Windows are smashed. Doors morph from one side to nearly the other. Glass glitters like fiery dust beneath the broken vehicle.
It is a scene stuck in time. No hurried footsteps, no one rushing from ambulance to automobile. I shudder as I sit in my car.
The accident reminds me of my own, though mine wasn’t nearly as severe. But the images, the feelings, the emotions, they are the same. Fear. Anxiety. Worry.
I worry every time I step into a vehicle, for reasons such as this. Crashes. Life that ends, or is wounded forever. I worry my brain will once again be flung inside my skull, and memories will be lost, maybe this time for good.
It sounds selfish to think of myself, doesn’t it? But I can’t help it. Once the brain has failed, you are afraid of it failing for eternity.
As I sit in this place, at a light that is forever red, I wonder about the people in the car, who they were, what they were doing when they were hit. Were they mothers, fathers, children? Was it a couple on vacation, like my husband and I had been?
A thousand drums pound in my head, my gut twists like a knotted rope, my heart beats inside my chest. Sweat drips down my neck. It’s doing that now.
I tremble. Shake. My knees bounce. I push them down.
“Turn green,” I say to the light. “Please turn green.”
I have no choice but to watch the situation before me, and wonder what could have been. Five minutes earlier, would it have been me?
The light changes, and I drive away, turning my head as I pass. Nothing has changed. A car on an empty stage. A mesmerized audience, waiting for the outcome.
I lift my hand, wipe away tears that slide down my cheeks, and begin to pray, “Please, Lord, help the people in that car, if they can still be helped. Be with their families, whoever they are. And, Lord, help me, too. I am so afraid.”
It could happen again. I know this is true. There’s probably nothing I can do to stop it. I’m afraid I will worry anyway.
But something has changed in my worrying. Where once I only worried about me, I now worry about others, too. When sirens scream, and emergency vehicles rush past, I worry about the injured, and about me. And then I pray, not just for me, but others, too.
About The Author
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