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Monday, July 16, 2007

Fun Monday #25, The Car --- The Call

Tiggerlane, the Neophyte Blogger is hosting today's fun. She is adjusting her tiara and telling everyone: I wanna see your CAR! It can be your current car, the first car you ever had, maybe your first new car with that new-car smell, a car you wrecked once, or even the dream car you would drive - given all the money in the world! Oh - and if you have a truck, SUV, lawnmower, whatever the local authorities allow you to drive, let's see it!

* * * * * * * * *

A young firefighter was off duty when he heard the call reporting a one-car rollover on his scanner. He was only one mile from the scene so he hopped in his pick up truck and headed down the country road.

The heavy downpour limited visibility, but he glimpsed the dimming lights from the car about 50 feet off the road. He pulled over, leaped from his rig, and traversed the short distance fighting the mud's attempts to suction off his boots.

When he reached the car, he recognized it and the young woman driver. She was one of the Fire Captains daughters. My Fire Captain's daughter.

I answered the phone quickly as I wasn't quite asleep. I knew Amanda should be home soon, and I was worried because the rain was relentless.

The voice on the other end of the line was a familiar one - a firefighter. He asked for the hubby and I quickly handed over the phone.

I heard the hubby's side of the conversation: Is she still in the car? How badly is she hurt? Where are you? Yes - we can be there in 20 minutes. I agree she should be transported by ambulance.

We jumped up, threw on coats, and ran out the door in less than a minute. My heart beat on my rib cage like a prisoner banging for escape on the bars of his cell.

It's every parent's nightmare; that middle of the night call to inform you of an accident involving a child. The drive there seemed to take forever, although I know it was only minutes. In the distance, the flashing blue and red lights finally came into view.

Amanda was already on the Backboard by the time we arrived and the emergency responders were loading her into the warm and dry ambulance to get a better look at her.

I could see the car on its side where it landed after flipping. The road was slimy from mud that overflowed from a rain saturated fallow wheat field. That and a set of new breaks - a treacherous combination.

She was conscious and responding correctly to the questions the paramedics were asking when we caught them at the ambulance door.

"I'm sorry about your car, mom," she said when my teary face appeared over her for a short moment.

Now that she has a daughter of her own she understands how absurd that statement was -- who cares about a piece of metal on wheels when your child is hurt and you don't know how badly.

Much later, at the hospital Emergency room, the on call physician placed the X-rays on the lighted view box.

"These are Transverse Process fractures," he explained. No head injuries. Lots of bruises and abrasions, but no other broken bones.

I have perfect recall - my standing there - looking at my daughters broken back - with her belly button ring highlighting the center of the film.

It has been nearly 7 years and Amanda's injury still triggers back pain and phantom nerve stimulation. Yoga is helpful.

(This was the only picture we could find of my 1991 Buick Regal Gran Sport Coup)
Oh yeah... the car. It was a great car. The insurance company totaled it and I eventually bought another one that gets me where I'm going.

43 comments:

mjd said...

Pamela, That must have been terrifying. I am glad that Amanda was all right and now has a daughter of her own. Thank you for reminding us what is really important. Take care.

theotherbear said...

Oh Pamela that must have scared the daylights out of you. I remember going back to look at my worst car wreck - looked much like this - on my way home from hospital. When I saw it and realised how bad it was my legs crumpled from under me. I'm so glad your Amanda came out of this without more serious injuries.

my4kids said...

That would be scary! I worry about that when I don't hear from Kelly. He used to get upset because I would worry and start calling him if I was expecting him and he didn't call until he had an accident with the boys where they totaled his vehicle. I remember driving down that road just after it happened not knowing the wreck ahead was them because of to many cars in the way and all the firetrucks and ambulances. I took a different way instead of driving through and didn't find out until about an hour later when he called me. I knew something was wrong then though.

I'm glad she was okay for the most part though.

min said...

How horrible. I think all parents practice prepaing themselves for that call, but you are never really ready when it happens. It shouldn't happen!
This is my worst nightmare.

willowtree said...

Yeah, but what kind of car was it?

Joy T. said...

Willowtree!! Tsk LOL. All three of my children are driving now and this story right here is something I worry about all the time til that front door closes and I know they're in the house safe and sound.

Sayre said...

Actually, Willowtree has a point. That really was a great car. I'm trying to imagine an accident that lands a car 50 feet off the road and doesn't kill its driver. That car was sturdy and well-built enough to allow Pamela's daughter to live. Yes, injured, but alive. Not all cars can do that.

My son is only 8, but I dread the day he starts driving. HE will be a good driver, but there are so many out there who are not.

her indoors said...

so so glad your daughter was all right, have had one of those calls in the night not nice at all.

Shauna said...

When Bud rolled the Jeep it wasn't in the middle of the night - but it is one of the SCARIEST moments of my life! ! ! He called me which had to have been much better than what you experienced - but I know what you mean! ! ! So glad everything turned out well! ! !

Peter said...

Not too sure that qualifies as a Fun Monday Pamela, but its good to know Amanda is better, at least in the main.

Susie said...

I know that feeling. I didn't get a middle of the night call, but actually witnessed by daughter slamming head on to a tree. The car is absolutely the last thing you think of at a time like that. (and my daughter escaped with minor injuries)
xo

Arkansas Songbird said...

