Right-side up

This post is actually 2 days later than it should be, because my memory was wrong. I was thinking that it was exactly 1 year ago today, but it was actually 1 year ago on Monday that Rick & I were in a car accident.

This was taken on April 16, 2011:
Yes, that was our car, and yes it was as abso-fucking-lutely terrifying as you imagine. There was light snow, getting heavier as we headed north, and it was fairly windy. Our best guess is that a gust of wind hit us right as we were on a super slick patch, and once we started skidding the momentum kept us going. We slid through the ditch, flipped up into the air upside down, and scraped along the trees until we hit one which stopped us and dropped us onto the ground.

I think it all happened in about a millisecond. I never even saw the trees from my side of the car. I just saw the road we had left, and the sign we didn’t hit. I distinctly remember thinking “Oh good, we missed the sign. The metal pole would have really messed up the car.” and that was my last thought before we abruptly stopped. Then my next thought was “OMG, we stopped. OMG, I’m upside down. OMG, we must have hit something. OMG, I’m upside down.” I think I was asking Rick if he was ok at pretty much the same time he was asking me.

Yes, we both had our seatbelts on, and I’m about 120% sure that we would both be dead if we hadn’t. We both walked away from that car with just our upper chests bruised, and Rick had some minor cuts on his head from the broken glass of the sunroof. He didn’t actually hit his head. He’s just so tall that when we were hanging upside-down his head was resting in the glass.

I still can’t look at the pictures & not wonder how the hell we weren’t seriously hurt. You can bet your sweet ass that I will NEVER ride in a car without a seatbelt again! I always wore one when I was in the front seat, and I knew that wearing a seatbelt meant you wouldn’t be hurt as bad as without. But jesus, our seatbelts weren’t the difference between hurt a little and hurt a lot. They were the difference between just a little sore, and freaking DEAD.

A year later it’s still unreal to look at the picture and think that I was in the car when it happened. My left shoulder was hurt in the accident when the impact of landing made my arm whip forward. It still has an ache that comes & goes, but these days it’s more goes than comes.