Here we go! One more day until the kids are FINALLY back in school and I should be ecstatic. I had plans this week to spend the whole glorious three days of Labour Day long-weekend getting the house and fam ready for school.
But on Friday, our family was driving home from a long week at hockey camp, hubby had just slept off a night shift and had selflessly pulled his tired butt out of bed to come watch the boys at camp. We were about 500 metres from our house, when a car with two teenage boys drove in front of us. I was driving, I didn’t see them turn, because I was looking down the road, past the front of my van. Before I knew what was happening we had t-boned their vehicle, our air bags deployed and everything in the world stopped.
We are all ok. My three boys, my husband and the two (extremely lucky) teenagers in the car that cut us off, are all ok. But for a few moments, nothing was ok.
I was hurt the worst, just some friction burns from the airbags as they hit my wrists and hands. Everyone else has some aches and pains. Our van didn’t fair as well. The lovely, 258,000 km vehicle that has taken us so many places, the vehicle that we brought our twins home from the hospital in eight years ago, our only vehicle, is totalled.
So instead of labelling school supplies and baking loads of muffins for lunches, I am trying my hardest to be functional after such a shocking experience. A moment that could have been so much worse, but was bad enough to make me want to stay in my jammies, drink wine and call my far-away friends and family.
We were all belted, I was driving the speed limit. We didn’t (for once) have the dog with us, who would have been a 100-pound projectile as the back of the van lifted a foot off the road from the impact. Everyone was sitting properly (which is an ongoing battle with squirrely little boys). We hit the other vehicle at a perfect 90 degree angle, so our bodies weren’t twisted, and our seat-belts did their jobs. I was even holding the steering wheel in the perfect 2 & 10 position, so that the damage to my arms was minimal.
But had any one of those things been slightly different…I can barely process that.
I had three hours alone in emergency after the accident to think about what had happened. All I could think about were those two teenagers. The driver, just new to driving, such a huge responsibility. They came and apologized to me. Good boys. Shaking, sore. I saw their parents arrive in emergency. My heart broke, knowing that those two Moms were also going over what could have happened. How much worse it could have been.
It was their fault. There were so many eye-witnesses, but no need for them because the driver admitted fault. He said he didn’t even see us “there”. He turned left into oncoming traffic. He will get a huge fine. He will have his DL suspended. His car is totalled too. His passenger, his friend, I found out, already has two hairline fractures in his vertebrae from a previous accident. If we had hit going faster, he would have been paralyzed. Or dead. We hit his side of the car. He didn’t even make the mistake.
I don’t know. I am thankful we are all ok. I am thankful that we have the resources and insurance in place so that we will be able to replace our vehicle. I am thankful that my children now understand how fast accidents happen, how scary and damaging one bad decision can be. But I would give that lesson up to have our van back, and to just be baking muffins this weekend.