The next time someone calls you hard-headed, take it as a compliment.
February 28, 2008. 4:00 pm. My mother phoned to tell me that she had totalled their van by flipping it into the ditch near St Agathe. She told the tale of hanging upside down in the van, a nice trucker guy stopping to help them out and let them sit in his warm truck, and their police ride back home. She said they were absolutely fine.
I was still on the phone when I saw Arianna's friend Julia come flying up the back step. She flew into the house and said this:
Arianna has been hit by a car.
Really. she really said that. And that really happened. Really. (I'm repeating myself for my own sake, as I'm in a surreal zone)
Julia and I raced through the snow, over the snow mound at the edge of the church parking lot, and towards the cars and people situated on main street. I was trying to run faster than my feet, and I fell flat out on the snow. I was annoyed that it would take time away from me getting to my girl. Arianna was sitting on the street, lucid, with blankets piled on her. She was surrounded by calm, helpful people who encouraged her to stay still, kept asking her questions, and doing what they could to be helpful. 911 had been phoned, and the first responders were there shortly. They put Arianna in a neck brace, and slid her onto a board. She was saying that her back and head hurt, but she was clearly not in agony.
I met the man who had hit her, and I felt as sorry for him as I did my little girl. He was shaken, and apologetic, and I gave him a hug which may have made him feel worse, I'm not sure. That's when I saw his windshield, which was shattered, in a pattern that looked like the impact of a head, with splinter marks stretching out from it. I had to look back at my daughter. How could she be conscious?! How could there be no blood?!
We had a ride in the ambulance to St Pierre hospital. On the way, their radio was busy with incoming calls, most containing the words MVA. The roads were really, really bad. It was clear that mom and dad and Arianna were not the only ones making it to the emergency room.
At the hospital, we had a series of X-rays which all came back absolutely fine. I was anxious for the attendants to roll her over so I could get a look at the bruises on her back.
Her back was as beautiful as the day she was born. Not a scratch, a bruise, NOTHING. After the doc took a look at the pictures and gave her the okay, we were able to take off the neck brace and help her sit up, then stand up, then walk. Seriously. There was my absolutely beautiful daughter, standing tall and pretty and smart and strong as ever. Unbelievable.
We learned that most of the highways in the area had been closed by the RCMP. Good thing we always have uncle Mel. Brian, and mel, and Kathy came up in that wonderful truck of his, with interior heating and four wheels and everything and drove us home through the storm.
My little girl has a really sore lower back. And a tiny scratch on her pinkie. And did I mention that they were eating ketchup chips on their way to the church? In addition to shattering the guy's windshield, she also sprinkled it with ketchup chips. How thoughtful of her.
I'll probably write about this another 49 times. Right now I'm trying to write down the facts because living in a small town with wonderful, genuine, helpful people means that there are probably a lot of people who actually saw the accident. They will be wondering what actually happened, and what the fall-out is. Right now, we've got a sore back to deal with. although the x-rays came back normal, we may have chiropractic in our future.
One more thing. Tell your kids that when they are waiting to cross the street, and someone waves them across.... THAT DOES NOT GUARANTEE THAT IT IS SAFE TO CROSS. And that if you have a hard head.... that's not such a bad thing.
(the picture of the windshield is not the actual windshield. It's a picture that I took off the internet)