I didn't sleep well last night. It took melatonin to knock me out and even then it was a bit fitful. I'm tired... exhausted.
Yesterday evening I was to meet a friend for dinner at Panera. I decided to go an hour early and do some work. On my way up the hill I witnessed an accident, immediately went into help mode and ended up getting to Panera fifteen minutes early for my friend date instead of an hour and fifteen minutes early.
Even though everyone in the accident is going to be just fine, I had no idea how much it was going to affect me. And now it's just all stuck in my head and sometimes I need to purge a situation so I'm going to just dump it all here in hopes that it helps a bit.
It was one of those things where as I glanced in my mirrors I knew it was a bad situation. I knew there would be an accident. About five feet behind me one car made a turn and was t-boned by another. I didn't SEE the actual accident but I saw what happened right before it and knew WHY there was an accident.
As soon as I heard the crunching of cars I shifted into park and jumped out of my car. The image I saw next (thankfully not gruesome!) seems to be burned in my mind. Driver number one sitting behind her blown airbag, driver number 2 screaming awful things at driver number one and young daughter of driver number two sitting in the front seat screaming, terrified.
I ran to driver number one asking if she was ok. She said yes so I ran to the girl. Mom was still yelling angry stuff at driver number one and all I could think was "your daughter is terrified and injured... shouldn't she be your priority right now?" Of course, I know we never know how we will react in a certain situation until it happens.
Mom looks at me and says "call 911". I can't. I don't have a cell phone. She hands me hers and I realize I have no idea how to use these fancy "smart phones". So I turn around and basically command some guy that was near to call 911 and then I went back to trying to calm the girl down, as well as her mom, while driver number one, who was as sweet as can be, stood beside me shaking, apologizing and asking how she could help.
Thankfully it didn't take long for help to arrive. The police, paramedics and firemen were all really great as I stepped out of the way and gladly let them take over the situation. I gave my statement and was told I could leave... but I ended up staying there to give some support to driver number one. She was alone and I knew I wouldn't want to be alone in a situation like that and just felt like I should stick around for her. So we talked, I gave her hugs, I reassured her that it was just one of those accidents where it wasn't truly anyone's fault... because I don't believe it was. I cracked stupid jokes like "too bad for you these firemen aren't like the ones in the storybooks." She got it and responded with "yeah...where are all the ones in their pants and suspenders holding their helmets on their hips?"
The ambulance left with the young girl, the tow trucks came and that was it. Time to go. I had been fine the entire time. I didn't realize how much I was being carried by adrenaline but as soon as I pulled away and continued my drive up the hill to Panera I felt it... it was almost an immediate adrenaline crash. I was exhausted, my insides were shaking, I was close to crying and I couldn't get the first imagine of all the yelling and screaming... or the sounds of it... out of my head.
If I ever needed a good night of Panerapy it was last night! And visiting with a friend was definitely helpful. But then I came home and tried to fall asleep... but couldn't. I kept seeing and hearing the screaming girl and the angry mom. I kept replaying the situation in my head and even though I know I did all I could in the moment to be helpful I wonder if I could have done better. (Isn't that weird!?) I finally fell asleep but woke up with the same things running through my head.
I'm thankful to have a busy schedule for the next few days as these memories hopefully become duller. Please pray for me that my mind processes this quickly and just puts it away. Pray for driver number one who is likely sore today and needing rides to work or a rental car or whatever happens now. Pray for the mom that she won't remain angry. And pray for the eleven year old girl that she will heal quickly... both physically and emotionally.
I'm about to drop the kids off for school and walk back up the same hill with a friend to have some adult time at the new bakeshop... hot tea only for me because I've lost five pounds in two weeks and I'm done with messing that up!