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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Great Quote

"Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down."

-Oprah Winfrey

and I will add to that... "or will give you a ride instead of passing you by at the bus stop."

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

the elusive sleep factor

i have been having trouble sleeping .... again... still... always... i have been trying really hard to not sleep during the day and have met with some success... but still having trouble getting to sleep at night... i lay there for hours and finally fall asleep sometime around 2am or 3am... and have to wake up by 615am... i am exhausted

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

July 3, 1972

July 3, 1972.

36 years ago.

I was 5, my brother was 2.

There were 5 of us in the car. My parents, my cousin Susie, and me. This was in the day where you did not have to have your children strapped into car seats, so my brother was riding in my mom’s lap. My cousin and I were sleeping in the backseat; I don’t believe we had seatbelts on, it was not a requirement in ’72.

The road we were traveling on was the 2 lane highway outside of Vallejo, traveling towards Vallejo, on our way home to Sacramento. Both sides of the road has water canals on them.

I have sketchy memories of that night. I know I was sleeping. It was dark. The next memory is one of me waking up, water around me. It was cold, dark water. I remember hearing my father speak to me. I don’t remember the exact words, or the tone he was using. I remember that I was scared, not knowing what was happening. Panic. Soon someone pulled me thru the window of the car and took me to the shore.

It turns out the car was run off the road by someone who was trying to pass us. The other driver did not have enough room, the oncoming car was close, and the driver cut back into our lane, driving us off the road and into the water. The driver was drunk, on a suspended license because of previous drunk driving issues.

Our car ended up, upside-down, in the canal. 5 of us were trapped in the car. I don’t know the depth of the water. I do know that the water was dirty and cold, and came in the car quite fast. It tasted salty. I don’t remember if the windows were already open, or if my dad had to open the windows in order to help get us out of the car.

People who saw the accident stopped along the road and jumped in to save us. We all were able to get out, with one exception. My mom. She was wearing her seatbelt and they were not able to get it off in time. She drowned that night in that cold, nasty water.

I remember after I was pulled out to safety, sitting on the bank of the canal. Sitting with a stranger with a blanket or shirt or sweater – something dry and warm – wrapped around me. I remember the sounds of emergency vehicles arriving, people shouting, lights flashing. Panic. Chaos.

I don’t remember the ride to the hospital, but I do remember getting a warm bath, in a hospital bathtub by a nurse or orderly. I remember my hospital bed, which had the sides lifted in order to keep me in the bed. I remember climbing out of the bed in order to go to the bathroom and getting scolded by a nurse. I vaguely remember hearing my brother. I think.

I remember my dad coming in and getting me. We walked down the hall way of the hospital and he told me my mom was dead. I don’t remember if I cried. I believe Dad was crying.

In just a few seconds, that drunk driver had ruined our lives. Changed it forever. I was a motherless daughter. My dad was shattered. My brother was so young he has no memories of our mom at all. It changed our lives. Never would I be able to talk to my mom about boys. She would not be there to guide me nor my brother through all those hurdles of life, big or small.

My mom was another statistic. Drunk driving fatality. But we all were killed that day. Not physically, but spiritually, emotionally, mentally. We all died. The lives that came out of that car were not the same ones that entered it, just a couple hours before.

So, now, every year around the first of July, I tend to start thinking about the upcoming holiday. It is not usually a happy day for me. Our family can usually get thru the day well enough, BBQ, play badminton, other games, talk, laugh. But, I know that for me the thought is in the back of my mind, that we are missing a vital piece of our family.

I ask that you all enjoy the holiday, safe and sane and sober. If you do choose to drink and drive, please make sure that you have a back up plan. Have someone drive you home. Sleep on the floor or couch where you are at. Please do not get in the car, and sit behind the wheel, and drive down the road. You could horribly change lives if you drink and drive.

In His Loving Arms…