood chilling. My Girl totaled her car at 16 and I wish I had pix of it. It wasn't flipped but it was smashed in so badly - oof I don't even want to remember it, let's just say I know the feeling. I am so glad The Girl is ok and just has to deal with some natural consequences. Bless you both!

Anonymous said...

Gah, there's a big heaping serving of reality.

My mother was in a motorcycle accident when she was about 20. I was in the car behind her at the time, and watched it happen. I was supposed to be on the bike with her, and changed at the last minute. I wonder if there are photos somewhere. I wonder if I'm ready for them.

I'm so glad you're living the happily-ever-after version of that particular story. I really hate when the scary reality brushes up against the regular kind.

Dr. Brainiac said...

Michelle, The Girl actually took those pictures at my request. I wanted to make sure she has a visual reminder. Not necessarily because I'm mean, but because I want her to think before she gets behind the wheel.

Kate, I'm glad to be living this version of reality too. We'll be going to retrieve her belongings from the car at the wrecking yard today. She's showing a little bit of normal posttraumatic stress with the reliving the event, flashbacks, dreaming etc etc, but I told her that's normal and will go away in time. She's processing a lot and is talking my ear off, so that's good to help her move on. She's even trying to find some humor in the situation, so she'll be fine in no time.

Anonymous said...

You know, my mom is a wonderful woman and I love her... but where were you when I had PTSD?

Dr. Brainiac said...

Kate, when you had PTSD, I was a very different person, who probably would not have been very helpful. Age, an additional 10 years' worth of education and 7 years in public health went a long way to making me the mom I am today. Funny thing - The Girl told me last night that the first thing she wanted during and after the wreck was her mama, and she's been going out of her way to spend time with me. I won't complain about that at all.

Brunhilda said...

Oh God, I'm so glad the Girl is okay. Those pictures are just so frightening. You two cling close for a bit, you need each other right now. I cant' imagine. I think it is a very wise move on your part to have the Girl earn her next car.

Brunhilda said...

Oh God, I'm so glad the Girl is okay. Those pictures are just so frightening. You two cling close for a bit, you need each other right now. I cant' imagine. I think it is a very wise move on your part to have the Girl earn her next car.

Dark Daughta said...

Holy Shite! What a relief! I'm taking notes and prepping myself for similarly hairy stories to come from my direction once my daughter gets out of elementary school, junior high and into high school Warning well received. That was close.

Fantasy Writer Guy said...

Holy crap. Thank goodness everyone's okay. Automobiles are the devil. Them and cancer.