my tragic right hip

Busting out bad joints all over the place

March 19th, 2014

The Best Possible Way to Have a Car Crash

Last Saturday we went to a conservation area near Campbellville called Mountsberg, where they have annual maple syrup / sugar bush days. We went with my RRHB’s sister, and her family, and it was one of the nicest days I’ve spent all winter. The conservation area was charming, we went on a horse-drawn sled ride, ate pancakes (ahh, Bisquick, ugh), walked around, and visited with the birds of prey they have rescued and rehabilitated¬† (having never heard a bald eagle up close, it was spectacular). There was a lookout area, a great barn for the kids to play in, and some farm animals. The weather held out, not too cold, not too snowy, not too polar-gusty, and after lunch in town, we headed home, exhausted, but for all good reasons. The Boy and I watched The Jungle Book, which I’d never seen, and I was happy, content, and relaxed.

That was how it was supposed to be on the previous Thursday.

Except, the weather, as is its wont, dumped a pile of snow the night before we were supposed to go to the sugar bush, and made the roads a mess. It’s not the first time this year we’ve driven out and about in rotten weather. I mean, you’re not Canadian if you let the weather stop you from going places or doing things. So, away we went in our car, the Boy tucked away in the backseat, rushed as always, and everything was fine until we turned the bend of the 427 on ramp to the 401. And then: carnage. There was a car in the ditch, another crashed and turned around facing the other way, and a third accident we couldn’t see in front of a Crate & Barrel delivery vehicle, tow trucks littered the side of the road, and then in an instant we were slipping and sliding and crashed right into the back of the aforementioned truck.

A ridiculously handy Ukrainian tow-truck driver raced over to the car, our front end slightly crushed, helped direct us off the road, and while my RRHB dealt with the logistics of the fender-bender, sat the Boy and I in his truck. We were all unharmed. The car wasn’t going very fast, the slipping was unavoidable, and the chaos on the road made it impossible to do anything but slide into the truck. Our Ukrainian towed us to a collision shop on Kipling, and within a half-hour we had a rental car. Everything else wasn’t so smooth–the fact that I had upped the deductible on our insurance in order to reduce our monthly premiums over three years ago was an issue (I thought it was to $1000.00; it was actually $5,000!!!), because the amount is MORE THAN OUR CAR. So, we’re fixing it out of pocket, and it was just a pile on of a pile on of a pile on of financial issues over the last few months. The adjuster was lovely and understanding, and the insurance company is doing more than it needs to, and it’s all going to be fine.

So it goes, that our luck would have been better not to have an accident, but when it’s all said and done, we’re luckier than most. Our car will be fixed. I’ve learned a lesson about saving $10 to pay out thousands, and our Boy got to ride in a real tow truck. We finally made it to the sugar bush.

It’s hard to put into words, how I feel about car crashes. I’m terrified in cars and can’t find my bearing regardless of how many deep breaths I take. My family has had worse luck than most–a beloved uncle died as a result of a drunk driver; my mother’s unbelievably sad situation and subsequent death after living for twenty years with her injuries; an equally beloved cousin’s accident when we were just teenagers; and a night when I was with a bunch of friends and we rolled the car–it’s no wonder I’m scared. Yet, when we were slipping, and I was listening, quite outside of myself as my husband was saying, “we’re sliding, we’re sliding,” in a strangely-calm voice, I wasn’t as scared as I thought I would be. I have always expected us to crash, and we did. And when we did, it was the best possible way to face a fear, because, like I keep saying, we’re luckier than most.

And that’s the crux I’ve been rolling around in my mind over the last few days. Just because I expect something to have the worst possible outcome, doesn’t necessarily mean that it will when the worst possible situation actually happens. This is revolutionary for me. I was calm. I took care of my son. I let my husband deal with everything, and felt very bad for him for having to do so–tried not to make the situation worse, although I did for a minute let the stress get to me, and in the end it was okay. Somehow, this is the way of my life–incredible stress meets incredible bliss. I have a disease, I live with it, but I am alive. I lose my mother in a car crash, and it’s impossible, sad, but it also defines my life. I am pregnant, the disease explodes, near-death, but I have my son. I am consistently terrified, and when the worst happens, we just deal with it. And so I look upon my worry as necessary evil. Sure, it would be better if I didn’t worry. But if I didn’t worry, I wouldn’t be able to contextualize anything.

We stood up, we let people help us, we solved the problem, the car is getting fixed, we ended up having a wonderful day, and life goes on. There is wisdom in here somewhere. I’m sure I’ll reflect upon it even further but, for now, I’m just going to sit in wonder about the fact that if you’re going to have a car crash, it might as well be on a snowy day when there are Ukrainian tow-truck drivers handy, and dozens of other people suffering similar fates.

2 Responses to “The Best Possible Way to Have a Car Crash”

  • Carrie says:

    Beautiful post and reflections, D. I’m glad you’re all fine. “But if I didn’t worry, I wouldn’t be able to contextualize anything.” Wise words.


  • Marg says:

    So glad that you are all okay. Could have been so much worse!


  • Leave a Reply

about me

Girl with titanium hip will rock. Girl with titanium hip will write. Girl with titanium hip will read. Girl with titanium hip will battle crazy-ass disease called Wegener's Granulomatosis. Now stuff that in your spelling bee!

my virtual self

Email:
deanna [dot] mcfadden [at] gmail [dot] com
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

classic starts by me

Friends & Foibles

and the simple things

archives

recent comments