A little story about me.
Summer of 1998, I was 21. I was currently in college and headed home which was a little over an hour away. It was before cell phones so the only distractions were wild animals or changing the radio station. I was coming up behind a semi and got in the right hand lane to go around him. Just as I approached the back of the trailer to pass him the vehicle ahead of me in the right hand lane jumped in front of the semi and turned right. This caused the semi to slam on his brakes and jack-knife. To jack-knife is when the semi itself turns but the trailer stays straight so it’s now in an L shape. I slammed on my brakes and headed right for the semi. Eyes wide open, arms locked straight out, both feet on the brake I knew I was about to die. I debated for a flash second if I should keep my eyes open or close them. I kept them open. The time waiting for the impact seemed almost like forever, but was too quick. SLAM. I made contact. I screamed then looked around. Did anyone just see that? Shaking and scared to death, probably in shock, I got out of my car and just stood there crying. I remember the truck driver jumping out, yelling at someone to go get that car that cut him off then running over to me and just looking at me like he was in shock i was standing there. I was fine. My air bag had come out but I didn’t hit it. My foot was bleeding, I cut it on the pedal. Other than that I was fine. Later of course I had neck problems and some back issues. One of the scariest moments of my life.
About a month later I was home from college and had gone out for a jog. We live in the country. I’m talking no neighbors for a few miles, nothing but fields and Amish around. It was starting to become dusk by the time I was on my way back. I was approaching an intersection and something just made me pick up my pace and go a little faster. Almost like I was being pushed. I didn’t get 100 yards from the intersection when a car passed me then CRASH! There was another car coming to one of the stop signs and the two collided. I really don’t know what happened as they were behind me. I immediately turned and ran back. There was a toddler in a car crying. I could see the driver was unconscious. For some reason I just ran right to that little guy and got him out and held him. What I didn’t know was that when the cars collided they knocked out the power line on the road including power to my parents house. It was now dark. I could see a car coming and slowed. My mom jumped out and was screaming my name. I yelled that I was fine but this lady was hurt. My brother was with her and tended to the driver. When the power went out at their house they thought I had been hit. Once 911 had been called and medics arrived we left.
I had plans that night. I was going to go out with Nathan, we were dating back then, and some friends. I walked in the house and all my dad said was “You’re not going anywhere.” Being that I was 21 I was certain that I was going to leave. So I hopped in the shower and started getting ready in the dark. My older brother popped in the bathroom laughing and said “You’re not going anywhere.” I’m sure we bickered back and forth but he really thought this was funny. I walked out into the family room and again was told I wasn’t leaving. I said that I was, that I had plans and I would see them later. For some reason they let me walk out. Then I realized they had taken the keys out of my car. I checked every vehicle. All the keys were gone. We lived in the country and back then you just left the keys in them. Now I realized why my brother was laughing so hard and I was furious. I stormed back into the house. I never argued with my dad, he was always too intimidating. This time I just remember being so mad. I asked for my keys and he said no. Then he told me I better not call anyone to have them come get me. I was 21 for goodness sake! He couldn’t do this. But, he did. He reminded me of the car accident I had just had and then the one that happened this night and he wasn’t about to let me go anywhere. I was fuming. To this day my brother and I still laugh that dad took my keys at age 21.
Today I get it. Now that I’m a mom with my own kids I finally get it. He didn’t want anything more to happen to me. I’m sure it scared the socks off him. I’ve been there with my own kids already, not quite the same situations of course but I’ve been there. I know that feeling.
Thank you for teaching me to respect your words and that you were just protecting me. I can only pray that I can teach my kids to respect and listen to me, as well as other adults, the way you taught me.I think that’s something that has been lost in today’s world. I’ll try my hardest just for you Dad!!
Happy Fathers Day. I love you!