Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Gotta keep going

The kiddie and I have both been drifting through life in an emotional fog. As of today, we only know of one person that has recovered enough to go home. I suspect a second friend might also be home already, the guy that sustained the least amount of injuries and the only one still conscious after the impact, but we've heard nothing about him since he went to the hospital.

Unfortunately, it was her boyfriend that was hurt the worst of the four, and he is still weeks from coming home. We're hoping he'll be transferred from his current hospital to a rehab one in the next week. At least they'll all be coming home at some point. We learned on Saturday just how incredibly close to attending four funerals we really were.

I've kept the kiddie going, refusing to even let her stay home from school the day after it happened. That was a tough call because even though I knew she didn't want to go and be around people, wouldn't be able to concentrate on what was being taught, I figured it would at least provide more of a distraction than sitting around here at home doing nothing except worrying.

Since then, we've kept on with the things we had scheduled. Activities that get us away from home and keep us away from driving on the road where all this took place. I drove down it yesterday though, deliberately. Needed to see if there was any sign of what took place. Shattered pieces of glass still on the road or beside it. Fragments of bumper or other car parts laying in the gutter or on the median. The stain of fluids leaked from the cars. It won't be long before we have to take that road again, we can't avoid it forever, and I wanted to prepare myself to deal with her reaction if there was any indication that "this was the spot".

We were given the opportunity to visit him just once, but only for a short time. We had to skirt the rules in order to do so, with the full support of his mother, because we aren't immediate or extended family. The kiddie was silent the whole time. For the first time in her life, she didn't know what to say. I'd hoped the visit would help her, but it didn't seem to.

On the way home she started to cry and I started to go off into dissociating mode. When she finally found her voice again, it took me a few seconds before I could hear what it was she was saying. She'd begun going into all these "what if" scenarios. Once I realized what she was doing, I cut her off. Told her that she can't allow herself to go there. The what if's she had swirling through her head didn't happen. He was alive, he was going to heal and he would return to his life. Maybe not the exact life he'd been living before the accident, and it'll be hard for him to give up the few things he has to, but when put in perspective to everything he could have lost, I'm sure he'll move forward fairly quickly.

The day after his accident there was another one, this time on the route we take to school each morning, one that involved a fatality. The next day I came across yet anther accident on the way to my therapist's office. And the day after that, there was still yet another at an intersection near our house that is also on our route to school. It has become the norm, at least around here, to speed and run red lights & stop signs, to drive while distracted by other things such as the damn cellphone or eating.

There's no place you need to rush to that requires you to drive 10, 15 or even 20 mph over the speed limit, especially not in residential areas, every where you go. Traffic lights are there for a reason and, with the exception of emergency vehicles, no one is more important or their time more valuable that they should be ignoring those lights. Even my 5 year old niece knows that green means go, red means stop and yellow means slow your ass down. 99% of most phone calls and text messages are not urgent enough that they can't wait until you reach your destination or until you can at least pull over to answer them. Eating, reading, putting on makeup, etc, etc can all wait as well.

It's one thing if you want to risk your own life by driving like a fuckhead. But everyone seems to forget that they aren't the only one on the road and by risking their own life, they are risking everyone else's around them. I think M.A.D.D. needs to change the scope of their work. Instead of just being against drunk driving, they should become an organization that encompasses and advocates against ALL dangerous driving. It's really getting out of hand.


Blogger Polar Bear said...

I'd agree with you there, Sid. Cell phone calls, texting, etc can all wait till you pull over or till you get toy our destination.

I'm so sorry to hear about the accident and I do hope that the boys get better soon. Sounds like it'll be a long journey to recovery for a couple of them though. They'll need all the support you and your daughter can give them too.

3:23 PM, October 02, 2007  
Blogger Anna said...

I'm so glad they are going to heal, Sid!

And you are a great mom for taking such good care of your daughter.

10:53 AM, October 03, 2007  
Blogger MB said...

Keep strong Sid, you're doing an excellent job.

The world has speeded up, people have the silly idea that they need to make calls/texts while driving when in theory, they don't. And if they did, they can pull over.

Something minor such as a text message is not worth risking people's lives over.

I'm glad that all the people involved are recovering.

2:05 PM, October 03, 2007  

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