Here’s to the moments that you see coming, but can’t do anything about.
Last week I was hit by a truck on the highway as I was attempting to turn onto the road to my house. I had a disagreement with my neighbor about this exact scenario about 2 years ago. I have copied and pasted the transcript of that conversation below:
“Its a little scary turning left off the highway getting into our neighborhood” Bart said.
“Yeah, I usually try to get as close to the center line as possible so that people can get around me” Bart’s neighbor replied.
“Isn’t it supposed to be illegal for people to pass you on the shoulder, they are supposed to stop behind you and wait until you turn aren’t they?” Bart queried.
“Yes but they are going to pass anyway so I try to get out of their way” stated Bart’s neighbor in a conciliatory tone.
“I kind of want to stop as close to the white line as possible so that they can’t get past me, that way they will have to stop” Bart stated in an ignorant and arrogant manner.
My neighbor may have been right.
When the car behind you is going at highway speed, I kind of want them to break the rules and go around me rather than ram into my back end. To be honest I cannot remember where I was in the lane when the truck hit me. The problem is that there is no turn lane for our street and the speed limit is 55 miles an hour on a busy highway. I know its busy because, for as much as I love the house I live in, I can hear the traffic all the time.
So I stopped and waited. The car behind me did not see me until the last second and veered around me. Meanwhile, the car behind him did not see me until the other car cleared and he slid into me as the road had been pre-moistened for the event. Thankfully he had time to slow down before he hit me so the hit was not as drastic as it could have been. I was fortunate as well that he did not spin me into oncoming traffic, I was able to collect myself, wait for traffic to clear, and drive onto my road.
It is amazing how apathetic I can be when I have been hit by a truck. The person that hit me had all sorts of things to say and explain to me, but as I surveyed the damage to the car I had a strong urge to ask him to “shut up” so that I could contemplate the event that had just occurred and the repercussions of said event.
That is not the point of the story, or maybe it kind of is. In times of trial people tend to become very egocentric in order to cope. I talked to several people over the hours after the incident. The first question out of most of their mouths was “were the kids in the car?” To which I wanted to respond “I’M FINE, THANKS FOR ASKING!”
I should have known as a parent that the time was going to come where my primary role was the survival of my progeny. Of course people were concerned about my well being (I tell myself that in order to make it through the day), but ultimately my children could have been in the back seat and they are probably more susceptible to injury than myself.
I am fine, the car is not. The real tragedy was the heritage of the car, a gift from my wife’s family. Her grandparents drove that car in their last years, and several years later we were able to drive it around as a mobil memory of those that came before us.