Yesterday I got a call, and all the memories from years ago came rushing forth.
Pete had called earlier and said he would be home in fifteen minutes. Twenty minutes later, he's not home and I get another call.
"I won't be home in fifteen minutes because there's been an accident," he said.
...And all the sudden I'm back to that day. The day five years ago when I got a similar call. Pete and the kids had come to visit me as I was decorating my room for Vacation Bible School. Not shortly after they left, I get a call from my very harrowed husband. There had been an accident. A truck failed to stop and rammed into the back of his Saturn while he was waiting to turn left onto our street. THE TEENAGE DRIVER HAD BEEN CHANGING HIS RADIO STATION. The kids were okay (thank you Jesus).
I dropped everything and rushed to the horrific scene. The Saturn looked like an accordian and glass was everywhere. Pete was holding a screaming Nicholas, who was just a baby. Katie and Andrew were nowhere in sight. I soon found out they had gone inside a friend's house to settle down.
"What happened?" I asked.
"The other guy tried to turn left onto a street from the right hand lane. Just a little damage to the driver's side of the Jeep. I'm waiting to fill out a police report," Pete answered.
The teenager had told the police what he was doing while the ambulance was taking Katie and Andrew to the hospital. We wanted to be on the safe side. Nicholas was in a baby harness car seat (the others in car seats for older kids) and appeared unscathed, so we didn't want to upset him more...he went with grandma. Luckily, they got the okay from the doctor, but that night I sat pulling barely visible pieces of glass out of Nicholas' long curly hair.
"Are you okay?" I asked.
"You know...the adrenaline is flowing and I'm mad as hell, but I'm okay."
Pete was not okay after the accident five years ago. His neck was damaged; discs ruptured, to be precise. This was the beginning of a long torturous road for him: doctor's visits, steroid shots, physical therapy, painful tests, nerve damage and eventually neck surgery (not to mention Hurricane Rita wedging her way somewhere in the midst of all this). To tell you the truth, Pete will never feel the way he did prior to that accident.
All because the driver had been fussing over the radio.
I wonder if the guy yesterday was on his cell phone or texting. What I do know is that negligent drivers have disrupted my family two too many times. Please pay attention!