Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Credit Where Credit Is Due

You know, I've done the God thing quite a bit here recently. I know you have GOT be thinking, "Jeezus B.A., commit or get off the pot, already."

So I don't want this to turn into another yet religious epiphany post, or a theological musings post.

And yet, what happened to our family on Saturday seems kind of ironic, considering that all this stuff has been on my mind lately.

You all know by now how I feel about the whole convoluted ball of religious wax.

Sometimes I feel very much as though I must be an idiot not to believe. Sometimes, I think I must be an idiot to even consider it.

And sometimes...sometimes life just reaches out to slap you right in the face, grab you by the lapels, and scream at you...WHAT MORE PROOF DO YOU NEED YOU FOOL????

See...a thing happened to us Saturday. And I feel like there is somebody who needs thanking. But whom? God? Jesus? The whims of Fate? The random luck of time and chance? I don't know. Despite my lamentations about lack of faith, I still have a very difficult time with accepting that my life is just an extension of someone else's will, wise and omnipotent though he may be. I dislike thinking of mankind as so many puppets or errant children.

So though I do feel an enormous amount of gratitude, I struggle with the idea of thanking a deity in whom I do not have inexorable faith.

But someone. Someone or something is responsible for the fact that I am not spending today making funeral arrangements for my husband and my oldest son. Someone is responsible for the fact that I am not walking around with a ragged, gaping wound where my heart used to be. Someone is responsible for the fact that my life and my sense of security is intact.

Because on Saturday, a beautiful balmy Spring day, in the space of about 30 seconds, while Diminutive One and I looked on in impotent terror, my Husband and oldest son could have died 4 different ways. But they did not.

Would you like to hear about it? Because I very much need to tell you about it.

Saturdays in the Spring are mostly spent ferrying the boys from one baseball game to another. We don't mind, really. We enjoy watching the boys play, being freed from the responsibilities with which we would otherwise be faced with at home, and relishing the balm of fresh air and sunshine after a winter of gray and dreary weather.

This past Saturday was no exception. In seperate vehicles we left the ballpark where Pre-Pubescent one had just played. Our destination was a local burger joint, where we planned to grab a quick bite to eat before heading to another ballpark for Diminutive One's 5:00 pm game.

Traffic was heavy, but that's nothing out of the ordinary around here, particularly on the weekends. Neither one of us thought much about it.

Diminutive One and I were travelling in my van directly behind Husband's aging but still dependable Jeep Cherokee, which carried him and Pre-Pubescent One. I could tell they had the radio turned up loud, and were belting away in their shared love of heavy metal music. Pre-Pubescent One, inspired by Guitar Hero, had recently raided Husband's CD collection, and spent much of the previous week uploading music such as Black Sabbath, Metallica, Meatloaf and Guns N' Roses to his iPod. I saw him do an air riff to the beat of whatever cacophanous thing they were listening to.

One moment Diminutive One and I were happily head bopping to Mika. And the next moment, I was screaming.

It almost seemed as if the tan SUV type vehicle was lying in wait for husband, so perfectly timed was the burst of speed that propelled him out into traffic, and directly on a collision course with my husband and child.

From my perspective, impact was a certainty. There was nothing Husband could do, nowhere to go. The SUV was going to t-bone the Jeep on Pre-Pubescent One's side. I felt sick and helpless. All I could do was scream.

"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!"

Diminutive One couldn't see from his vantage point in the backseat behind me. But a minor fender bender months earlier had shaken him up quite a bit and made him acutely aware of the perils of automobile travel. My scream unnerved him, and though he couldn't see what was happening, he knew it was bad. Very bad. And so he screamed too.

Later Husband said he saw the vehicle inching slowly forward and had a feeling that the driver was going to make an ill timed break for it. He veered sharply to the left, and miraculously, the SUV missed them by a hair's breadth. But his evasive maneuver had put the Jeep directly into the path of oncoming traffic. I slammed on my brakes and braced for an impact that never came. The driver of the car in the other lane had slammed on his brakes as well and avoided hitting the Jeep head on, again, by a mere fraction of an inch.

The Jeep careened off the road and down an slight embankment. It went up on two wheels and I screamed again, realizing it was going to roll.

You know how people describe things moving in slow motion in moments of crisis? It's very true. It seemed to me that the wheels of the Jeep simply floated back to the ground, but in reality, it landed with a hard jolt, thankfully, on four wheels once again, instead of on it's top like an overturned insect.

