The phone call came while I was cuddled on the couch with Hub watching the late evening news.

“Mom.”  Huh’s voice was shaking.  “I’m calling you so that you don’t panic.  I was just in an accident on the freeway.  I’m okay.  I just didn’t want you to panic in case someone else calls you.”

I sat up and said, “Are you sure you’re okay?”

“My head hurts, and my hand, but I am okay.  I have to go.  The cop wants to talk to me.”

And at that moment I knew I wouldn’t be going to bed after the evening news as originally planned.  The wait was made all the worse for me because Huh is out of state attending college and if she needed me, I could not get to her quickly.  I waited and after about 45 minutes Huh called back.  She only got part of the story out before she again had to talk to the police.  After another wait of an hour I called Huh, who was still at the scene of the accident, and got the rest of the story.

Huh and one of her friends had been driving to meet another friend.  As they drove on the freeway, Huh noticed a pickup truck and commented to her friend, “That guy is playing Pac Man.”  The truck was driving in two lanes so that the truck straddled the dotted line.  Then the truck started swerving and Huh knew he was a danger.  She sped up to pass him.  Later, when she was telling me the story, she said, “I almost made it, Mom.  I almost made it.”  Just as she was about to be completely past the truck, the driver swerved and hit the back driver’s side of Huh’s car.   The force of the hit started Huh’s car spinning.  Fortunately, Huh had one of her thumbs hooked around the steering wheel and as the steering wheel started to spin, one of the center bars on the steering wheel slammed into Huh’s thumb, thus stopping the steering wheel and Huh was able to regain control of her car and pull to the side of the road.  As she was doing so she looked in the rearview mirror and saw the pickup truck slam head-on into another car and then spin off and hit a third car.  Many people who witnessed the crash pulled over to be of assistance.  Huh and her friend, Tiana, were shaking as Tiana reached for her phone to call 911.  It was then that Huh saw the driver of the pickup truck get out of his truck, light a cigarette, and lean against his truck as if nothing had happened.

Huh saw red.  Adrenaline kicked in and the mean softball player side of my daughter came out.  She got out of her car, screamed in anger, clenched her fists, and strode toward the pickup driver.  “I was going to hit him, Mom,” she told me later.  “I really wanted to hit him.”  A quick thinking man who had pulled over intercepted my daughter before she could attack the pickup driver, told her she needed to calm down, and made her sit in his car until she did calm down.

Thankfully there were no deaths that night.  The worst injury was a gash on a lady’s forehead.  She was the only one transported to a hospital.  Huh and her friend both have whiplash, and burns from their seatbelts (thank heavens they were wearing them!) and Huh’s hand is swollen from the steering wheel slamming into it.  Her car sustained damage but is still drivable.  The other two cars had to be towed away.  The pickup driver was arrested at the scene for DUI.

Once I got the rest of the story and was assured that my daughter was okay, I went to bed.  It wasn’t until the next morning that both Huh and I really processed what had happened and realized how close she had come to major tragedy that night.

We have both thanked God in prayers that she was watched over and protected.  I wish she was here so I could give her a hug and really look her over to make sure she is okay.  I guess I will have to wait until spring break to do that.

I am so glad it was Huh calling me that night, and not an emergency services worker with bad news.

I will forever be grateful for that.

I’ve noticed that quite a few of my Facebook friends are doing a daily “Thankful” post this month.  It gave me an idea for a poll for my family.  I asked them each, “What are you thankful for TODAY?”

Here are our answers:

Hub – “My job.  Sorta.  Tomorrow I might not be, but TODAY I am thankful for my job.”

Kweenmama – I am thankful for a mistake.  Back during the summer we filled a shirt and hoodie order.  I let Huh and her boyfriend make the shirts because Huh needed to earn some money.  I’m not sure exactly what happened, but one of the hoodies ended up with a melted zipper.  So, of course, we needed to replace that hoodie which left us with a defective hoodie here.  This morning we woke to a cold rain.  The defective hoodie came to my rescue.  It is huge, so I was able to pull it over my head without having to use the zipper.  Because of the zipper mistake I had a hoodie to use and was warm and dry while I crossed kids at my school crossing. 

Squid – Unavailable to participate in our poll while he serves a mission for our church in Uruguay.

Huh – “I’m grateful that I get off work at 3:00 today.  Easy day!”

Juju – “I’m grateful for my dad’s cooking.”  Juju was up visiting us from college over the weekend.  She has grown weary of “college fare” and loved that Hub made one of his delicious roasts for Sunday dinner.

Mack – “Hot chocolate.”

Shroom – “Computer.”

