Friday, March 13, 2009

Closer To Fine

I'm trying to tell you something about my life
If I close my eyes, and lie in a dark quiet room, I can still picture it like it happened just yesterday. I can remember sitting in the car, with a cup of HOT Dunkin Donut's coffee in one hand, and a cigarette in the other. I can see the snow falling out the front window of the car, and hear the music that was playing on the radio. Time is a gentle healer, and can't remember what the song was anymore, but for years I couldn't hear it play without tearing up. I had on a tee shirt, and a black sweater that belonged to my friend Jason. He was off playing with the Navy, and somehow along the years I had ended up with one of his sweaters. It was a black turtleneck sweater that was made of cotton, but it was heavy and warm and he probably lent it to me during one of the infamous bashes we had at his house during the summer.

Maybe give me insight between black and white
I can still hear the fight I had with my mother before I left that day. Bad weather was coming in and she didn't want me out on the roads. My friend was moving to MA, from Concord, to be a nanny, and I offered my help because I had nothing better to do, and I felt bad because she had been staying with US and I thought I owed it to her. We yelled, as was the case, and because I was recently out of the Army and back home, I decided I didn't care what she thought and I was an adult and I left anyhow. Our plan was to be back by noon, which was early enough because the snow wasn't supposed to get bad until later. March storms never work out quite the way they predict, and the snow started earlier and fell much heavier than they had thought.. and it quickly turned into a blizzard.

And the best thing you've ever done for me
The thing about snow, especially heavy wet snow, is that when it's falling everything gets quiet. The snow somehow manages to buffer all kinds of nosies, and it's earily peaceful and calming. From the time the car got hit in the back rear corner, went over the gaurd rail and then flipped over 7 or 8 times.. until it hit the tree and stoped, on it's side.. was probably less than 3 minutes. I want to say it was probably less than 2 minutes, but I don't know for sure. I do know that it felt like an hour. You always hear people talk about "slow motion".. I know exactly what they mean when they say it.

Is to help me take my life less seriously
In that short time, I can tell you that: my cigarette went flying and landed down on the floor next to the door, my coffee spilled all over my pants and the arm of my shirt and Jason's sweater (I was never more grateful that I put on that heavy sweater), and that as soon as I heard the glass shatter I shut my eyes and covered my face with my hands. After the car rolled over 3 times, I stopped counting. When it finally hit the tree and stopped, there was no glass left in the front of the car. Snow was coming in the windows and it was cold and quiet. Very quiet.

Its only life after all
I was on the side of the car that it landed on, kind of at an angle against the tree, so there was a space between the car and the ground. For what seemed like a lifetime I wondered if I was dead. I wondered how you knew if you were dead, and if you just died, or if somehow you would know. I wondered if my friend was dead, and what was going to happen if I wasn't and I opened my eyes and she was. I remember feeling wet, and cold and thinking that you wouldn't be wet and cold if you were dead because that was just mean, and I opened my eyes. About 5 seconds later my friend who had been staring at me wondering if I were dead, choked out my name, and then started crying. I tried to turn to look at her, and knew instantly that I was not.. because I was in horrible pain and silently I thanked God.. over, and over and over. Pain was one thing.. dead was a whole nother ball game.

I know I have blogged numerous times about that accident, and it's after-effects.. so I won't bore you with the details. Today, finally, after 16 years, I can tell you that I can be in a car with another driver, and not have an anxiety attack if they are following too close, or going too fast, or the roads are snowy. For years I could only drive with The Boy, and it took years for me to trust him enough to be a passenger in the car and be comfortable. I spent a lot of years doing the driving because I couldn't be a passenger and not be in control of the car. Those days are over, and I love watching out the window, and knitting in the car. For the first time, since that day in 1993.. I have gotten to this week and been surprised that it was here. It escaped me completely until yesterday when I was looking at the calender to see what was going on this weekend. Tonight I am going to have a beer with dinner, and offer up a silent toast to the angels who held me close to their hearts that day.

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