For someone who has a pretty good sense of humor, I try to find something funny or positive in all of life’s little challenges. My husband and I have had our share of challenges alright. In fact, my luck seems so bad, he is almost afraid to stand next to me, lest a meteor fall out of the sky and take him out too.
Five years ago, our house burned down, and not long after I was hit-and-run by a drunk driver who got away despite our having the rat bastard’s license plate number. These were hard times, but Husband and I always had plenty to be thankful for, looked at the situations with a healthy dose of humor, and counted our blessings.
And then came one hilariously not-funny night in November. My sister called me to let me know my grandmother was ill and in the hospital. Naturally, I plopped on my NSU cap, handed off the heathens to my husband, and hopped in the minivan to go check on Gran. Having already gotten up-close-and-personal with my airbags, I am an overly safe driver. I don’t speed or tailgate, and I watch the road like everyone is out to get me (which they bleeping are by the way). After cruising along the two-lane highways, I made it to town and things were a-okay. Then, less than ½ a mile from my previous accident, I saw a flash of metal, a trailer full of cars and had just enough time to jerk the wheel and think, “Oh Sh*t, this is bad.” My minivan broadsided a trailer hauling cars at about 45 miles an hour, and I got yet another meet-and-greet with my airbags. The truck in question had tried turning left in front of oncoming traffic, and obviously did not make it.
Because I was trying to turn away from the accident, I managed to accomplish two things, one awesome, and one very bad. By turning the van, I actually managed to deflect most of the impact around my body, thus saving my legs from meeting my engine. However, because my arm was up in front of my steering wheel mid-turn, the air bags knocked my right arm back in such a way that God never intended an arm to move.
The driver in question pulled down the road a bit, got out, and spent a good two minutes looking at his trailer, my smoldering minivan and back again. In the meantime, I managed to become mildly coherent, and dialed 911 on my cell, while holding my arm still and trying not to fall into a world-class freak-out. Luckily for me, a nice man, who coincidentally was a nurse, was behind me and rushed up to help. It was a good thing he showed up, because he kept me still and took over that whole 911 thing, because my efforts to not freak-out were starting to fail miserably. I guess trailer-guy knew he was in big-time trouble, because after his mini-examination, he jumped back in his truck and hit the inner-state like his butt was on fire. I think you can still hear me screaming at him to get his sorry behind back there on the 911 tapes.
When the ambulance showed up, my husband happened to call my cell, and I only managed to croak out “I’ve been in an accident, I have to call you back,” before I lapsed into full-on sobs of pain and mild hysteria. A few minutes later, my mom called, with only the question of which hospital I was headed to, and then I was whisked away in the ambulance, sirens and all. I spent the whole ride alternating between crying, thanking that God my kids were not in the car with me, and thinking up of all the ways I was going to curse the ass that hit me. Little did I know a Good Samaritan chased said ass, and managed to get his trailer plate number for the police.
I’ll never forget the look on my husband’s face when he made it to the ER.
To make a long story short, I ended up with a bum shoulder that hurts nearly every day, a scar on my chest in a place no girl wants a scar, months of physical therapy, a totaled car, a pissed-off insurance company, many nightmares, and no sense of humor about this situation. And despite all efforts to locate the man that hit me, he got away, and got to walk away from screwing up my life.
That SOB screwed up my bowling arm, and I am pissed. Even these months later, that pissed-off-ed-ness stays constantly in the back of my mind, like white noise. I know I will have to get over it someday, but in the meantime, if you see a gooseneck trailer with Texas plate 28WLTD, tell him that Bayou Mama is looking for him, and we need to talk.