Thursday, March 03, 2005

It's A Great Day to Be Alive

Before I was a Mommy, or married (either time), or had a real job or even graduated from college I was famous. I had my 15 minutes of fame. Yup, I was on the front page of the Charleston Times-Courier Newspaper in Charleston, Illinois. Well, truth be told, I wasn’t actually on the front page, my car was on the front page. And it wasn’t on the front page because it was a sweet ride or some super rare collectible. Actually what was on the front page was what remained of my car on the night of March 3, 1995.

I’ll keep it short, which makes the story seem much sexier than it was. Remember that scene in that James Bond flick (I think it was “License to Kill”) where the sporty little foreign car speeds toward the semi and just as you think he’s about to bite it, the car miraculously makes it between the two axles of the semi unscathed? Now picture that scene with a Dodge Spirit and a semi-trailer that wasn’t outfitted for a movie’s special effects and that’s pretty much what happened.

Thankfully no one was injured but me. To this day I don’t think that I would have been able to forgive myself if something happened to that truck driver. Luckily he was a seasoned and skilled driver who was able to safely get his vehicle off the road after the impact. I had less of a role in getting my car to safety, it was kind of flung out of the path of traffic during impact.

I spent awhile in the hospital that night getting x-rayed, examined and poked and prodded to determine the extent of my injuries. I left with staples in my head (which FYI, are not meant to be used on head injuries), a few gashes on my leg from the engine compartment pushing back the plastic gear-shifter-case-thingie and a very bruised abdomen (thank God for seatbelts!).

I was very touched that some of the people in cars behind me had come to the hospital as well to check on my progress. Of course the police came too, but not for the same reason. Despite the police officer’s sincere interest in how I escaped with such minor injuries he still ticketed me, which in all honesty I suppose I deserved. I’m not sure though that “Improper Lane Usage” was the most fitting description, but that’s what he went with. In the many years that have passed since that night I’ve seen MANY drivers who qualified for that particular moving violation (i.e. swerved into my lane because they were answering a cell phone, disciplining their children or just plain stupid), but have not been ticketed. But, I digress.

Anyway, today is my annual “Thank God I’m Alive Day” and I would like to share a things that I am thankful for. First, that my parents didn’t kill me after the accident which I was kind of sure was going to happen. As I mentioned I am thankful that no one else was hurt by my stupidity. I’m thankful for air-bags and seatbelts. I’m thankful for my loving husband and healthy daughter. I’m thankful that I have had the opportunity since then to teach children and learn from them as well. I’m thankful for this extra time I’ve been granted to spend with my family and friends. I’m thankful for Chocolate Cherry Blast ice cream and the smell of fall in the air when the leaves are changing.

I hope each of you has at least one that thing that you are thankful for and don’t take for granted. If you would like to share those in the way of comments I would love to read them. And by the way, Happy Thank God I’m Alive Day!

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