The Call You Don’t Want to Get
Last Saturday I got a call no parent wants to get. Tenderheart, who’s been driving on her own for exactly two months and who’s had her beautiful car for just two months called and screamed, Momma, someone hit me!! She was crying hysterically.
I knew something was wrong because she should have been home, not calling me. I worry every minute I know they leave work until they get home for fear of getting that phone call so when they do call, I say, What’s wrong? Sometimes it’s just Moonshine stopping at the store or getting a late start home, but this last Saturday, it was the worst. Actually, not the worst because I think my mom got a call from the police when my sister rolled our Jeep. Okay, I’ll start by saying this could have been worse, but I was so scared anyway.
And when Tenderheart called, I knew exactly where she was. There’s a secondary street that goes between two main streets where you turn left into our neighborhood. There’s no turn lane because it’s a smaller street, but still four lanes. Every single time I stop there to turn left into our neighborhood I pray the people behind me stop. Where we turn is at the bottom of the hill and everyone is always going too fast and not paying attention. I hate it. One street over there’s a house on the corner that has been hit four times by cars going the other way and either racing or not paying attention. One time there were two cars in their backyard inches from the house, completely destroying the fence.
So Tenderheart called, Momma, someone hit me and I said, Where are you? She had no idea. Some man who stopped to help her said, she’s on blank and blank and I told her to hold on because I was coming. When I got to the intersection, I couldn’t find her car because the guy had pinballed her up the street about 200 feet. She was sitting in her car by herself and there were two police cars, a fire truck, and an ambulance. Oh my!
By the time I crossed the street and got to her, she was surrounded by firemen making sure she was okay. She wasn’t, she was freaked out and covered in HI-C fruit punch because she had her drink with her and she thought she was bleeding. Her head and neck hurt and she was panicked. She saw him coming at her in the rearview mirror, but she couldn’t do anything about it because there were other cars coming. She also didn’t hold her brake so she was hit into oncoming traffic, which thankfully didn’t hit her and she managed to get back into her lane to stop. And it’s actually a good thing she didn’t hold her brake or all the airbags would have come out and she probably would have done more damage.
So they wanted to take her to the hospital but all I could hear was cha-ching, cha-ching so I said I would take her to the hospital once we determined what was hurting after she was out of the shock of getting hit. And it doesn’t matter how many times I’ve shown her, this is your insurance and registration, she had no idea what they wanted when they asked. I found her insurance information for the very patient policeman and they did their police report.
This is where I should have known more, but none of my kids – Thank God – have been in an accident so I didn’t know to ask for the insurance information there. The policeman brought over the police report number because the other guy got a ticket and they told me to move her car because it was still driveable. I thought I’d just be able to go look up the police report, get the information I needed, and call their insurance company to file a claim. Wrong! I called my insurance company and they said I should have asked for the other person’s insurance information because the police just want to sell me a police report and it takes two weeks for me to start to get her car fixed. WTH?
But it doesn’t even matter because Tenderheart said she’s never driving again. That’s going to go over really well when I leave her next week to move Moonshine to college and Tenderheart has to drive herself places…like to school.
Her head stopped hurting, but her back and shoulder and hip and neck started really hurting bad so I took her to Children’s Hospital and they took x-rays of her back. Her spine is twisted because one side of the muscles is holding on tighter than the other side so they gave her ibuprofen and muscle relaxers. She’s a dancer so I wanted to get x-rays to make sure nothing was fractured that could be tweaked in her dance class. She’s been to dance twice since the accident and she said it really hurts but the doctor said it needs to be stretched out and stop if it gets too bad.
And I really just want to say, Thanks, jackass who wasn’t paying attention, for my Saturday night in the emergency room. I wish there was some way I could repay you for that joy and the heart attack you gave me and the terrified girl who never wants to drive again.