Yesterday as I was driving home from visiting and a full day of shopping with my mom, I got a call from my husband, "M, I just wanted to let you know that K and T are okay but they were in a head-on collision with a drunk driver who wasn't wearing his seatbelt and died. They are in the ER right now if you want to go see them."
As I walked through the ER doors, I didn't pay attention to anyone. Even though my friends were alive and came away with only scrapes, bumps and bruises, I was in shock. Shocked that I almost lost two very close friends and shocked for them that the other driver was killed.
I held my composure as I walked through the doors to T's room where people who loved her stood. She had just finished getting stiched up from the massive cut she received on her finger from the plate she was holding when the collision occured which shattered in her hands. I saw her shirt sleeves cut all the way up her arms with blood stains seaping through showing me exactly where she had been damaged.
Still in shock, all I could think to do was hug her. Not knowing what I could touch without hurting her, I gently stroked her hair and hugged her head, thanking God that she was still here.
I was taken down the hall to another room where K sat on the phone telling her step-mom what had happened. Just the sight of her made me tear up a little. When she hung up the phone she had a smile on her face which confirmed to me that she was okay and, in fact, more okay than I as I could not get a smile out. As she tearfully told me what had happened I watched as she moved her hand gestures ever so slowly, subtly displaying the pain that she was in. I sat next to her, not wanting to let go in amazement that she was in somewhat good spirits.
We walked back down the hall to T's room where the ER nurse finished wrapping her freshly stiched finger. By this time I had enough confirmation for myself that they were okay. As the girls were discharged, we took a slow walk out to the main enterance while C pulled her car around to take the girls home. M.A. and I helped the girls into the car. K couldn't lift her own leg up in the car, so I gently lifted it in and wrapped the seatbelt around her chest, buckling it safely, like a mom buckling in her baby snuggled into its protective car seat.
I held my composure while shutting the door and watched them drive off but as I walked back to my car, I lost it. All emotions of sadness for the man who lost his life, joy that God protected my two friends, and pride that while the girls waited for the emergency vehicles to cut them out of their mangled car they prayed together the entire time, were rolling in one fell swoop. I cried in my car for about 5 minutes, praying the only two words that I could muster: "Thank you."
This morning I woke up with a pit in my stomach still but I am so thankful that God has given this life to us. To waste it is a shame. This has taught me to really cherish those I love. And even though I am angry at the thought of someone ever drinking and driving, I feel a loss for the man I didn't know. I pray that whatever pain caused him to drink has passed and he is at peace now.