Anniversary of an Accident

March 10th is a strange anniversary for me. My husband says that it is a day that I shouldn’t drive. It’s my birthday that doesn’t fall on my birthday.

Three years ago, I was excited because that afternoon, I had purchased to tickets for the race at the Bristol Motor Speedway. Of all the NASCAR events I’ve ever attended, that salad bowl offers the best view and the best noise.

I had a full evening planned, my in-laws were dropping by for dinner and I planned on meeting two of my three daughters afterward. A not-so-local pub was hosting an event that featured a Dublin favorite beer of ours, Kilkenny and I was to meet the girls around eight.

With minutes to spare, I decided to do a quick deli plate dinner for my in-laws so if was off to my local grocery store to pick up some different meats, breads and salads. I really do like my in-laws, and would normally feed them better than this, but they were literally stopping by on their way home.

The Publix grocery store is less than half a mile from my home. Right turn, left turn, right turn, groceries. I wasn’t talking on my phone, I wasn’t fiddling with the radio. The sun was going down, and I was going over my list in my head.


I can’t tell you how it happened from my eyes, I still can’t recall. I know this: the driver’s side of my little champagne color Kia Rio was now sharing space with the front of a large, black SUV.

I was in an accident, right? I can’t afford an accident, can I? What Happened? Where’s my phone? I think I’m okay, nothing hurts, nothing looks broken or bloody…

Most people I know call 911 in that situation, I called my husband. He was home, less than a few blocks away. A nice lady got in to the passenger seat of my car. She was  sweet and told me I was okay, then she said “You look so pretty for just having such a bad accident”. That made me laugh, even though I’m sure I was streaming snot, tears and broken glass. She left the car when my husband got there. He brought my three year old son with him since finding a sitter at the moment didn’t seem like it was important. An elderly couple who witnessed the accident kept my boy on the side of the road.

With my husband’s help, I slowly got out of the car through the passenger side door. The ambulance arrived. I was confused, but pretty sure that everything was okay, that I was not broken. My husband had enough wits to call 911.

I was standing and talking with the EMS personnel, I can’t tell you if they were men or women or zombies, but I am grateful that both they and my husband talked me into taking the ride with them to the hospital. They fixed me up with a neck brace and strapped me in for the ride. Even though I was on a gurney, I felt like freight, every little bump echoed throughout my body.

My daughters met us at the ER, my in-laws were at my house with my little boy. I remember my girls coming into the room and we were cutting up, making jokes about what an attention whore I was. They were in the room, then out, my husband was in the room. I was just waiting to be released and go home.

The doctor came in. She told me that I wasn’t going home, that I had some internal stuff going on. I was going to be moved to the ICU. Wait. What?

As it turns out, the side airbag that deployed and came between me and the SUV broke a rib, which, in turn both punctured my lung and poked into my spleen. I wasn’t in any pain until I got sent for a CAT scan where I needed to lay still with my arms above my head. That was eternal. I don’t remember much afterward, the next few days were like walking through jello, slow and muddled. To this day, I cannot tell you how my spleen was repaired, I know my body went into the shop that night. My lung was re-inflated and my spleen was patched up. The rib had to heal on its own which took bloody forever.

I sort of watched the Bristol race from my hospital room. My husband and my oldest daughter took turns hanging out with me. I wasn’t much company, I was pretty dopey and I slept a lot.

Here it is, a very quick three years later. There is a new three way stop light at the intersection. It turns out that the accident was my fault, I turned in front of the SUV who didn’t have time to stop. The driver was an 18 year old girl. She had a gash on her knee and a totaled front end. I’m happy she is okay.

Except for a foggy memory , a faint scar and a lot of debt paid off, there are no lingering effects from that day. While I do wish that accident never happened, I’m glad it did. I am hyper aware when turning left, to the point where I feel bad for anyone behind me. I am grateful that I accepted the bumpy ride to the hospital and for all of the people who I don’t remember that helped me. I’m grateful for the people that I do remember, my kids, my husband, and my friends. I’m extremely happy that today, I am so normal, so complete, that it feels like it never even happened.


My Kia


30 responses to “Anniversary of an Accident

  1. Gosh that was a pretty horrendous experience. Thank goodness you went to the hospital in the end and got the treatment you so urgently needed. It is wonderful you made such a great recovery.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How awful. It’s weird how, immediately after an accident, you think you’re fine and only find out later that you’re not. I knew a guy who was so angry at being run into that he jumped out of his car and began to run towards the other vehicle to chew the driver out. He didn’t get very far – his back had been broken in the accident. Thank heavens your injuries weren’t even worse, and that the EMTs got you to the hospital before the situation became dire.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think that is my greatest takeaway, to just get yourself checked out! I can see how the guy with the broken back was able to jump and run. The mind has a lot of power. Thanks for the comment.


      • When I totaled my husband’s car (caused by a lady flying out from a side street who T-boned me), I found myself sitting in the car in the middle of traffic, making phone calls. A police officer asked me to put the car into neutral so they could push it off the road, and I couldn’t remember how to do that. You’d think that would be an indication that I wasn’t really OK, but no one questioned it. I went home, got the other car, and went to work. 2 years later it was discovered that I had suffered internal injuries – I thought I just had indigestion those 2 years.


  3. I’m so glad you are ok and that your hubby still has his wife and your kids have their mommy. Thank God!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Glad you can celebrate this ‘birthday.’ 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You my friend are a very lucky woman, I’m glad you’re OK, and that your husband and family took such good care of you. Happy ‘Birthday’ to you all, celebrate safely now, ya hear?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. How terrifying. I had a similar wreck, but luckily I had no serious injuries. And luckily you came out alive and okay!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow. Reading that story brings back memories. I lost my grandfather in an accident that sounds similar to yours. He was turning left to get on a 6 lane divided highway at a traffic light. A young 18 year old girl ran the light and hit his truck and he lost control, ending up nearly jumping across a huge drainage ditch.

    Glad to know you’re ok as his injuries were internal as well. Also glad to know everyone else sharing their experiences are alright as well.


  8. I’m glad you’re okay!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. That must have been such a scary experience! I’m glad you’re well and living life! X


  10. So glad everything healed up from the accident. Your perspective looking back 3 years later is incredible. Very touching.
    Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. That sounds like a really terrifying experience but thank you for sharing it with us. I’m glad that you recovered and have been able to take some positives or at least hyper left turn awareness away from the whole thing

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Accidents do make a person more attentive. Happily, you’re healed up from it.

    My son was in an accident. I was in the back seat at the time. A woman was running a red light and I yelled, “Watch out!” My son says the reason he is still here is because his 1/2 blind mother saw a black blob moving at high speed and yelled a warning. The front of the car was rammed and my son sustained a little damage, but he didn’t think he needed to go to the hospital. I pulled out the “mother” card and insisted that he do so. He’s happy that he did because his temple was whapped by the side of the door and when he started showing signs of whiplash and mild head trauma it was covered under his insurance.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Thanks for sharing your story. Definitely great advice to get yourself checked out even if you think nothing’s wrong. Also I want to say, Don’t give up on driving; I was involved in a dreadful accident as a passenger in my teens – very nervous in a car for a year or two after. Give it time. Driving is a freedom you will miss, if you let your confidence go. Little and often sounds like a good way to go.

    Liked by 1 person

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