Unfortunately, the Jeep still had plenty of forward momentum, which was only a problem because directly in front of it, was a telephone pole. I thought, once again, that impact was a certainty. But Husband managed to stop the Jeep several inches from the pole.

There were brakes and tires squealing, dust billowing, horns honking. With all the traffic on the road, there could have been a truly horrendous pile-up. But nobody hit anybody else.

I honestly don't know how an accident didn't happen.

The SUV never stopped. At one point, as it was fleeing the scene, the SUV was directly adjacent to my Van and I looked in, my fingers frantically scrabbling to find the button to roll down the window and give him a piece of my fear fragmented and nearly inchoherent mind.

The vehicle was full of teenaged boys. I looked right into the eyes of the kid who was driving and saw mortal fear combined with blind panic. His passengers were all dumb-struck. Their mouths hung open and their eyes were wide with disbelief. The driver looked back over his shoulder....and kept going.

I wish I had had the presence of mind to get his license plate number. But I was too concerned with the well-being of Husband and Pre-Pubescent One. Although they had not been hit, I feared there might still be injuries. I put on my blinker so I could cross traffic and join them on the shoulder to assess the situation.

But before I could get there, Husband maneuvered the Jeep back onto the road, and started off. He raised his hand to say "We're okay" and continued on to the restaurant.

I was badly shaken and so was Diminutive One. I can't describe to you the sheer horror of watching what you think to be the certain death of two people you love more than anything in the world; one to whom you pledged your life, the other to whom you gave life.

In my mind's eye I could very clearly see shattered glass, bent and twisted metal, fountains of blood, bodies broken and bleeding. I could hear sirens wailing, paramedics barking orders, my son calling my name. It was so real that I had to literally shake my head to banish the images.

I felt violently ill and inexplicably dizzy. I couldn't seem to breathe normally. Diminutive One was weeping quietly in the back seat, uncertain if his Dad and brother were okay.

"It's okay. They're not hurt. I can seem them. Look, there's Dad driving off now. See him waving?"

He was reassured, but like me, far from over it. We were both completely and thoroughly shell shocked.

When we arrived at the restaurant, Husband jumped out of the Jeep and ran over to the van.

"Baby are you okay?"

ME? He's asking me if I'm okay?

I grabbed him around the neck and sobbed into his shoulder.

"NO! I am NOT okay! That really SCARED me goddammit!!"

He just held me while I cried. When Pre-Pubescent One came over, I grabbed him and held him tightly. He endured my ferocious embrace and my tears, though normally such a display would have embarassed him beyond all reason.

He patted my back tenderly, "It's okay Mom. I'm okay."

I noticed later, as Husband paid for our lunch, that his hands shook ever so slightly. He and I sat down while the boys happily concocted their drinks at the fountain. He took off his baseball cap, slowly drew his hand across his brow, pinched the bridge of his nose and said quietly into his hand..."Fuck."

The boys were full of excited chatter about the near miss, but Husband I just looked at each other, cognizant of just how sizeable a disaster had been averted.

We went on with the rest of our day. There was nothing else to be done. In the excitement of Diminutive One's game, the shock faded and I began to forget. But later that night, alone in the dark, the images returned; gruesome and horrifying. I didn't sleep at all. Everyone else, surprisingly, slept like...the dead.

I tried to write about it Saturday night, but found that I was unable. It was too fresh, too raw; still festering with what ifs.

I have relived the moment 100 times over since it happened, and the details have imprinted themselves on my brain. Though they are safe, and I should just let that moment of horror fade into a distant memory, I can't seem to do so.

So perhaps now that I have written it down, I can exorcise those images, the horror, the terrible consciousness of just how drastically my life could have changed in those few agonizingly slow moments.

Perhaps now, I can have some peace of mind.

Except for the issue of where to direct my profound gratitude. Was it God? If it was, then why didn't he strike that little bastard down for nearly running my family over? Why didn't he put a policeman on that road to bust his cocky little ass? And then I think...maybe we were just instruments. Maybe it wasn't about us, but about the kid. Perhaps God used us to give him a little wake-up call.

I find that thought really pisses me off. As I said, the puppet thing doesn't really sit well with me.

So I think for now, I'm just going to thank Lady Luck. Serendipity. Happenstance.

If I have reason to believe otherwise somewhere down the line, I will issue a retroactive apology and do penance for my irreverent ways.

But just in case, and to prevent the tempting of fate even further, I said a soft and timid little prayer of thanks Saturday night.

I wonder if God hears CYA prayers.

40 Comments:

  • At 10:40 PM, Blogger thailandchani said…

    Wow.. .I'm glad they're okay.

