“Letting go” is the prompt for today’s Every Day in May blog challenge over at the blog Story of My Life. I haven’t done this challenge every day this month but I decided to do a few of the prompts here and there!
Two years ago my husband and I were in a pretty bad car accident. We were on a trip to Canada and we were driving from Quebec City to Montreal. It started snowing pretty hard and quickly, within moments the whole highway was covered. My husband was driving and immediately slowed down to 40 mph. Cars were flying past us in the left lane but we were nervous to go faster so we kept at the 40mph pace. As we approached a semi-truck, which was going slower than us, my husband decided to pass it in the left lane. As he started passing the truck our car hit a patch of ice on road and began to lose control. We first spun into the semi-truck and then around and around, finally hitting the metal barrier bar between the two sides of the highway!
Although I had my shoes off at the time, and it was still snowing, I still jumped out of the car immediately! I saw the smoke from the air bags and assumed it meant the car was on fire so I wanted to get out! We stood there in shock on the side of the highway, in another country, not even knowing what to begin to do. Thankfully we were both okay and only had a couple of bruises from the air bags. A nice couple pulled over to help us and kept trying to ask me about it in French. All I could do was to point at our license tag, I was in such shock still I couldn’t even muster up one word, let alone in French. They finally figured out the tag was American and switched to English (thankfully!) They stuck around to help us call the cops and talked to him when he got there, since he spoke barely 10 words of English. As we waiting, it stopped snowing.
We were okay, but our car, as it turned out, was not. The tow truck took it away and the insurance company declared it “totaled.” We’d had it for less than 2 months.
It took me a long time to get over that accident. It was probably one of the scariest things that’s ever happened to me. I was traumatized from it for quite awhile and even two winters later I was still slightly nervous to drive in the snow!
After the accident I was full of “what ifs.” What if I had said no don’t pass that truck? What if we had stayed longer when we stopped for gas 10 minutes before? What if I had been driving instead of my husband? What if we had left Quebec City 15 minutes earlier, or later? or or or? I was upset about the whole situation, mad at myself, feeling like I could have done something and sad about losing my new car. Sometimes I would be driving and pass a semi truck and just start crying. I could not let go!
Looking back I realize there was really nothing we could have done to change it, it was ice in the road, an act of nature. It happens so often in Canada that they don’t even give people tickets if they get in an accident during the snow. Looking back I realize I let the emotional pain and shock of it affect me for far longer than it should have. But, I have been able to let go. Car accidents happen every day, and some people don’t come out of them as lucky as we did. Traumatic events happen often, but we have to learn to deal with them and let go!
This post came out a little more sad than I intended but that’s okay! It helped me let go even more by writing it out and sharing! And now some pictures:
Leaving Quebec City
Taking the train home to America! On Thanksgiving- it was SO expensive to fly since it was Thanksgiving so we just took the train home instead! From Montreal to New York City to Trenton, NJ and finally into Philly around midnight!