Saturday, January 10, 2009


"What was your good fortune?"
That's the question my mom asked yesterday. Last week I had forwarded one of those emails with an angel and floating dollars that promised good fortune if I sent it on to friends.
My mom emailed that she was notified she won a drawing she had entered last year and had won big bucks.
"So far, my only luck is this email from you," I told her. But, that was early in the day.
That was before the Junior Varsity basketball game where Spencer played and won.
That was before the swim meet where Grace won both her individual events and the relays.
That was before the dark drive home on the cold, slick roads and the phone call from Grace.
"Mom, I just wrecked the car. I've got a bloody nose. I'm so sorry. I think it's totaled."
I wasn't home yet, so I swung by the house where Earl hopped in the car. We got on the highway and could see the red and blue lights flashing not far away. We had to exit and get back on to reach her.
That day, I had suggested she drive my car. The newer car. The Pilot sat higher up and I thought it might handle better. She was driving home from the swim meet with two friends. She started to get over and the friend in the passenger seat warned of a car in the lane. She swerved. The story there is fuzzy. She hit a guard rail on the right -- a guard rail that prevents cars from driving into the wide stretch of river there. Somehow, the car careened across three highway lanes and ended up against the concrete median in the middle of the highway, facing the opposite direction. No cars hit her in this wild ride. She hit no other cars.
The air bags deployed and the girls dissolved into tears.
"Call 911." I had told her as I rushed out of the high school gym.
When we got to the accident, the girls were in the back of the ambulance with two cute medics. I signed a form that Grace refused treatment. They didn't think her nose was broken. The other girls weren't hurt, but one was leaking tears.
I hugged her, because she was the closest to me.
Grace was calm. I was surprised and proud that she wasn't hysterical. She talked with the police officer. The parents of one of the other girls showed up and gathered them into warm hugs and the heated car. They took them home. Grace returned to our car with a citation for failure to control and then she cried.
"I could have killed my friends," she sobbed. "I thought I was going to die, like Aunt Millie."
My husband's oldest sister was killed in a car accident by a drunk driver.
I held her hands and then dropped her at home before I followed the tow truck and the mangled car to the auto body shop.
So, if my mom asked today, "What is your good fortune?" I could answer.
"I have my daughter."


Anonymous said...

So scary, Paulita. I am so thankful that everyone was fine.

Anonymous said...

Shelby said there was something on Facebook about her nose and the car. She was worried, so I said go look at her mom's blog and see if there's anything on it. We went to Sheila's blog, found your blog and all was revealed. So glad to hear she's safe. The timing is perfect--Shelby wants to get her temps this week. How do we let go? Thanks for the kind comments.

Paulita said...

Thanks, Wendy. May I recommend the Mid-Ohio teen defensive driving school. Grace is going to sign up for this and pay for it with the money from her savings account. She's terrified to do it since they put the kids into skids, but it's better to learn how to do it on the race track rather than on the highway. Maybe Shelby could go at the same time!

Anonymous said...

What a great idea. She would love it and I would feel so much better. I nearly took out two Highway Patrol officers on the 33 on ramp a few weeks ago. Covered in a sheet of ice. Four car accident and me skidding through between it all. Yikes. The girls will have to get together and plan on it.

just another friend said...

Good Fortune Indeed.

An Avalanche of Socializing

My author friend Suzie Tullett recently shared a meme on Facebook: And I commented that I had felt the same when I lived in the States, b...