    I stand alongside you in many respects when it comes to faith. I do believe there's something bigger than us - but have a very hard time believing in a personal god, one who knows each one of us. Instead, I believe in energy, intention, existence of a group mind - so on.

    So, yes, I guess I'd be thanking life itself. That is really all we know.

     
  • At 10:55 PM, Blogger flutter said…

    The universe always hears.

    and btw, totally off topic but the neuro has put me on b2. Have you tried?

     
  • At 11:06 PM, Blogger jess said…

    Wow... wow. I've really enjoyed your musings about religion, btw. As someone who also grew up in VERY religious family I can understand where you're coming from, even though I still believe.

    About the puppet analogy, I always think of it more like -shit happening- and God somehow using it for the best. I've given up trying to figure out the details (well okay, I haven't, but I've given up expecting to figure it out completely).

    I'm very, very glad that your family is whole and unhurt and I hope you find your way to a place of peace with your questions. Keep writing it out, please!

     
  • At 11:16 PM, Anonymous OmegaMom said…

    Whew. I'm glad everything missed. That sounds scary as heck.

     
  • At 11:37 PM, Blogger JaniceNW said…

    I'm so glad everyone is ok. I know that adrenaline/fear rev. It usually causes me to get shaky.

    Having lost a child to a rare disease, I have pondered the God question tons. I was raised Catholic but I'm also used to questioning forgone conclusions.

    I do believe things happen for a purpose tho I have no clue what that purpose is. Some questions have no answers. I need to believe I'll see my son in heaven. If I'm right WOW, if I'm wrong, I'll be dead and won't care.

    I have stopped asking why for the most part and just try to live my life without being too judgmental,as kind as possible and with some hope.

     
  • At 6:42 AM, Blogger Terri said…

    Oh my word! What a terrifying experience. I was terrified just reading about it. I'm glad everyone is okay.

     
  • At 7:36 AM, Blogger Avalon said…

    What a horrible thing to have to witness as it unfolded. Feeling so helpless. I am so glad that both your "men" are OK. The images will eventually fade, but that sense of feeling grateful for what didn't happen never will.

    As for the God thing------I'm definitely not a believer in any organized religion or school of religious thought, but i do somehow hold stock in some kind of fate.

     
  • At 8:38 AM, Anonymous Veronica Mitchell said…

    I'm so glad everyone's okay. I hope you are feeling calmer and more secure now.

     
  • At 8:47 AM, Blogger SUEB0B said…

    I'm so, so glad it worked out so that no one got hurt, except for emotionally. That may take a while to heal.

    And I really hope the teen driver got scared into driving safely forever.

     
  • At 9:14 AM, Anonymous Andrea said…

    I hope the little bastard in the tan SUV learned about how much his actions effect others and he drives as if his grandmother is in his backseat at all times from here on out.

    I'm so glad your family is okay. So so glad. I do it too, what you do with the overthinking, the visualization of what could have happened. Sometimes I can't get my mind to shut off. I hope that you can find some peace with the situation. Good thing your husband is such an intuitive and agile driver.

    Big sigh of relief...and wiping of a tear because GOD! How intense! "Fuck" is right.

     
  • At 9:24 AM, Blogger Chicky Chicky Baby said…

    OH my GAWD. I'm shaking just thinking about what could have happened. I'm so very glad they're not hurt. Whoever intervened, they deserve more than a pat on the back.

     
  • At 9:49 AM, Blogger Sensitiva McFeelingsly said…

    Thank goodness they're ok! I was holding my breath the whole time I was reading (which is a nod to your excellent writing as you had prefaced the story with the knowledge ofa happy ending).

     
  • At 9:50 AM, Blogger sltbee69 said…

    What a horrible thing to have witnessed. I'm so glad that no one was seriously injured. I teared up a bit reading about the exchange with your husband. You have such a way with words B.A.

     
  • At 10:02 AM, Blogger Jennifer said…

    Wow. I am so glad everyone is okay. Well, I am going to go ahead and say that I do believe God definitely had a hand in that. And I'm sure that kid did not leave unscathed. That incident will haunt him, and possibly prevent a future senseless death. I've had similar experiences, such as my husband's motorcycle accident or when I hydroplaned into a ditch, and if nothing else, things like that teach you not to take your life or your loved ones for granted.

     
  • At 10:35 AM, Blogger Natalie said…

    That is incredibly scary I am really glad everyone is okay.

     
  • At 10:42 AM, Blogger Rock the Cradle said…

    Fuck. My heart was in my mouth.

