Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Reminder

Well, I'm back to work- my vacation in Quebec City was wonderful. I left on Thursday morning and came home last night. For those who have never been there, it is definitely worth visiting. There is a ton to see, the city is absolutely beautiful, the food is delicious, the people are friendly, it doesn't matter if you can't speak French, the prices are fairly reasonable- there are only good things to say. There was an awful thing that happened on the way home and it was such a reminder of how quickly things change. We were driving on Rt. 93 in the middle of New Hampshire- traffic was light, good weather, straight road ahead of us- my friend Pam was driving and I was in the passenger seat, half dozing. Suddenly, I heard Pam call out and I opened my eyes to see a car flipping in the median in front of us. It happened in the blink of an eye, but it was an unreal sight. We immediately pulled over and I called 911, other people stopped as well and went over to help the occupants. Since I was the only person on the phone with 911, the dispatcher asked me to go over to the car so I could tell them what was going on with the occupants. Thankfully, no one died, but it was a sickening sight. The driver, a man in his twenties, was out of the car- blood was all over his face, his ear, his t-shirt- he was standing near the car with a dazed look. The car, a white BMW, was mangled- its roof caved in, windshield smashed, windows broken. Through the open driver's side, I could see a pair of bare legs with blood on them sticking out. At first I thought it was a child, because the legs were so small, but it was a woman. I didn't see her face because she was slumped down in the bottom of the seat. I could hear people saying that she was breathing, but unconscious. I gave my phone to a man who was helping so he could explain things to 911, he then gave it to a nurse who had stopped to help. A doctor and another nurse also stopped and helped. The State Police came within about 5 minutes, then the fire fighters. The passenger did wake up and the doctor said she was moving her limbs, so hopefully she will be fine. It was such an awful scene, it is still hard to get the image from my head of the car flipping, the wreck and that poor woman's legs sticking out. Pam told me that the BMW had passed us a short time before, then pulled in front of us- the car started to veer into the breakdown lane, then jerked sharply to the left where it went across the passing lane, up at an angle into the median, hit a tree, bounced off it and rolled over, coming to rest right side up- I saw when it was airborne and flipping. Luckily, it didn't hit any other cars.

I know this has nothing to do with Project Smile, but it was a frightening experience and was a reminder of how quickly things happen. I don't know what caused the driver to lose control- maybe it was just a momentary distraction and he tried to over-correct, it was such an awful thing to see, I can't imagine how bad it was to have been inside that car.

So here I am today- back to work, stressed out, tired, with a thousand things to do for work, fed up with people that commit to donating but then back out, incredibly anxious about our events and feeling way behind on things. Not wanting to work until 3am, but knowing that I probably will just to stay on track. But I also want to remember how important it is to enjoy one's days and be grateful that one is alive and happy and healthy- because in one horrendous second it could all disappear. One of the strange things was that a few minutes before the accident, I had my eyes closed but was awake and thought how awful it would be if one was asleep in the passenger seat and woke up to find oneself in the middle of a car accident happening- little did I know what would be happening in less than 10 minutes.

Anyways friends, that's it for tonight- it is 1am and I'm going back to work- or maybe I will go to bed and be bright and fresh tomorrow and ready to follow up on a hundred auction items. Not to sound preachy, but please always wear your seatbelt. I'm pretty sure that the two people in that car were wearing their buckles, otherwise they would have been thrown from the car in that violent impact.
Until tomorrow friends..

No comments: