After two solid nights of blissfully deep sleep, I think I’m semi-sorta normal again; well, at least as close to normal as I can get. After coming off the roller coaster of the holidays and all that entails, there was a short lull at the beginning of January. I managed to do a little genealogy research while putting away the decorations, getting the house back to normal, etc. Then I got a little weirded out.
I was parked in line at school to pick the munchkin up, thinking about the research I had done, when I started doing some calculations. I realized that in a few days I would be the same age my grandfather was when he was killed in a car accident. That put a whole different outlook on things. You know, you hear family stories, things that happened to relatives, etc, and it’s a part of the fabric that’s your family history. But when you become aware you’re almost at the same point in life they were when they died, it’s like being doused with ice water. Putting yourself in their place, thinking if your time was up shortly, you realize how much there’s still left to do, how much living hasn’t been done yet, how much was cut short, taken aware prematurely. It makes you thankful for what you have, what you’re experiencing, and *hopefully* for what is yet to come.
I had no idea I was two weeks away from my own car accident.
I’m definitely a defensive driver. I took driver’s ed seriously, and 30 years later still do everything I was taught. I’ve never gotten a ticket, never been in an accident. I cuss like a sailor when I’m driving at the actions of others, and I can definitely say every single bad word my kids ever learned came from them being in the car with me. They giggle at my common refrain of, “you didn’t hear that”, and reply “yes, I did” every single time.
I was making a short trip to the grocery store to pick up supper stuff when the accident happened. It happened in the neighborhood, too, not on some busy street. I was minding my own business, traveling down the road when a teenage boy coming towards me from the opposite direction decided to make a left hand turn in front of me. I was too close to the intersection–despite literally standing on the brake, I broadsided him bigger than s**t. What was totally stupid was there was no one behind me. There was no reason for him to be in such a freaking hurry that he *had* to turn at that moment. In fact, he had just come over a speed bump, so it wasn’t like he was going at a high rate of speed…at least until he floored it trying to make that left hand turn. He left tire marks from where he had been going straight to making the left hand turn. The kicker? The little turd tried to tell the officer *he* had the right of way to turn left because I slowed down. Sorry, Einstein, but there was no stop sign, no yield sign, and no traffic light. In Texas if you’re making a left hand turn, you HAVE to yield to oncoming traffic, i.e. me, before attempting said turn.
It took two weeks for his insurance company to determine he was at fault (awaiting reports, pictures, etc) and they would pay to have my car fixed. Despite having some serious aches and pains for the first week after the accident, I told his insurance company all I wanted was my car fixed. I knew it was just muscle strain and nothing serious, so I didn’t try to recover anything other than the cost of the car repair. We set up the time at the body shop, and they scheduled a car rental for the three or so days it’ll take for them to complete the repairs.
During those two weeks, though, I didn’t get one decent night’s sleep. Why? Because of recurring nightmares of the following: Me being in car crashes, being trapped in a crushed car, forgetting to file paperwork with the state, being in car accidents where the vehicle catches on fire and not being able to get the seat belt unfastened, insurance companies telling me it was my fault, etc, etc.
On top of all that, I got sick with the respiratory/flu bug that had gone around. All this time I had avoided it, even when the kids came down with it. I don’t know if it was the stress of the accident that pushed my immune system too low or what, but the next thing I knew I had the sandpaper raw sore throat, fever, body aches, chills, and after a few days it went into my lungs. It felt like I had sucked in a lung-full of dust–it would tickle, tickle, tickle, I would cough, it would tickle more, culminating in my basically coughing up a lung. Absolutely sucked, especially since the tickling would happen when I would fall asleep. Hubby set up the vaporizer, and that did help, but it triggered nightmares about being in the ICU since the munchkin had used the vaporizer for several days before being admitted to the ICU in August. Yeah, this sucked all the way around and had me chasing my tail day in and day out.
Once the kid’s insurance company started cooperating, though, the stress level went down considerably. My lungs have cleared up enough that I can go out in public without fear someone will call 911 because of a coughing fit, and I’m getting enough oxygen now to think clearly. The last two nights have been deep, restful sleep, and my brain has settled into “normal” again.
In the midst of all of this, I had a nice birthday. Hubby took the day off, and we went to the Buckhorn Museum downtown. They have a section dedicated to the Texas Rangers (law enforcement, not baseball), which my great-great-grandfather was part of the original Company D back in 1874. They had several pieces dating from that time period, and it was neat reading about the activities from back then. We had lunch at Olive Garden, opened up presents after the munchkin got home from school, and later that evening Andrew and his girlfriend stopped by to visit. Gizmo even managed to hang in there and make it to the celebration, the sweet little kitty. Overall it was a really nice birthday, spent with the ones I love.
Other than seeing Gizmo to the Rainbow Bridge in the next day or so, things are quieting down. Managed to plant some tomato and cucumber seeds in cups, and hubby will be tilling out the garden spots this Sunday in preparation of sowing all the other seeds. Who knows? I might actually be able to sit down and play with the Muse some–she’s biting at the bit wanting to work on that original story. Unfortunately for her up to this point the only thing she’s gotten is me glaring at her from my nest in the corner of the sofa. Keeping my fingers crossed that things continue to settle down and life moves forward. And I give thanks that I’m still here to be a part of it. 🙂