    You know, not believing in a god has never prevented me from feeling gratitude and thankfulness for all the times I've been spared a horrific experience.

    That immensity of gratitude is an affirmation of life.

    And yes, I would have wished death to that pathetic young man responsible. I'm glad he was scared shitless. I only hope he's smart enough to learn from it.

     
  • At 11:10 AM, Blogger mamatulip said…

    I've had three moments in my life like that. I once watched in my rear view mirror as my mother almost got completely obliterated by a huge orange transport truck on the highway in Toronto. She was driving behind me, and when the truck merged into her lane without either signaling or looking, she disappeared from my view for a few seconds and I thought the truck had hit her. We both pulled off the highway to hug each other.

    I was driving down a winding road with my best friend when I turned my head for a split second. When I looked back at the road I realized I was driving straight into an oncoming car. If he hadn't have jerked to the right, we'd probably all be dead. I think of that quite often, of the fear in the other driver's eyes, and it makes me sick to my stomach.

    Last year, on Father's Day, Oliver darted into the road. My view was obstructed by a van parked on my FIL's grass and I couldn't see into the busy street he lives on. I couldn't catch Oliver fast enough and I thought for sure he was going to get hit. I was a wreck for days afterward.

    When it comes to religion, I share many of the same thoughts as you, but I know the feeling of wanting to thank whatever presence wmay be watching out for us.

     
  • At 11:41 AM, Blogger Tracey said…

    Hon, I'm rushed, but I had to comment and say I'm so sorry you had to have that scare but so thankful that it was only a scare... Sending you love.

     
  • At 12:36 PM, Blogger anne said…

    Oh. My. God.

    What an awful thing. And no, it will never leave you. Years from now you will all of a sudden think back on that one day and how things could be so different. At least it's been over 10 years for me and I still think about it.

    As far as the religion thing, I do believe in God and I do believe s/he hears the prayers of everyone. Even your husband's simple prayer of "Fuck" was heard. Throw your thanks out there. It will be heard.

     
  • At 12:43 PM, Blogger Mac and Cheese said…

    That was both a terrifying and amazing experience. I think it is enough to just be thankful for your family's safety. If anyone/anything is actually responsible, he/she/it will probably be happy with that.

    Oddly enough, I logged onto the computer this afternoon because I "craved" your blog. I'm glad I didn't miss such an important post.

     
  • At 1:26 PM, Blogger Rositta said…

    I am always not sure about God but I do believe in fate and pre ordained karma. It was not the time for your husband and son. Sometimes these things happen to make us stop and re evaluate our lives. Sometimes when we drive up to our cabin we have to go in two cars and both my husband and I have this incredible fear of watching the other be in a crash, it would be terrifying for me as well...ciao:)

     
  • At 1:31 PM, Blogger Traceytreasure said…

    I cried all my makeup off. I felt your terror. You have such a way with words. I think sometimes we just have to be thankful for what we have. Sit and be thankful for everyone you love. It puts things into perspective, doesn't it? I'm on the fence about God too! I hear he's a forgiving God! I hope so anyway! This hit home with me because my oldest,(only son) is starting to drive. I pray all the time that he will be safe and I thank my lucky stars that my girls aren't driving yet! I have to go reaply my makeup. So glad that there were no serious injuries.

     
  • At 2:46 PM, Blogger Hairline Fracture said…

    Whoa. I can only imagine how terrified you must have been.

    I'm a believer, but I don't totally understand the nature of God and free will (I believe something like jess said, up at the beginning of the comments) and I don't think it's possible to fully explain God. I think you should just be thankful and that will be enough. I've enjoyed all your blogs about faith, btw.

     
  • At 3:19 PM, Blogger the only daughter said…

    Oh. My. Goodness.

    Echoing the glad everyone's ok sentiment.

    I hope getting it written help wrest those images from your mind.

    Peace Be With You all.

     
  • At 3:59 PM, Blogger Amy Y said…

    Oh, Mama. That had me in tears, even though I knew before you started that everyone was Ok because you said so. I am so sorry that you guys experienced this... I would imagine that it will stick in your boys' minds a bit and help them be more careful drivers one day.

    Also very glad you are all Ok!!! This is one of my worst fears... to witness something like that happening. I'm sure it's one of every mother's worst fears though.

     
  • At 4:12 PM, Blogger Antique Mommy said…

    I am so glad everyone is okay. Stupid drivers that endanger others makes my blood boil.

    In my view, faith and proof are mutually exclusive by their very nature. Speaking only for me, God does not cease to exist because I don't understand -- because I don't, I just don't understand, my mind does not bend that way.

