My two youngest daughters and I were traveling on a very familiar gravel road, heading to a family gathering, when I lost control of the van and we ended up in the ditch. Yes, the conditions were extremely wet (2 inches of rain and counting) and there was a very soft spot on that road. I was going 60 km/h and while I corrected one slide, I obviously did not correct the next. There was probably some hydroplaning involved, seeing as the ruts were full of water and something also happened with the rear tire as we turned sideways. In that one second that I had to decide what to do, all I thought was "don't roll on the road". So.. we rolled into the ditch and I quickly said "Lord Jesus" out loud and told the girls "hold on girls" and in we went. I honestly thought we would only tip over on our side or head bang on into the ditch. I prayed silently for God to keep the roof off my girls heads and that the air bags wouldn't hurt us.
We flipped completely onto the roof and then right around onto our wheels again... facing North instead of South. Vehicle still runs just fine :)
The girls had very interesting views while it was happening and had some slow motion experience. Miss M saw a Tupperware bowl float by her, hit the window and then hit her in the head. Miss R saw me whiplash in my seat. I had my eyes tightly closed I guess, as all I experienced were sensations and then saw some cows when I opened my eyes.
I was very impressed at the calmness and maturity my girls had with the whole event. Miss M's first words were "well, that was weird". I told the girls calmly, to just sit and relax afterwards and let me look at them. Miss R had some dirt and debris on her face and 2 little spots of blood on her hand from some glass and I had the same amount on my neck from the seatbelt. There was glass everywhere! I didn't want them touching anything, but we had to get out. After turning off the vehicle and deciding we were all okay and that no, that watermelon juice was not a body fluid, we all crawled out of the van. Miss M's next words were "what can I do to help Mom?". One proud Momma! I was looking for my sweater that had been on my lap as I was thinking "it's raining and I am going to get soaked"... well, the sweater was already soaking in the ditch water. Guess I wouldn't be wearing it. SO thankful that all of us were buckled in properly, or we could have been soaking in the ditch as well.
|Everything in the van was completely drenched with water|
So I ended up gathering up a few things from the water and popped them into my bag and oh wait, there is the camera, maybe I should take some photos. I poured some bottled water over our hands and we shook off some of the glass on our face, hair and clothes.
|Lots of glass shards on our face and in our hair|
Then we started walking home and waiting for some passerby to stop and perhaps give us a ride home. We saw one car heading our way and then they turned around and headed back :( About 5 minutes later a big old motor home came and offered us a ride home. Funny how they knew who we were once we told them "we live in the yellow house" and he brought us right home. So we ended up going next door to our siblings and asked if they could drive us to the hospital once I made some phone calls and we had a quick shower. We were certain that there was glass in our eyes and probably in our scalp as well. So I made the phone call to my hubby (who was on his way home from Calgary) and told him "First of all, everyone is okay...." Poor man, he couldn't get home fast enough.
|Notice how the Town and Country van roof just buckled and took the impact|
|Passenger window completely gone, this is where all the glass came from|
The nurses checked the girls a bit for neck injuries, etc and we all had glass removed from our eyes. I am still dealing with some tiny shards in my scalp, but they are eventually coming out. We were then told to go to our family Dr. the next week. The girls seem pretty good, only Miss R needed some Tylenol for a bump on her head and general muscle aches. I have finally received some muscle relaxants that help me sleep instead of being in constant pain. Guess I've never had that kind of pain (well, except a migraine) that Advil or Tylenol couldn't fix for me. Thankfully we had family living close by that could drop what they were doing and take us in and even treat us to supper afterwards. I really think this helped us relax and especially take the girls mind off it. I know Miss M was thinking about how her life could have changed in something had happened to any of us.
The roof collasped between the 2 front seats
The local auto shop came out ASAP and towed the vehicle back to their yard. I also phoned the RCMP and they told me what I needed to do.
|Girls noticing that the car turned around instead|
So now we wait ~ for the adjuster to check out the van and tell us what compensation our insurance will give us ~ then we start the hunt for another vehicle. We have learned first hand how important some safety features are!
We've also been shaken up and saw just how quickly our life could have changed by a few small details. God is good and gave us more time together. We are very thankful. We're also very thankful for those who popped by to "see if you are okay" and asked how we were doing. I'm thankful too that I had made a big pot of soup before hand and we had a few meals from it... especially nice when just making a quick pot of rice would wear me out. We had some friends help with the little details of driving girls to their camp, etc and I had the privilege of just lying on the couch watching movies and sleeping. Amazing how nothing else matters at that point.
We've all been reminded how life really is about relationships and interactions with people. I will try to listen to that voice in my head more often ~ that one that tells me, "go ask how they are doing" or "you could bring them something"... just to acknowledge that they are important to you.
Thank you Lord Jesus for answering my prayers and keeping us all safe and sound in your hands.
UPDATE 1 year later:
Well, Mei suffers no after affects. Ruth is still undergoing some chiropractic treatment and with exercise and treatment is actually starting to feel better than before ! Jolene is still having difficulties with her back. There is one very sensitive area on her spine and she is going for further testing. All in all, we've all come a long way since this roll over. Learned new or different techniques to use in garden work with bending over etc. Jolene still doesn't feel like she is up to her same capabilities as before, but is optimistic! MPI has continued to pay for these treatments thus far, but we'll have to see what they continue to do.