Have you ever heard the saying, "Life comes at you fast?" It implies that life is short and things can change rather quickly for you. I’ve had my share of life come at me fast moments. One particular moment that changed my perspective was the night of August 15, 2019.
That evening, I had just finished working and was headed to the grocery store to get my daughter’s lunch for school in the morning. I sent my husband a text to let him know that I was headed to the grocery store before heading home. I put my seatbelt on, pushed the start button to turn on the car, and waited for my Bluetooth to connect. Once my phone is connected to the car, I proceed to drive towards the grocery store. As I’m driving, I start to feel fatigued, so I turn on some music that will boost my energy. I started to feel the vibes of the music and started singing off-key, loud and proud. I come to a complete stop at a red light and wait patiently for it to turn green. The light switches as I transition my foot from the brakes to the accelerator, gradually reaching the speed limit of 55 miles per hour. I can feel the music blasting through my car speakers. The road was fairly empty that night as I was the only car driving northbound. Further ahead of me is a vehicle driving on the opposite side of the road, heading southbound. The vehicle turns on its blinker to turn left, shifting to the median as my foot gradually transitions to the brakes. I slow down and whisper to myself, "Please don’t turn right now," as I am less than 100 feet away from the car. The driver proceeds to turn. I smash on the brakes, honking my horn, and try to switch lanes to avoid a collision.
This is the part where life comes at me fast! I was hit head-on by the turning vehicle. The impact rotated my car 360 degrees. While the collision was happening, I instantly covered my face because I was wearing glasses with my left arm and tucked my head as the airbags dispersed. It felt like I was trapped inside a gas chamber, gasping for air while inhaling smoke. I didn’t realize I had blacked out until I opened my eyes to see the damage. At this moment, it feels like I’m having an out-of-body experience. The adrenaline rush has taken over. I kicked open the car door to be met with off-duty first responders that were getting a bite to eat across the street. They asked, "Ma'am, are you okay?" I’m in complete shock, so I don’t remember if I responded. I approach the driver who caused the collision in my peripheral vision, my adrenaline at an all-time high.I knocked on the window to see if she was okay. Once I realized she was perfectly fine, I lost it. I begin to yell, "Get out of the car now! You just hit me, lady!" She doesn’t get out until the police show up to get a statement. Once I talked to the police, they advised me to get medical attention immediately. I didn’t feel anything because my body was numb from running off adrenaline. The first responders checked my face, arms, legs, and back. I had injuries in all of those places. My forearm and forehead had the worst damage due to the impact of the airbags.
"This drunk lady just hit me. I’m headed to the hospital now!" I say to my husband in complete disbelief as I’m riding in the back of the ambulance. The adrenaline starts to subside during the ambulance ride. I calmed down while being wheeled in on the stretcher into the emergency room. The first responders transferred me to the hospital bed as they left the room. Before the nurse comes in, I have a moment to myself to process what just happened. I take a deep breath as the tears begin to flow down my face, emotions all over the place. The moment is brief. I wipe my tears away and look up to see my husband and nurse walking in. I put on a façade to act normal because I could see the pain in my husband's face, knowing he could break down at any moment if he knew how broken I was. I made a joke and smiled to make it seem like I was okay. Elsewhere, the nurse escorts me to get MRI and CT scans for my injuries. The doctor updated me about the days ahead, which I was dreading dealing with. He states that "you will have swelling and soreness for a while, so take it easy." We headed home to get some rest from this challenging night.
My life is about to change. As I wake up the following morning, I feel excruciating pain throughout my body, my head mostly. I looked in the mirror to see my forehead swollen with a knot the size of a golf ball, my forearms darkening with bruises, and a swollen lower back and legs. I had two choices to make at this moment: waddle in self-pity or be grateful I survived. I chose to be a survivor despite my current situation. I saw my life flash before my eyes as I was singing at the top of my lungs and was transported to the emergency room a few moments later.
"Why did this happen to me?" I say to myself when I touch the separation of my skull on my forehead. I was traumatized to the point where I had to start therapy. My healing took the front seat as I was driving to drop off my trauma. I am reminded that it was just a moment that I overcame. I believe that God chose me to help that intoxicated driver realize that drinking and driving have consequences. I was blessed to return home safely to my family. I am grateful to be able to share these few pages of my life’s journey. Life may come at you fast, but my God works faster for his children. His protection keeps me safe from harm. Read Psalm 121.