Haunted by Mortality

Last night, my mom and my sister Berry (her blog name) were in a bad car accident. They were driving home from my brother Spock’s (his blog name) basketball game an hour from their home in northern Minnesota with another mom and daughter, when they hit a patch of black ice. My mom is no stranger to treacherous driving conditions, so as she tried to correct, the van’s wheel caught on something in the road, and the car lost control completely, ramming into a stone hillside at 50 mph with the engine still running.

An ER nurse, my mom is also no stranger to fatal car accidents and their aftermaths. On the phone today, she told me tearfully, “We should have died. The engine should have exploded. I didn’t think we would survive the impact.” But they all did.

And yet, there is still a lot of damage. The van is completely totalled and mashed in the front. K, the other mom, broke six ribs, both bones in her wrist, and a bone below her knee. She is in a tremendous amount of pain and still in the hospital. She will have to have surgery for both her knee and wrist. My mom has bad bruising all around her legs, and Berry has whiplash and had to have a neck CT to make sure there was no injury.

And they will remember that night forever. Berry told me that she can remember every last detail of the accident, and it’s unsettling. How the car suddenly swerved. How A, the other girl, screamed. The sickening sound of the crash. How she looked at the car and burst into tears when she realized they all could have died.

We’re all haunted by our mortality at some point, and last night was yet another reminder that this life is short and death is volatile. There is no way to predict when, how, or why. I feel helpless because I am over 500 miles away and I cannot be there with them. I am haunted by visions of their broken bodies, and I cannot focus on anything else. I pray frequently for God to come close to them, and to me, as I feel so shaken.

I ask for prayers for my family and for K. Hold your loved ones close, and drink in every minute. I don’t think I’ll need to be reminded of that again.

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2 Comments

Filed under Family

2 responses to “Haunted by Mortality

  1. MJB

    I am so so sorry to hear about this, but grateful that everyone will make a full recovery. Best wishes to your Mom and sister, and the other mother and daughter for the speediest of recoveries and hugs to you as you deal with the news from far away (it must be horrible not to be able to hug them and see in person that they’re all right!). As you reflect so wisely at the end of your post, these “close calls” are valuable for how they re-align our priorities about the time and people in our lives.

  2. What a horrific story. This reminds me of the other accident you blogged about. I’m so glad they will come out on the other side of this and everyone is ok and living. Accidents are a scary matter and I’m sorry you can’t be with your loved ones during this time but they know you love them from afar and are doing all you can to be there for them. If there’s anything I can do for you from afar let me know! I love you guys and want to do all I can…

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