Hoob – “My jacket.”  Said as she eyed the rain coming down.

Yawlin – “The rain.” 

What are you thankful for today?

It was so out of the blue…

Last night at around 8:15 I left the house to go pick my kids up from their father’s place.  He lives about ten minutes away, just off of the same busy street that we do.  It was a typical Sunday evening, not much traffic, a few clouds in the sky, quiet.  As I drove I listened to a radio station that always plays religious music on Sundays.  The station went to commercial and I reached to turn the volume up because I wanted to hear what the commercial was about, although now I cannot even remember what commercial it was.  As I reached for the dial it hit. 

I experienced a sudden tightness in my chest and a heaviness in my head.  My throat felt like it constricted and I suddenly couldn’t breathe.  I gasped for air as the road swam before my eyes and then my vision tunneled and I could not see much.  I knew I was losing consciousness.  I gripped the steering wheel and applied the brakes to slow the car, hoping there was no one behind me, and said aloud, “Heavenly Father help me, please help me.”

My vision cleared and the tightness left my chest.  I took deep, gulping breaths and looked around for a place to pull over.  A wave of dizziness hit and my breathing became labored again.  My vision swam, but not as bad as the first time.  There was a tingling in my fingertips.  Again I prayed, “Heavenly Father, please help me.  My kids need me.  Please help me to get to my kids.”  I was aware that the car was still moving forward, but I no longer knew where I was.  “Please help me,” I prayed over and over, “My kids need me.”  I fought to stay conscious. 

After what seemed like an eternity, but was in reality only about ten seconds, I saw the turn-off to my ex’s street and made the turn.  Still taking deep breaths and shaking I remember thinking, I might have to have Mike call 911.  I pulled into the driveway and called Huh’s phone.  Taking a deep breath I made my voice sound as normal as possible, “I’m here.”

“Okay, we’ll be right out.”

My breathing slowed, and the dizziness left me.  I got out of the car and walked to the passenger side, as I slid into the passenger seat I said a silent prayer, “Heavenly Father, thank you for helping me to get here.” 

Mack came out of the house carrying her bag of clothes.  When she saw me in the passenger seat she got a puzzled look on her face.  “Why are you sitting there?” she asked as she loaded her stuff into the car.  “Are you okay?”

“Do you have your license with you?”  I asked.


“Good.  Do you want to drive?”

“Sure.”  Mack looked at me closely.  “What’s wrong?  Did something happen?”  I just shook my head.  I had been trying to appear normal, somehow my daughter was seeing right through me.  I pulled the sun visor down to look at myself in the mirror.  Sure enough, I was pale.

“You’re shaking,” said Mack.  I simply nodded.

After all of the kids were in the car and Mack was driving us home I told the kids what had happened.  They were quiet.  To lighten the mood I asked them about their weekend.  Huh had attended the Senior dinner dance for her high school and Yawlin had gone to a birthday party, so I asked them both about those events.  Mack finally said, “Mom, you are only 41.”

How many times have my kids told me that I’m old and teased me about my age?  And now the perspective is that I am only 41. 

When we got home there were neighbors standing on our front porch visiting with Hub and Squid.  They’d dropped by to congratulate Squid on his recent call to serve a mission for our church in Uruguay.  My kids carried their stuff into the house and I stopped on the porch to visit with the neighbors.  After the neighbors left I told Hub what had happened on the way to get my kids.  He got a concerned look on his face and asked, “Are you okay?  Do we need to go to a doctor?”

“I don’t know,” I said.  “Other than a slight headache, I feel fine.”

Later on, as I loaded dishes into the dish washer, Hub again asked me if I was okay.  I told him that I was and that all I had was a slight headache.  We finished our evening routine and everyone went to bed.  That is when my mind started to race.  What if I had blacked out?  What if there had been more traffic?  What if I had been on the freeway?  What if it happens again?

This morning I got up at my usual time and made poppy seed muffins for breakfast (box mix).  My headache is gone and I feel fine.  Normal.  Alive. 

As I was crossing kids at my morning crossing a lady walked by with her dog on a leash.  She smiled at me and asked, “Doesn’t it smell heavenly out here?”  It did.  A mixture of lilacs and Russian Olive tree did make my little street corner smell nice.  I took a few deep breaths.  It was nice to do so with ease.  I’m not taking that for granted. 

The incident in the car happened so suddenly, so out of the blue.  There were no warning signs.  It just hit.  Quickly.  It’s a little scary to think about.  Things can change in our lives in the blink of an eye.  I don’t think I am going to be taking things for granted for awhile.  I am noticing the little things.  I truly am blessed.

And I am so grateful for help from above.