This morning, I woke up and I didn’t want to get out of bed. I really love to sleep, and I don’t mean to brag…but sleep really loves me too. This morning I woke up and stayed in bed an extra half an hour like just any other morning when I’m not rushing off to anything. I finally got up, and went on a run. Nothing too dramatic, your average three and a half miles. I ran because I’ve gotten into the system of it this week and I felt like striving on. Like normal, I waited until too late in the day, even though it was only nine in the morning. Still, it was beyond hot and humid to be out on those country roads, burnin rubber under the soles of my feet. By the time I got home from my run, my parents were getting up just as I was cooling down. After placing myself in front of my fan for ten minutes, dousing myself in a bottle of water, I went in by my mom. I needed a pep talk. Tonight was supposed to be the first night I would work PM’s by myself at my new job. I had only trained for two days, and I felt ready, but hesitant to take on this task. After my mom gave me some words of wisdom, I thought I was another step in the ready direction for the hefty goal of the day. So I took a shower, put on my scrubs, and mentally prepared myself. I figured I’d make the day worth as much as I could, getting things accomplished. So I ran to FonDuLac quick, a few hours before my shift started. I thought of how productive I was being, and I felt pretty proud of myself. I made two different stops and got things done! I left my last stop in time to get me to work thirty minutes early. Plenty of time to look over all of my resident notes, and update myself on anything new I needed to know from being off the last two days. I tried to be an overachiever today. I set my GPS up to get me to work because there’s construction consuming my normal route from FonDuLac to Mount Calvary. I headed out on the back roads, just like I do every single day. I watched as I left FonDuLac, I watched as I entered each tiny town, and left it just as quickly. Singing along with the radio like I was on the American Idol stage. I watched as I passed the Mount Calvary sign, pleased with how much time I’d have before work to prepare. I took a left onto Calvary Street. I thought to myself that I didn’t even need to look at my GPS anymore, I knew where I was, work was up the hill on the left. I was singing along to Macky’s “She’ll Come Runnin” on repeat like always. I thought to myself that I knew these roads pretty well. I thought to myself that this was the point where the speed limit changed. I glanced my eyes to my dash screen, and then back up at the road.
There he was. I didn’t even have time to react, but I did. Where did he even come from? I know I didn’t follow him into town. I didn’t follow anyone into town. It was just me. There was nobody on Calvary Street when I took that left. It was just me. But he must’ve come from somewhere, because here he is. All of this in a second.
I slammed my feet onto my breaks before my mind even realized what was happening. I’ve never heard sounds like that before. I’ve never felt a car jerk that way before. I stopped as much as I could as fast as I could. I tried to turn my car to the right to avoid him, but there was a sign there blocking the way to the field off the road. I had nowhere to go. He wasn’t moving, I couldn’t stop, and I had nowhere else to go.
And then we hit. Impact. Wreckage.
Now I have some kind of understanding of what the movies always make it look like. For those mere seconds, life slows. Everything in my car went flying. All of it pushing as far forward as it could go without escaping my windshield. My cold pizza for break at work, bouncing off my passenger air bag compartment. My tea and water flying from the middle counsel into my radio system. My purse and all of its contents, my books, my cell phone, everything flying forward so fast, with nowhere to go. My sunglasses, that sat so cozily on my face, completely ripped off and into the dashboard from the force. My body, every part of me pushing into my steering wheel. My head jerking forward so fast, still nowhere to go. My legs coming up so quick, smashing so hard into my steering wheel and dashboard. My seatbelt, pulling me as much back as possible against the heavy pulls forward. My breath, absolutely gone and speechless to my lips. My mind, not even understanding what is going on or what to do.
Then just black.
So many thoughts. So much shock. So many tears. I don’t even know how I managed to put my car in park. I didn’t remember to put on my hazards or turn my car off. Just to get out and see if he’s okay. Like a checklist in my mind. A shook up sob restarting after each mental box was x’d. His safety, check. The police, someone called, check. My parents, CRAP! Realizing how in shock I was. I ran back to my car and searched the upheaval inside for my cell phone. I couldn’t get my fingers still enough to unlock my phone, let alone dial my parents. So many unintelligible sobs I couldn’t even believe I was speaking. ‘I got in a car accident.’ I’m sure it came out absolutely nothing normal sounding like that. Still in shock, I didn’t even realize people were talking to me. Hannah, she asked you if you were okay. CRAP! I didn’t even think! Looking down and around myself to see if anything was battered or torn. No, no, I’m okay. Check. Work, CRAP! I’m a minute away, and I have to make this call. I won’t be coming in tonight. All of the mental preparations I was making, done for the day. Macky and Mandy, oh my gosh. How in the world could I call either of you and tell you I’ve been in a car accident? How did I get in this position? I don’t get in car accidents. This kind of thing has never happened to me before. The calls would have to wait, there’s no way I can mentally handle that right now. My car, I should probably look at it. Oh my gosh. This isn’t my car. My car is nice, beautiful, Dori. These shattered and smashed pieces all around are the remains of her front half. The broken headlights, blinkers, paint, plastic pieces strewn all over the road are now Dori. The massively crunched and smashed ends of her are her results. The wheel well insides laying behind my precious baby near the ditch, how did that get all the way back there? The bent axle and frame, how did that even happen? How did this even happen?
So much. So many people. So many questions. So much emotion. So much panic. So much confusion. So much shock. So many tears and breathless sobs. So much. Too much.
I couldn’t stop the thoughts from pouring in. What is God trying to show me? Why did this happen? I’ve always wondered what it would feel like. I’ve always wondered how it would happen. How the people I love would react. I can’t believe this happened to me. I can’t believe it. I was a minute away from work. I was so ready and motivated to be the best CNA I could be tonight. I was ready to take on this shift. What if I wasn’t getting to work a half an hour early? Would I still be in an accident? I woke up today like any other. Why do I take my life for granted? Do I take my life for granted? What if my accident was worse than it was? What if I never walked away from it? I never thought I’d see my brand new car being lifted on a tow, like a crumpled box car. I never thought I’d hear so much fear in my parents’ voices, ‘Are you OK?!’ I never thought I’d pray so much and so hard to God. Wondering what was going on, what I was supposed to do, begging Him to take the reigns. Begging Him for guidance. I just don’t understand. How did this happen to me?
I woke up this morning and I didn’t want to get out of bed. I wanted to lay in bed and dream about the people I love. This morning I got out of bed anyways and became productive with my day. I ran, because I have two working legs and two working feet and my body lets me run. I talked to strangers because I love to be friendly. I sang along to my favorite CD in my car, because whether or not it sounds good, I have a voice I can use.
I woke up this morning and I got in a wreck. Because I’m human. I cried heavy tears today because I was more scared and confused than I have ever been. I got angry because I didn’t have all the answers, and I’m the furthest thing away from them.
I woke up this morning and I know I took a million things around my life for granted. And that makes my heart the heaviest it’s been.
I woke up this morning and I literally saw that opportunity flash right before my eyes.