summer 2011

summer 2011

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Sunday, November 30, 2014

accident after effects....

I'd like to say that life just went on like normal, ha, whatever "normal" is when you have a family like this....but anyway, life hasn't really been normal.

But it hasn't been bad, either. There has been suffering, for sure. First and foremost, is the guilt of the driver. She did not see the other car as she made a left turn at a green light. It was two lanes each way, the other lane was clear, and the car in front of her was turning. She followed it, thinking the coast was clear...the vehicle my girls collided with was black, and she just didn't see it. So it was her fault. And that hurts her. The "what ifs" came up a few times, and honestly, this young driver of mine feels done with driving. (I have assured her that no one here blames her. Yes, she got a ticket, she has to go to court, it will all work out, take life one day at a time, don't worry about it, it won't help.)

Evelyn says she is never getting in a car again.

Kathryn has had a headache and can't sleep.

Suzanne...well, poor Suze. Her face is a mess, and for a 13 year old girl, that alone is traumatic. It will probably heal without scarring if she keeps the ointment on it and doesn't pick at it. It looks better all ready, but at first, oh my goodness. It was swollen and red and scraped and bruised. Her nose looks like Rudolph, Camille told her, but, Cam assured her, Rudolph is very cute.

But suffering isn't necessarily a bad thing. Obviously, learning from our mistakes is good, but it can go deeper. My young driver asked, "Why does God allow these things to happen? I was being careful!" Emily assured her that it doesn't matter, just be humble. I think these things happen to give us a respect for life, and to know our mortality. It gave me a huge boost of affection for my girls...I mean, you KNOW you love your kids, but do you tell them? Do you really consciously appreciate them?

It's funny, because these days, these very daughters of mine are probably the primary source of my irritation (I know, I get irritated because of ME, but you know what I mean. They can seriously test my patience, all these teenage girls!) Yet, they have my heart. I love them unbelievably much.

So our weekend has been different, strange, with them recounting and remembering. The driver is putting the pieces together, she had some big memory gaps, probably because of mild shock. She remembers seeing Suzanne slumped over, so Suze was probably knocked out. Evelyn admits it was a little bit fun to run into the fabric store shouting about the crash from 30 feet away. Kathryn said she knew Evelyn was going to do that, so she tried to tell me first, so they were both yelling stuff about it. Sonja gets the calm cool collected award.

And, it comes out that Kathryn was absolutely terrified when Suzanne didn't know where she was or how she got there...Kathryn thought her best friend Suze was going to stay like that. It's funny now, but to her, it wasn't very funny then.

And, while I was heading to the hospital in the ambulance with Suzanne, the girls were treated so kindly by the pizza place workers, being welcomed there to wait for Paul, and offering them food, and bringing them water. That warmed my heart, there are kind people in this world.

Also, when something like this happens, it gives me such a great appreciation for the volunteer firefighters and first responders. Everyone there was efficient and caring. Ha, one of the teachers from the middle school was there, all dressed in a fireman costume...the girls were all crying and shaking, and he was so nice to them.

And so last night I made some pizzas, Paul took Suzanne to town (she stayed in the car) to get a movie, and went in the store and got her Mountain Dew. Emily and Abigail and Aaron came over, and we watched, "Malificent", which was quite entertaining.

I was glad to see the girls open up and talk about it, and honestly...I think it strengthened the bonds between them. When you have so many daughters, they can get clique-y, Suzanne and Kathryn are extremely tight. So close, in fact, that Suze wanted Kathryn in the ambulance instead of me, which, ouch.

And now we are leaving for church...the girls are staying here though. Suze isn't ready to face the world, and the other girls are bruised and banged up a bit, sore...and just don't want to talk to everyone yet, they say.


Kathyb1960 said...

Let me tell your young driver something. An incident like this will make you a better driver. You will remember this in a way that is good b/c you will be more cautious when you go to make a left turn, or right turn, or ANY turn!

Many years ago, I was pulling out of a fast food place, and was waiting for the traffic to pass. There was a big truck turning into the entrance, and I didn't see any other cars, so I pulled out. Well, the car that had been behind the truck decided to pull around him, and I never saw the car, and rammed right into the front passenger side door. Fortunately, there was no passenger. But now I am always cautious when I pull out, making sure there are no surprises coming around another larger vehicle.

Don't let it shake you up and not want to drive again, just use it as a lesson to make you a better, and more cautious driver.

Anonymous said...

Hey, we watched Maleficent last night also!

Glad to hear things are still going okay. Car wrecks are sobering, that's for sure. :(


Martha said...

You are a wise and blessed momma.
Your post brought to mind Romans 5:3-5 which we just read in church this morning.

3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

Just think of all the character you're gaining.

Martha said...

Praying everyone is feeling (and looking) better every day.

Chet and Ashley said...

My mom was in a car accident on her way to visit me after I had our second daughter -- the car flipped several times and was totaled, and she walked away with just a few bruises. It is an understatement to say that we were shaken by the accident, and are SO thankful that it was not her "time." Like you, I was so thankful for the witnesses who helped her and the ambulance/doctors who took care of her. It was three years ago, and I still get choked up thinking about it.

On a lighter note, your son Samuel is stationed at the base where I do my grocery shopping :-) We moved to the DC area in March (my husband is stationed at the Pentagon), and Samuel's base is the closest base to our house -- I go there weekly to gas up the car and shop at the Commissary.

I haven't commented on your blog in quite a while, but I still read it every day (or at least every time you post), and love it so much. Thanks so much for taking the time to write!


16 blessings'mom said...

Ashley, it is such a traumatic thing, I think we realize just how fragile we are. I have been in that Commissary on base! I love the prices, most of them anyway. The meat is pricey compared to here:) It's busy and traffic-y around there, too, you must be brave to drive in it regularly. See, I have always been a timid driver, but these last few days, ugh. Not quite paranoid, but certainly more aware of danger. Kathy, thank you for sharing. I always have agreed that in driving, what doesn't kill you makes you girls all got in the car and went to girls' fellowship tonight, so that made me happy. And I am certain they drove carefully. Holly, did you like the movie? I was pleasantly surprised. Martha...oh, I am getting character. To whom much is given, much is required. With all these trials and temptations, I can either become miserable or trust Him and get victory:)

Anonymous said...

Lol, when i say we, I meant my kids and their dad. I shopped. :)