Every time I leave my house, I have to confront the memory. The nightmare.
I can’t avoid it; I can’t turn around and take another route. I can’t NOT think about it as I approach the intersection, because it’s the only way for me to make it onto the main road. I can’t do anything but place my foot on the gas and take a deep breath as I drive ahead.
Three years ago, I was in a serious car accident – just moments from my front door. Now I won’t be so dramatic as to say it changed my whole life, but it did give me profound insight into one truth: FOCUS on the Road.
It was a sunny, cold morning and my husband was uncharacteristically working from home for the first part of the day. Seizing an opportunity to run to the grocery store without toting two tots, I threw on a coat and jumped into his car, yelling that I would return in less than 20 minutes.
IT ONLY TAKES ONE SECOND TO CHANGE THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.
The grocery run itself was unremarkable; loading up on baby cereal, assorted fruits and veggies, I left the store and drove the 4-minute commute back to my house. (Repeat: the 4-minute commute.) At the major intersection before my side street, I waited patiently for the light to turn green.
I remember glancing out the window; thinking about what I should make for dinner that night, chewing on my bottom lip. The light turned green, and I calmly stepped on the gas. Rihanna sang away on the radio.
And the next thing I knew, I felt the force of impact; air bags exploding all around me; the smell of burnt rubber assaulting my nose. I opened my eyes and was acutely aware that although I was travelling westbound, I was now facing north… in the southbound traffic lanes. What the hell had happened? …