once out of the car there was severe stiffness that made it difficult to walk. all she wanted was a hot shower, she was chilled to the bone and showering was advised to rid her of airbag residue because nasty chemicals are contained in airbag propellant. but it was more than that, she wanted to believe that water and soap could wash it all away.
when she undressed she found there major bruising on her left side surrounding a perfect impression of the window crank and much to her dismay she needed help into the tub... and out.
finally warm and snuggled inside the arms of her husband she tried to sleep, but sleep did not come for trying to remember...
surely one could argue all of the happenings that night with simple science.
finding a penny and picking it up; wives tale. (though she no longer picks them up if they are face down)
the clap of thunder; impact.
the rain; airbag dust.
the shimmering light that surrounded her; window glass shards and more airbag dust.
the trickle of white light reaching out to her; cracks crawling along the windshield.
being in the wrong/right place at the right/wrong time. chance.
but there was the bright white light - which could have been the blow to the head that knocked her unconscious, but she had been in her brother's house watching them divide christmas cookies into large white donut boxes. she even knew who was there and what they were wearing. science might say that it was just a fleeting thought in her head. after all, she was headed there and she'd been there many times before so it was easy to guess what they would be doing when she got there. thinking it was anything else was just silly...
science. chance. luck. roll of the dice. nothing more. nothing less.
the next few days brought stiffness and inability to function without fatigue. hair loss above and behind her ear where her head had struck the unforgiving metal. reversal of her words and thoughts. black outs. short term memory loss, which irritated her and her husband to no end. 'misfiring brain circuits' her doctor called them in layman's terms 'from the brain being shaken out of it's normal surroundings.' (she knew the feeling) calls came from lawyers and people posing as lawyers and/or insurance representatives, all of them wanting her to admit she had made a U-Turn in front of the gasoline tanker. news crews knocked at a door she refused to open. warnings from her own insurance lawyers that there be absolutely no communication between herself and anyone involved and/or inquiring about the accident in any form. (for the first time she was glad she didn't remember) a police report that listed one "possible" witness whose name and address did not exist. a towing bill for removal of her vehicle. a hint that the tanker driver had been fired for 'failure to follow company procedures.' photos from the junk yard of her damaged car...
and her sister-in-law bearing a tiny glass angel - to remind her of the one that must have been with her that night - and a large white donut box filled with christmas exchange cookies...
a large white donut box filled with christmas exchange cookies... science be damned, what are the chances she knew that? or the fact that someone was there who was brought along by someone else at the last minute whose clothing she could describe...
it was at this point the hair on her arms stood upright and she knew without a doubt that she had been in her brothers house that night and that there really is something bigger out there.
God, if you will, had for some reason somehow intervened on her behalf.
what reason was remains a question that may never be answered in a form she understands...
but, her life changed in the blink of an eye that night and every day following that one, whether it be good or bad or ugly, she finds something to smile about. she makes certain those she loves know it. she cries when something touches her. she laughs endlessly. she dispenses hugs and kisses freely to any one she thinks in need of them.
and, she knows that moments lost can never be recovered and death may take you when you expect it.
December 21st, 2005 may indeed have been the day she died, but it was also the day she was born.
and this was her womb.