I'm becoming less a fan of winter weather with each and every year. It really didn't trouble me much when I could just make a decision and my kiddos were home safe and sound. However, with jobs to get to and lives of their own to live I have to live with my hands open where they are concerned much of the time.
Thursday as Jonathan left for his overnight shift I said a quick prayer asking the Lord to keep him safe as it was snowing and this was coming after a freezing rain.
It was a few minutes later when the phone rang. Jonathan's stressed voice told me that he knew I didn't want this kind of a call but that he had been involved in an accident. I asked him if he was ok and where he was. He assured me that he was ok (that's what he thought) and that he was just moments from the end of our road. Someone had pulled out in front of him and he had not been able to miss them.
I called to Warren and it felt like a short eternity as we got prepared to go to the scene. You know, little details like shoes and, well, shoes. They take forever when you want to be laying eyes on your son. It was a cold, messy and very dark night. We splashed and slid down our road and out onto the main road. We found Jonathan near his car, which he had been able to get to the side of the road. The other man was across the street at the church where he had just been leaving a meeting when the accident occurred. After a while he joined us and we huddled shivering as we waited for the State Police to show up.
The other man is older. He took responsibility for the incident completely and right away. He has been on my mind, so much, this week as it was obvious that he really could not afford this accident. His car is totaled. Jonathan's seems fixable, although we are waiting confirmation of that from the insurance adjuster and the garage who will hopefully fix it. We had recently put a new engine in this vehicle. And then there is the fact that with Jonathan at 6'7" it is not easy to find something that fits so well as this Vitara does. So....for those reasons we are quite hoping for a good report.
I have heard Warren brag on Jonathan's reaction in the midst of the slide. Apparently it would have been much worse (probably for the other man) if Jonathan hadn't done all he could do to try to miss him. Jonathan said he was trying to get to a snow bank....a futile hope...but in doing so he avoided hitting this man broadside. There was just no grip and so avoidance was impossible.
The police officer was a blessing to us. He was calm, cool and efficient. He immediately saw the situation and got the paperwork done and was kind to all involved.
We called into Jonathan's work to let them know that he would, at least, be late. Don, who answered the phone, was quite insistent that Jonathan not come in that night. He was concerned that injuries might show up as the night went along. Boy was he right. It didn't take long for the adrenaline to ease off and exhaustion and pain to set in. Bruising on his hand from a serious strike to the steering wheel, back pain, leg pain. The following day chest pain and dizziness. Yes, even in such a seemingly minor accident the body reacted. We will have to get his back checked out because he already had a herniated disc and the insurance company wants to know if this made it worse....since his pain level increased initially. It was hurting badly yesterday...I'll have to check in on him today to decide what our next step will be.
We are so thankful that neither man was injured more than they were. We are in the midst of the details that come after such an event. And now my kids might have a better understanding of why I always remind them to be safe when they leave the house. Sometimes things happen that are outside of our control. I think that often they have taken offense...like I think they are going to be irresponsible or something. Well, that could happen but it is also very likely that someone else will make a poor judgement that will impact them. This is Jonathan's new reality and he is not enjoying that knowledge. It is scary and something that he has to work through. I do believe that it will make him and even better driver in the future though. These things tend to have that effect.
Could have been so much worse.