While reading one of my favorite blogs recently, the author referred to a post called "The Car Analogy". Now normally I skip over these links and just read the post. For some reason, today, I was compelled to click the link. If you are like me, stop what you are doing, and click the link. And when you are done crying, continue reading...
I want to talk for a few moments (or 10,000 words) about my own personal car wreck. About the scene of MY accident. And all in analogy form, so if you still didn't click the link...go back and do so or else this post won't make any sense.
You all know, I jumped in front of the car and pushed Lauren into the arms of L* and M*. Before I did, I told my other children to go play quietly at the playground down the street and not worry about what Mommy was doing. And while my husband walked me to the curb, he too, chose to go over to the playground and ignore the life changing events taking place in the middle of that busy street. It was me alone...thinking that I was superman and could just stop the car in its tracks...and then go back like nothing had ever happened. I stood there screaming at the other couple to come get her, to keep her safe, to care for her when I couldn't. I told them over and over that this was their chance to do something big. To make a difference. To quit hesitating and just reach for her. I remember watching that car speeding out of control, and thinking that everything would be just fine. Lauren just had to make it to the other side of the street. Then everything would be fine, and life would go back to normal...
Guess what? The car hit me and hit me hard. I was NOT Superman. It broke my body, my soul, and my heart. It left deep scars, and aches that don't seem to go away. And because shock is such a strange thing, it took me a really long time to see that. The eight hours I spent in the hospital didn't make sense of it for me. The days, weeks, months, of crying and sobbing didn't make me see it. The irrepairable damage to my marriage of nine years didn't impact it. The first 100 hours of blogging were only the surface of what really happened. I think when I hit the street I must have hit my head, because the TRUE events of the accident didn't surface for a long time afterwards.
But when they did, the memories came HARD and they came FAST. I am quite sure that I died right there in the middle of the street, even if I did somehow make it back to the real world eventually. I watched as my husband saw the car hit me, and then come over to tell me to get up and go push our kids on the swing like nothing was wrong. He refused to see the blood spilling out onto the sidewalk. Nor the flesh that was strewn about the scene either. He shook his head, and kept saying "Get up. What's the big deal? It was you or her...you did a good thing." I remember seeing my friends drive by and slow down, watching the wreck with craned necks like it was the most amazing thing ever, and then speeding away before anyone could ask them to help. Not one of them stopped to help. NOT ONE. I remember my family thinking I was nuts for ever standing in the street in the first place, and none of them came to offer love or support. But the biggest revelation of all was in realizing that L* and M* were not there to help me...they simply were there to grab Lauren and RUN...RUN as fast and as far as they could, hiding all traces of the evidence they even knew me.
That was the hardest part. Or one of them. There are many, and they seem to grow as the days go on. I didn't expect the people I let save her would ever look at me the way they do now. I didn't think they would refuse to write, or send pictures of their miracle, or block me from Facebook, or tell me that while they were greatful for the opportunity, they had much bigger issues than I did, and that they didn't want to share their story or learn mine. I didn't think they "owed me anything", but I had hoped against all hope they wouldn't forget what happened. I can't comprehend how my husband told me over and over that jumping in front of a car wouldn't hurt, and I believed him. I cannot believe how little the entire wreck has impacted him at all. I can't grasp how my closest friend (who now has firsthand experience with this type of wreck) still hasn't said she is sorry for letting me almost bleed to death in the middle of the street.
But where there is darkness, there is also light. It is part of the natural balance of things. And I have found light in this. What I didn't realize then, that I do now, is that the scene of the accident is still surrounded by those who want to help me. And others like me. Those who SHOULD have wanted to help turned their backs. Those who don't know me at all have given me more love and support than I am worthy. They can look right at my scars without blinking, and see my missing heart but still love me. They talk to me almost daily, and listen to me as I cry, and love me when I cannot love myself. They help me to find redemption where I thought there was none.
I watched as one of them was in a similar situation, though standing on the opposite curb, and her major concern was on her birthmom. Not on the fact that she had already witnessed two accidents where the mother and child pulled away from her, not letting her help. Instead, She did everything in her power to ensure the safety of her child's first mother. She kept her concern on the woman, not the baby. She knew that she'd have her whole life ahead of her to love the child thrust into her arms, and I watched firsthand as she cradled her head, and called 911, and checked in on her, and asked how she was doing, and every other wonderful thing she could. And guess what I learned...she's not Superman either. She is a woman like me, a Mother like me. She was greatful for the love bestowed upon her, and loved her accident victim in every sense imaginable. And I truly believe she will for years to come.
When I sit back and reflect, I am always full of bittersweet emotions. I have such bitterness with everyone who should have been with me. And such sweetness for those who came to help afterwards. There are many, many days where I go back to the scene of my own accident and just lie there in the street, waiting for another car to finish what was started. If I close my eyes, I can feel the blood flowing out of me. I can feel life slipping away, and the need to stop hurting sometimes overrides the will to get up.
I replay in my head all the different things I could have done so that everyone was safe and secure. I think about all the other people that line the streets daily, and lament over why I didn't notice them before pushing Lauren into the wrong direction. I have stood in the middle of the street as a crossing guard of sorts, and tried to guide everyone involved to safety. Sometimes, others tell me that what I did was brave, and they listen to my views on how to prevent such sorrow from happening to others. And while I am thankful for that, I still find myself lying there...just waiting for impact.