Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Semi's and Small Victories

We were heading off to church. Aleisha would follow my sister and I there and then we'd go shopping and maybe a movie. She had called her parents to confirm that the plans were alright. We got into our cars and headed out, waving and laughing at each other. My sister, Rachel the driver, headed out, turning left onto the little country highway. The highway wasn't busy, but if a car was coming it was coming fast since the speed limit was 75 mph. We were merrily on our way, but poor Aleisha got stuck there with some traffic and couldn't turn. Rachel and I looked back to see if we needed to pull over or if she could catch up. We saw it all through the rear view mirror; the semi, the scream of skidding tires, and a huge crash. Aleisha's car went skidding sideways and the semi finally stopped about a 1/4 of a mile down the road. Rachel immediately pulled over and we both went running out of the car. Rachel yelled at me to grab her phone so I ran back to the car. I thought Aleisha was fine. I thought I had seen her get out of her car. I couldn't find the dumb phone and ran to where there car was. By this point Rachel was in hysterics. I screamed at her to pray, to cry out to Jesus...There in the car was Aleisha. I approached her and started to scream her name, "Aleisha, Aleisha, come on Aleisha, come one Aleisha, open your *&())) eyes Aleisha!" There was by now a large number of people there. All of them saints. Someone came up with a blanket, I tried to wrap her in it without moving her. I stood there sceaming her name with my hand on her shoulder, watching her fade...She was turning blue and her head was bobbing. Someone had called emergency and they soon came up and took over. They had to pry open the car door and pull her out. Someone was saying Hail Marys. That prayer will always be very meaningful to me. So many people were there, wanting to help I could feel it. Her parent's showed up...We waited. It seemed like days that we were there. She died and I watched as a mother was told her only daughter was gone. "Not my girl! Not my Aleisha! No NO NO!"
That was well over a year ago. It made me realize that life is so short. We never know when our end is. I have developed a fear of cars. I have hardly driven since then, and a little rush of panic goes through me every morning as Chad heads off to work in our car. I have learned to trust in prayer as our only defense. Yet life must go on and I can't live with such fear. Cars have become a necesity of modern living. So yesterday I had a small victory. I have been needing to learn to drive a manual car, and yesterday I had a lesson. I felt as if I had summited a mighty mountain. I still have a long way to go until I am competent, but it was my small victory over fear.

5 comments:

Lian said...

I love ya

Anonymous said...

erica, we all think that perhaps our end may be in a car. but the verse that i hang on to is the one that says, we dont trust in horses, we dont trust in chariots, but we trust in the name of the lord our god. we will go in his time. and perhaps a valid prayer for you is to ask him to take you some other way. 50 years from now.mcm

elnellis said...

thanks for sharing that part of your story erika. and for sharing the very big victory! i can not imagine the anguish you have probably wrestled with (guilt?).
sprout has a very brave mummy!

peace - ruthie

erk said...

Thanks Ruthie. It was the worst thing I have ever experienced. Why do you use "mummy"? Do you have british background? It's cute.

pedro said...

Thanks for sharing this story. My wife was in a severe car wreck over ten years ago, while she was sitll in high school, and to this day she can still be tense in cars. Sometimes it's hard for me to understand why she would prefer a monster gas-guzzler to an economical tincan, but I'm getting there. Thanks for helping me to understand her experience.