Today I was in a car accident. Everyone is OK. It wasn’t my fault and I wasn’t cited.
Normally, I would say that I was lucky that I was in my dually… but I’m not sure. If I had been in a smaller car, there would have been less damage.
I’m quite rattled. I think because I didn’t see it coming. I only felt it – after – and had to look in my sideview mirror to understand what I felt.
And then I was stunned.
Was I just in an accident?! Is anyone hurt?!
LIFE PASSING BEFORE ME
I’ve had this happen once before. It was when I was on a runaway mule. I knew I was in real trouble and everything around me slowed way down. I was acutely aware of what was happening outside of my body, but also very aware of how my mind was trying to pull together – very quickly – all the experiences in my life to figure out if I had a solution to this very large problem.
But that was not how it was today. I had no idea anything was happening until after it had happened. “What happened?!” I had no idea. The unknowing was very unsettling.
Once again, time slowed down for me. As soon as I understood that the image in my side view mirror was a ‘car accident’, my mind went into overdrive.
Stopped in the middle of the intersection, I saw the faces of every driver on all four sides. No one moved. Everyone let me decide what I was going to do – where I was going to go.
At that point, the shock part was settling in. I could see the commotion around the incident area put I could hear nothing. My mind was very calm but hysterical at the same time. It was as if my survival persona was telling me what I needed to do, but my mind was screaming.
I called 911
“I was in an accident. I don’t know what happened.”
The operator asked me questions as I walked back to the scene. A woman grabbed my arm and said, “You had the green.” I turned my head slowly as if in a dream – but she was gone.
When I reached the scene I just said, “I’m sorry. I didn’t see you.”
At that point, more officers had arrived and one took me by the arm and walked me across the street. She took my statement. I started to cry. She asked me if I had been drinking or if I was on my phone when the accident occurred. I said no to both. Another policeman came over and took photos of my truck and made some conclusions about how it was hit.
My mind was confused. I wanted someone to tell me what happened so I could make sense of it but the police kept asking questions instead… I was present but my mind wanted to checkout. I called Hubby.
ON MY WAY HOME…
The police didn’t cite me and they told me that all the witnesses said that I had the right of way and that I was driven into.
Of course, it was all timing. He said that we were both very lucky.
Timing. It was the timing of it that had me spinning. If I had been later, it wouldn’t have happened at all. If I had been earlier, it would have been much worse. Did my decisions today lead up to this?
… if only I had left the restaurant earlier… if I hadn’t stopped at the market on the way home… If I hadn’t made the right instead of the left out of the market…
Did any of that matter? Or was today our day to collide.
CALLED MY INSURANCE COMPANY
As instructed, I called USAA as soon as I got home.
To my surprise, the adjuster was an angel. “From now on, we’ll handle it. Just be happy that you are all OK. These things happen thousands of times a day. This is what we do. This is why you carry insurance.”
The image of thousands of people walking around in a daze like me – or worse – every day… sobered me.
Instead of seeing my life pass before my eyes, what I had seen was the horrible potential of living a life knowing what could have happened today – if I had been a few seconds earlier.
Thank you, godsinheaven, for sparing me – and the intimate stranger – from our lives being forever changed in that moment.