Great post, Pamela. My brother was the car wrecker in my family. He always seemed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Walker said...

Good Lord! That is so horrifying.

Debs said...

OH NO! How scary! I am glad she is alright now! Keep safe.

Beckie said...

Pamela, you tell a great story (scarey, but great). I am just glad it had a happy ending.

The belly button ring on the X-ray - too funny!

Melissa said...

Pamela!!! Now I'm never going to let my kids drive! ;)

What a scary story. I'm so glad Amanda was okay. I have all kinds of weird phantom pain in my ankle, that is the worst. I can't imagine it in my back.

Vicki said...

very well written. you do such a good job taking a assignment and making it wonderful.

The Artist formerly Known as Purpleworms (!) said...

OMG what a dramatic story!! You are so right about those apologies at a time when the real concern is the person involved!! Thank you for sharing that!

Amanda said...

And I remember my first thought when I came to --- "Mom's car!!"

And I do understand now how absurd the statement was.

I still get the jeebies when I drive down that road. Although last time I was in town, they were doing a lot of work on it. Maybe they are fixing that dangerous curve??

Hey, mom... I'm still sorry about your car.

wolfbaby said...

Thats it my kids ain't drivin no where at tall
no how
i need my heart to continue workin ya know?

bichonpawz said...

Pamela, my heart was in my throat reading your post. I'm so glad your daughter was ok. Your words do remind us all of what is truly important in life. That incident must have been terrifying. I worry every single day my daughter is out driving.

coffeypot said...

Stories like that only confirm my belief that we do not get gray hair from aging. It comes from raising kids. But the reward for enduring child rearing experiences is grandkids. Where the kids put gray hair, the grandkids put smiles. Hopefully she will get better with time – and a little love from mom and day. Fire Chief, huh! Sounds like a hot job.

Robinella said...

So glad you had a happy ending to that very riveting telling of your story. I was just talking with my MIL about the way a Mother feels when her child is injured. It's the same for all of us!

kailani said...

Thank goodness! She was very lucky to not have been seriously hurt. The car is replaceable. Your daughter is not.

Tiggerlane said...

You are such a fantastic writer...and a strong lady. Looking at that car - thinking of what that must have been like - I'm not sure that I wouldn't have just collapsed in a heap.

Thanks so much for sharing.

Susie Q said...

Oh Pam...that was just frightening. It is every parent's nightmare! How scared you both must have been...how scared your precious Amanda had to be. I can still reall every bit of the wrecks (3) I have been involved in.

I am so glad it was not worse...so grateful.

Hugs to you dear Pam.
Sue

Beccy said...

What a scary experience for you all and poor Amanda still suffering all these years later. I dread when my children learn to drive as I am a real worrier.

susan said...

I have to tell you, this brought tears to my eyes. My oldest is learning to drive and it scares me as nothing else ever has.

I'm so glad that Amanda is well and has a baby of her own now.

tlawwife said...

Thanks for sharing your day, including your daughters worry about the car. Funny how the mind works isn't it.

Every year on the anniversary of the wreck that my husband suffers every day from, we are reminded of the miracle that he is. We have the tennis shoe he was wearing that his grandmother picked up from the neighboring field as a memento of that day that his family will never forget.

swamp witch said...

I just can't imagine your terror that night. Thanks goodness she was ok, except for the back pain and phantom nerve stimulation. Those calls late at night and in the early morning can add years to a parent's life.
Have I ever mentioned that your writing takes the reader to the scene? Only, maybe, about 20 times?

BarnGoddess said...

omg, the phone call NO PARENT EVER wants to get...

glad she is okay tho..too bad about the car!

Devon said...

Pamela, another story that reads like a movie script! Loved it, and yet can't imagine the terror of it all! Today my daughter just traveled 10 ours with a friend for a 4 day trip. I am probably more nervous than I should be!

RAFFI said...

i can't believe the insurance companies considered that car "totalled" cus it could've been salvaged... j/k :) luckily amanda was okay.

Raven_Dase said...

SO Sorry to read about the accident. I am glad tho that Amanda is still here today! :D

Robocop said...

Thank the Lord for your daughter's survival.

ChrisB said...

That is about the most scariest thing to hear. I always used to worry when the girls were out late. So glad that Amanda is Ok but it must be really awful for her to still be suffering all these years on.

Amy W said...

Good grief. I am glad she is okay now as well.

nikki said...

I truly cannot imagine how awful that must have been. This is the nightmare most parents worry about.

daddy d said...

Good job of parenting. That was a very hard time to live through.

jenn said...

that would be so scary. yes in retrospect those comments are silly, but it truly is something running through your mind when you have an accident.
"oh, my heck, mom and dad are going to kill me."

you're a wonderful story teller.

Robin said...

Unbelievable...

And with Rachel beginning to drive in less than a month (yikes!), ALL these tales of car wrecks are unnerving me to say the least!

Yeah, I've already thought about "this call"...I pray I never receive it.

Amanda kind of glossed over her accidents...a mother's perspective would tell us the rest of the story!

Christine said...

Pamela,Oh how terrifying.I'm so glad Amanda came out of it allright for the most part.

My husband rolled one of his cars out on a country dirt road, and to this day he drives extremely cautiously.

Claudia said...

Oh, Pamela!! I can only imagine what you all went through!