Saturday, December 13, 2008

It's just Stuff!

I had a pretty life-shaking experience on Thursday night. My Mom and Dad had their truck packed and ready to leave for the rest of this Michigan winter to their winter place in Mission, Texas. I always dread to see them leave as I know how much I will miss them over the holidays and during the winter when things slow down and there would be more time to play cards, dominoes, and other games we like to play; time that is not so easy to find in the business of summer. We agreed to meet them along with my oldest sister, who also lives in the area, at the local pizza parlor and have a few pizzas as a going-away dinner, kind of a tradition for us, and they will leave in the early morning. My sister joined us for a while and left a little early as her son (a star player!) was playing in the basketball game at the high school, and we finished up the dinner and the pumpkin pie my mom brought along for desert.

Earlier on Thursday, I had taken my 4 year-old daughter to my good friend, who is very good (and very patient!) with her camera, to get in on the Christmas background she had set up for her own two daughters Christmas photo shoot. I planned to print out a picture of Natalie so they would have a new photo in-hand when they arrived to show-off to all their friends in Texas. Tammy was to e-mail me the pictures so I could print them on our printer...but they hadn't arrived in my e-mail when we had to leave, so my hope was to have my folks drop by after dinner to print it out then, if my dad was willing to do that...otherwise it would have to be mailed.

So as we were leaving, the plan was to head up the hill to our house, and we got in our cars and we backed out of our parking spots and I followed. I had driven down the hill with my mom and my husband had ridden with my dad, so I assumed it would be the same going back up, but Mark jumped in the passenger seat and my mom got into the truck and we were right behind my folks. I watched them start across the road and pulled forward a bit and in the swirl of snow, I saw a car in the ditch down the road, a wheel traveling by itself down the road and a man jumping out of a car down the road a ways from where I was. I looked ahead and saw another vehicle in the ditch backwards, and debris flung everywhere. I surveyed and tried to make sense of what I was seeing. My husband jumped out of the car and ran and was across the highway when it finally struck me that I was looking at my Dad's truck. OH JESUS! To say I freaked out would be mild. I couldn't run...my daugher was in the back seat. My husband was running around the truck and waved me to cross and put on my flashers by the truck to warn other drivers. Natalie was very quiet...and promised she would stay in her seat and not move...and she kept that promise. (A policeman gave her a stuffed moose for being good)

My dad got out of the truck first, with blood on his hands and mouth where the seatbelt must have restrained him. and a large lump forming on his head. He went to see about the other car, parents of people my sisters and I went to school with...My mom was tangled up between her coat and seatbelt and the mangled door. That the car had not impacted at her door was truly the Hand of God because the truck box was anihilated. Once freed, she started going around and picking up stuff. I did too. Police cars filled up the roadways, ambulances came. What else could we do? It was icy cold outside. She had a bump forming on her forehead, now the size of a small orange. It was freezing cold, and we were digging and kicking our feet through snow with socks on hands and shoes not made for snow. BRRR!!! Every plastic tote that they had packed shattered. Several pieces of Tupperware shattered like glass too. (I picked those up too, as they are lifetime garaunteed, and as a TW dealer, I can do that for them) I picked up my dad's socks, my mom's bras, shorts, spices, vitamins, chocolate chips, coffee grinders, shoes, sewing table, cookbooks, quilt projects and started pitching it in the back of my van. Others pitched in and found all the golf clubs out of the caddy and the caddy too. Shoe bags, a broken lazy suzan, both sets of binoculars were found (and although the tops and bottoms were blown off the cases, the binoculars were both in perfect tact!). It was amazing how much stuff was found. Really, at that time, there was nothing else we could do.

My parents agreed to go to the hospital as did the other couple (that woman needed a stretcher). After 6 hours, my parents were released from the ER and I brought them home and stayed with them until the next afternoon. My sister from 2 hours away came to check things out too. My sister that was out of town at her son's college graduation will be home today. I'll be calling my parents often as I am now thoroughly sick and don't want to pass that on to them. They are pretty banged and bruised up and will be sore for a while. My mom is predicted to have the bruise on the whole right side of her face, and it seems like the lump on her forehead slid down to her eye. My dad's wrist is terribly sore, but no broken bones for either of them. This whole thing could have been so much worse. God is so good!

My parents will heal. (The other couple will too.) I will recover from the severe cold I now have. But when I think how quickly they could have slipped out into eternity, I realize that I haven't told my parents (sister, brother, husband, wife, daugter, son, friend--insert your own word) nearly enough how much I love them...how thankful I am that God saw fit to make me their daughter (son, grandson, grand-daughter, husband wife, brother, sister, friend, parent--insert your own word)...and how much time and energy I have wasted in my own life on things that don't really matter.

...Like I said before, we didn't know what else to do, so we kept picking up stuff but if not one thing was found from the accident it wouldn't have mattered. If we had found everything in perfect condition and nothing missing, that wouldn't have mattered either, because the four most important things that mattered weren't things, they were people...The rest? It's all just stuff.

C-ya Later!
Cheryl

9 comments:

*Sally* said...

I am so glad they are safe and as well as can be expected. Hope you feel better soon too. What a horrible thing to have to go thu, but as you say, could have been so much worse. Hugs to your daughter too! What a good girl. Thinking of you all for very speedy recoveries xxxxxxx

Tina said...

I am so glad your parents only have minor injurys! I hope you and they feel better soon!

Jacqueline said...

I am so glad your parents and others will recover! I hope you feel better soon! Take care!

Elizabeth said...

I"m so glad they are going to be okay! Hugs to you and your family.

Jackie said...

I'm so glad your parents will be OK! You take it easy and get well!!!

Joanne Travis said...

Cheryl,
I'm in tears reading your story and am so happy that your parents and the other drivers made it through this okay with just some minor injuries. It is so frightening to even think how our lives can be altered in the blink of an eye and reminds us to take the time all the time to let our loved ones know how much they mean to us. Hugs and prayers to you and your family. Hope you are feeling completely better soon.
Joanne

Brenda (sassybee) said...

I am praying for your parents and your family. Please keep us updated on their progress. (((HUGS)))

bigSIS said...

I'm thanking God for sparing your parents and the other couple. How great are HIS mercies!!!

Where did this happen at?

Hope you feel better soon. We missed you at church Sunday and also missed having Natalie in Sunday School. =)

Ronnie said...

Thank the Heavens everyone was ok and with minimal injuries. I can't imagine how terrified and shaken you must have been. I hope they are recovering well and that you get over your cold asap. I don't know you but still want to give you a big ol' hug! *HUG*