    As well, faith is not about justice or fairness - bad people live, good people die all the time. It rains on the just and unjust alike. Always has, always will. My faith in God is not dependent upon the condition of my life. If it were, that wouldn't be much of a commitment on my part. :)

    I was where you were for many years. It took losing a spouse to return me to my faith. Either your life's journey will bring you to faith in a higher being or it won't - it won't be a matter of court room proof (or a stranger beating you over the head with a Bible). Everyone has to come to that decision for themselves.

    end of sermon

    May I repeat I am more than relieved that your family is intact, not just because I am quite fond of you :) -- but becaus no one should be widowed in their 30s.

     
  • At 6:20 PM, Blogger Jeana said…

    I don't think you have to have perfect faith to be thankful. You can thank God without understanding Him, you know?

    I believe God is sovereign, but I don't think that makes us puppets on a string. He gives us choice, and He takes care of us; we just can't see the big picture that He sees.

    I'm so glad you and your family are okay. It was upsetting to read; I can't imagine living it.

     
  • At 9:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Personally, and this is just me, but I think you'd be better off thanking the inventor of disc brakes and rack-and-pinion steering. It sounds like they hard more to do with your husbands maneuvering than anything else.

     
  • At 9:36 PM, Anonymous pgoodness said…

    Holy shit. Glad they're (you're) ok. I can't help you with the religious part, as I'm in the same boat as you, but I hope you find peace some how.

     
  • At 12:08 AM, Blogger jen said…

    oh, wow. BA...what a horrible, terrifying thing. i am so glad they are okay. i'll imagine it'll be a while before you really feel that you are okay, and hell, that's okay too.

    i think i held my breath during the whole story.

     
  • At 9:02 AM, Blogger Sarcasta-Mom said…

    Crap-a-moly! I'm so glad everyone made it through that all right. Your husband must have nerves of steel, and the reflexes of a cat :)

    I struggle with faith and the unknown a lot myself. I was raised Roman Catholic, but no, as an adult, God is something that's hard for me to make peace with. When tremendous things happen, I always wonder who I should thank as well. I just keep trusting that the universe gives as good as it gets, and as long as I continue to be a good person, things will turn out all right in the end.

     
  • At 10:42 AM, Blogger Trenches of Mommyhood said…

    My heart raced through the entire reading of this post.
    Whew. Glad everyone is okay.

     
  • At 11:56 AM, Blogger Jaime said…

    oh...how...scary!!!

    Couldn't read to the end quickly enough. Glad everyone is okay.

     
  • At 1:07 PM, Blogger Kimber said…

    just happened upon your blog while browsing. WOW! I thank God that your family is safe!! =)

    I hope you are able to sleep better soon, and that those memories don't continue to replay in your mind for too long!

     
  • At 1:26 PM, Blogger Cathy said…

    I lost my breath reading this.

    Terrifying.

     
  • At 1:41 PM, Blogger Life As I Know It said…

    Wow. I just teared up a little bit reading that. How scary that must have been for all of you.
    So so glad that everyone is ok. Wow. What an emotional post.

     
  • At 6:45 PM, Anonymous Angela said…

    I am so glad for all of you. So, so glad.

     
  • At 6:58 PM, Blogger Jozet at Halushki said…

    Ho. Ly. Cr*p.

    I'm shaking just reading that.

    I don't know about God and guardian angels. I've implored a few angels myself in the past few weeks, and did get answers. I can't explain it otherwise. I'm supposing that's why it's called "faith" and not "scientific proof".

    I'm glad everyone is alright. Jeepers...what a scary near miss!

     
  • At 8:18 PM, Anonymous Laurie said…

    I am so glad your family is safe. I do believe and I believe He hears any sort of prayer. And it makes me angry to know that there are those who claim to believe who have said and done hurtful things to you. I believe He just wants you to know that He loves you. Laurie

     
  • At 3:48 PM, Blogger NatzG said…

    Hi...just seeing your post now. What an extraordinary thing to go through! Seems an inanely inadequate thing to say, but I'm glad you were all ok.

    I share your anti-god/religion/confusion thing and you're right, as times like this, it seems that there is something else, like there just has to be. And you know what, I think there is, just not in the form all the great religions preach. So I honor that feeling within myself and acknowledge whatever it is I feel...and I know that is fine. And I feel better :-).

    I don't think we have to figure it all out. In fact, I don't think we can, on this earthly plain.
    All you can really do, is honor what you truly feel. Not what others tell you to feel.

     

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