Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Counting the miracles

Sometimes you just know that you have seen a miracle. 
I saw a dozen last Thursday when my daughter and I were happily headed to Grapevine, Texas for the Scrapbook Expo. My suburban was loaded with pictures, paper, ribbon, adhesive and snacks for our weekend adventure. I was running on the last of my energy after my youngest daughter's wedding last week and this trip was my REWARD! 
The rain was coming down in sheets and we had just gotten on the freeway headed north. Everyone was hanging back, going slow and even I was not in a hurry in these white knuckled driving conditions. There was no way to anticipate what happened next...the tires floated on standing water and I found myself NOT in control. The left front end slammed into the concrete barrier and then bounced us back to the right. I looked over at my daughter with her 24 week pregnant tummy as she was thrown against the door. She later told me that in that moment she saw the face of her husband and 2 year old daughter and thought we were going to die. 

We hit the concrete 2 more times before I was able to steer the car over to the side.
We sat there, not moving watching the rain, taking in what had just happened...we had been spared. Only one of our fellow travelers stopped to check on us. As she got out of her car, we both ran to each other and hugged, strangers bound together by the joy of being alive. She had been the car beside me on the right who somehow managed to get out of the way.
When I gathered the courage we drove very cautiously to the next town,  which was at the very next exit and find a tire shop. As one of the mechanics stood silently looking at my tire he motioned another guy over, who then motioned yet another one to look at my left front tire. It didn't look all that bad to me. 
He kept saying, "Mam, I don't know how you still have air in that tire". The rim was peeled back around a potion of the tire and it was then I realized what could have happened if it had popped. In that moment I began to count the miracles. I wrote the list in my head, marveling at each "coincidence'...
This is my list:

1. We did not hit any other cars.
2. The damaged tire did not pop which could have flipped the car.
3. There was not a concrete barrier on our right side in that part of the freeway construction which allowed the cars around us to move away and gave me a safe place to land when I had control again.
4. We were thrown sideways instead of front to back which helped protect the baby against the seatbelt tightening.
5. The passenger air bag did not deploy and hit Brittany which could have severely damaged or killed the baby.
6. The car was still drive-able.
7. The very next exit was a town with a tire place.
8. I had a full size spare tire.
9. I was able to get 2 new back tires on the spot (just an added bit of safety)
10. We were able to continue on our journey to Grapevine.
11. They were able to align my car to drive the 300 miles home before the rest of the repairs.

Obviously some miracles are more important than other and the final, most heart warming miracle?
12. Brittany has seen her OB and the precious baby to be born in 6 weeks is fine!

As we were driving home on Sunday, I looked over at my beautiful sleeping daughter with her long blond hair which almost touches the place where her unborn child lies nestled under her heart. Tears came to my eyes and I was grateful for the miracles which I will forever count one by one.