Friday, December 17, 2010

December 17th, 1990

I've never put this story into writing, but it's something I think about a lot. Today marks the 20th anniversary of a Christmas miracle.

Exactly twenty years ago to this day, my mom was driving me to my weekly dance class. Lost in lala land like a typical child, and likely thinking about the dream pony at the top of my Christmas list, I was suddenly jolted back to reality by my mother's screams. I looked up to see the most terrifying sight in my life: an 18 wheeler coming straight toward our vehicle.

In situations like that, it's really true what they say: my ten short years flashed before my eyes. It's odd how time works in moments like that: I literally had time to process and come to terms with what was happening in front of my eyes. Time stood still and I understood that my mother and I were about to die. Obviously, since I'm writing this story (and since I'm not a ghost!), you know that didn't happen. So let me back up a little bit.

We had just been getting on the interstate when the 18 wheeler, traveling in the opposite direction, came up over the hill too quickly, and in an effort to avoid hitting the car in front of it, swerved into the median. The truck driver lost control and then noticed us. I watched as the truck driver, in a futile but noble attempt to avoid colliding with us, tried to flip the truck over the hill. The cab rocked back and forth and then tipped over, causing the entire truck to crash to its side. It did not flip over the hill. Instead it began sliding toward us like that.

Because we weren't fully up to speed and because we were still on the entrance ramp, my mom put our vehicle in reverse, which is why we are both still alive. We still collided pretty hard, but the impact wasn't enough to kill us, as it surely would have, had she not thought so quickly on her toes!

My mother and I walked away that day (actually, I think we both ran in fear of our vehicle blowing up) from a car accident that should have claimed both of our lives. Not many people can say they walked away from an accident involving an 18 wheeler! To our family, it was nothing short of a Christmas miracle.