For me, writing has always been a wonderful form of healing. I can remember when I was little, I would purposely write my parents notes telling them how I felt, rather then communicating. I just couldn't find the words. It's been that way for me for a long time.
The last few days I've been reading, resting, meditating, and allowing those who I love deeply to take care of us. ( which is difficult for me to do at the best of times) It's been comforting and affirming, and has given me strength to heal, and it's been a security for Noah as he deals with something this big and scary.
Sometimes, the best thing to do is just surrender to love and let it embrace you like a warm hug. Just let the tension go, breathe and inhale the goodness of it. That's what I've been focusing on..
Last Saturday, my son and I went to visit my best friend and her family. We went for the day to enjoy some girl-time and let the kids have their time too. We swam, laughed, snacked and had delicious coffee. We sun tanned, shared intimate stories and planned our trip to Cuba for when we both turn 40 in a few years.
Meanwhile, my son switched back and forth from playing in the pool to playing video games and snacking.
It was the perfect Saturday afternoon. Blue skies, tons of sun, and the comfort and enjoyment only best friends can give you.
Leaving, we felt joyful, chatting on the drive home about how much fun we had just had.
As I was driving down Rest Acres Road in Paris, with my little one chirping happily in the back, I saw something coming at us fast.
The initial crash was mind-numbing and the only thing I saw was a small blue car coming directly at us. My first reaction was to swerve so that they didn't hit my son who was sitting in the rear passenger seat.
I'll never forget the ear-piercing sound of both my son screaming and the car smashing and crunching as we were still inside. The world in front of me was a blur. My air bag deployed and the only thing I could say to Noah was: " Get out. Get out. Get out."
I smelled gas.... lots of it.
Noah, my brave little boy,took off his seat belt quickly, and scrambled out the opposite door in the back. I tried to bash my door open, but it was stuck. I remember thinking I could open the sunroof to get out if I needed. Instead, I crawled over the arm rest and followed Noah out the door just telling him continually to get away from the car.
He tried to go back to the car to get his baseball bag, but I yelled for him to get on the side of the road.
I started yelling: " Someone call 9-1-1". I was frantic. I was in complete panic. But our reaction was so quick - we were the first to get out and I remember seeing masses of cars stopped and people gawking and staring.
As I was yelling to call 9-1-1, a tall man with glasses approached me and he was trying to help the other car who had hit us.
I finally glanced over and noticed that there was someone in that small blue car, with the airbag deployed, and I could hear kids screaming. I made sure Noah was okay, and ran to the trunk of my car to get something heavy -- all I could think about was get those kids out. I needed to help. I grabbed some kind of heavy tool that I had had, and ran back to this man with the glasses. I asked if he needed to smash the windows open.
I can just remember him being so calm and kind.
After that, it is a complete blur with little pieces of moments popping up in my head.
Noah kept saying: "At least we are okay, we are okay." in a reassuring voice as he made sure everyone knew that I was short of breath, scraped up, bruised and in shock. I checked him over and over. He was in pain too, but was more worried about me. He has bruising & scrapes from the seat belt. No broken bones. Nothing missing. Head was okay. Body in tact. Thank God.
I remember this wonderful woman appearing on the side of the road,with bright blue eyes holding me, rubbing my back because the entire upper and lower side of my back was in excruciating pain. I wonder now if she was even real or not? Were there Angels watching us that day? Did God send us these people to help us? I believe so.. and she said to me: " If you don't remember anything, remember this; three days. After the third day you'll start to feel better." She was partly right - I'm still in a lot of pain, but getting better each day.
I remember two wonderful women getting us water, something to sit on, umbrellas for the rain, and when Noah needed a hug and I was in too much shock and pain to give him one, one of the ladies with us offered him hugs and made sure he was okay too.
I remember the two other little girls involved in the accident. As a Mom, my first thought was to make sure all of the kids were okay. The littlest one was screaming and in total shock. I tried to help her breathe. She was frantic too. When her Grandpa arrived on the scene and she ran to him, I started crying. I know how she felt.
Noah and I just wanted Dave (my boyfriend) to be there and hug us too. We just wanted to feel safe and protected. I'm sure that little girl felt safe then, and when I finally started crying I couldn't stop.
The First -Responders were all so kind and helpful too. I think they secretly fell in love with Noah - who wouldn't let me respond to any of their questions because he was answering for his Mama, and he knew everything they were asking him.
Noah worried more about me than himself throughout this whole ordeal. I kept telling him how proud I was of him, and how much I loved him. He made sure I called and text Dave right away. He finally started crying and letting himself feel what had happened, and we just sat on the side of Robinson Road, with a bunch of amazing and selfless humans crying and being thankful we were alive.
The ride in the ambulance was a blur, and again my little protector wouldn't let me answer any questions. He was there to take care of me and everyone knew it. I was so proud and it was so helpful. I loved him more after this crash - didn't think I had any more love in my heart available for him, but turns out I do.
Arriving to the Brantford General Hospital - I just remember laying on the stretcher and Noah holding my hand. They put me in a wheelchair ( with a neck brace - that they had put on me at the accident scene) and got us both registered.
When Noah saw my boyfriend Dave ( who he had called when we were in ER) he ran to him and just hugged him. I felt a wave of comfort and peace wash over me. Seeing him there I felt protected and safe even if I couldn't hug him just yet. He made sure Noah was okay, took care of me, talked with the Doctor and my parents who I had called in the ambulance on the way to the hospital, and made sure everything was okay. The love and trust I have for him is unlike anything I've ever felt before and I am so unbelievably grateful for him. We are blessed to have him in our lives.
When I was sitting in the the Doctors room waiting to be looked at,Noah had to use the bathroom and Dave took him. As I sat there alone all I could repeat out loud, over and over was; Thank-you God. Thank-you God. Thank-you God as more tears streamed down my face with an appreciation for life that I've never had before. Perspective and relief washed over me.
The rest of the evening was slow and long, with x-rays, waiting and resting. Once we were all clear, Dave took us home and again, made sure we were okay. Made us something to eat, and hugged us lots. We couldn't have gotten through this without him.
We have internal bruising, scrapes, scratches and external bruises. We are exhausted mentally and physically. It was so traumatic and scary.
One of the First Responders said to us: "This could have been a lot worse. You're lucky you're alive and able to walk away from this".
So what exactly happened?
As we were driving North on Rest Acres Road, a small blue car was turning left onto Robinson Road. From what I was told by the OPP, another vehicle rear ended this little blue car, sending them into the opposite lane , smashing into us.
We have a ways to go before we start feeling back to ourselves again, and healing after trauma is a tricky experience.
One moment, we can laugh about something silly and the next, one of us is crying and inconsolable. Then.. we rest, sleep and take care in between. Doctors appointments, therapy and insurance are all on the docket too.
I think the best prescription for healing after trauma is:
1. Surround yourself with those you love ( they'll surround themselves with you too)
2. Rest. Sleep. Rest. Sleep.
3. Meditate, sit outside, appreciate the beauty of nature. Appreciate each other.
4. Drink water, eat well.
5. Talk about it. Noah and I have not stopped talking about it. It helps us to talk about it out loud - because then it's not so scary inside.
6. Check-in's. We are doing tons of check in's with each other. Example: "How are you feeling now in your mind? How are you feeling now in your body?"
7. Let the ones who love you help you. Period.
We are more than grateful for all of the help, support and love that we have been given by complete strangers and our family.
As we continue to heal, we are focusing on all of the wonderful people and things we have in our life, and most especially - that we are healthy, alive and here to appreciate them.