This story still brings a huge lump to my throat and tears to my eyes. Perhaps more so when I read it with hindsight. The visions and memories are still as clear as day, I still wonder what angel was shinning down on us 13 years ago today.
I'm a big believer that everything happens for a reason, nothing and no one is sent to us by accident. We can handle every challenge thrown our way...in fact its especially designed for us in that very moment. There is always a message, a lesson or a moment to cherish. For me this story brings reality to the phrase "I almost died" which can often be loosely thrown around. So here we go...
My car was hot from sitting in the 30 degree heat. I couldn't hold the steering wheel and I knew the seat belts buckles would scald us if we touched them. Not the ideal place to be when your hungover. Closing the doors we cranked the air conditioner. We would be home in half an hour. I had visions of the beach, the clear blue ocean and the baking hot sand. 13 years later and that image is still crystal clear in my mind.
Driving over the hill on the Anglesea road, just after the train line, I noticed a car travelling along Mt Duneed road (the crossroad up ahead), I thought nothing of it. I was trying to chat to my sister Claire but she was dozing off, still sleepy from last night.
As the tree line to my left ended, in sheer horror, there in front of us was that car Id seen just a moment ago. It had to be going as fast as I was. Why was this car in front of me? Isn’t there a stop sign there? What happened in the next instant felt like a lifetime. Time when into slow motion. Id never had so many thoughts run through my brain in such a short space of time. Was this the end?
I took my foot off the accelerator, but that was all I had time for. I couldn’t comprehend what I was seeing. The car was dark green, or dark blue and I could see kids in the back seat. This was now out of my control. At 100km/hr we slammed into the side of the car. Tunnel vision of white light honed in on the kids in the back seat as moments and people from my life flashed before my eyes in a strange dulled out vision. Then what I could see, all blurred into one giant mess.
The longest, loudest, piercing noise Id ever made, left my mouth. Claire’s scream joined in. Skidding wheels screeched along the bitumen, glass was shattering at all angles, this noise was out of control and went on and on and on.
On impact we had been thrown into a chaos. I had no control of my car. I turned the steering wheel one way; nothing, and then the other, nothing. Flying out of control, we must have been airborne in a spin like a show ride from hell, times 1000.
Were were going to die? Was Claire okay? What is happening? Why me? Will we be alright? Why didn’t they stop? What seemed like eternity ended abruptly with a giant thud. My car landed in the ditch on the corner of the intersection facing back to where we had came from.
In an instant the noises stopped. All I could hear was the heat, the steam and the intensity of the accident lifting from the road. What in the world had just happened? Had we just been in an accident? What was going on?
From this moment on there was an entirely new meaning for me to the words 'car accident.' The severity of these tragedies can not be explained in words, pictures, emotions or even graphic news stories. Sadly they can only be experienced in person or by close friends and family, which I do not wish upon anyone.
For those of you who have experienced something similar, maybe worse, perhaps not as worse. You all know the reality of the feelings and array of emotions that flood throughout your body, mind and spirit, not just in the moment, but in the following days, months and years.
There are countless questions that will go unanswered, you are left wondering and pondering so much and what if this had been different in some small way. For some life goes on like normal, for others its a catalyst for change. We all respond differently and that's ok.
I know this accident changed me in many ways, some I cant quite put my finger on. What I do know is that this was meant to happen to me. This was something I had to face, for what ever reason - perhaps just to count my blessings, to bring awareness to my life at that point in time. This wasn't the easiest of times, let me tell you... but it forced me to grow, rest and look differently at my life.
I now try to see all my challenges in this way no matter how big or small they may appear.
Please take care on the roads my friends, like my situation - you are not always in control.