The Ride Home
nearly seven years ago that I nearly lost my life.
It was a clear, beautiful day; crisp enough to wear a sweater, and the
air was rapt in the rare coolness we fleetingly enjoy in
at that precise moment that the driver began to turn left slamming directly into
me. The memory is forevermore etched
upon my mind. The sound of metal crashing into metal, still, to this day
reverberates in my head. The spinning, the sense of stopping and taking off
again, the bronco-like bumping until finally, blessedly, my little red truck
came to a halt 160 feet from the point of impact, in a culvert at the side of
the pain came blasting to the forefront as if a blur coming into finite focus. I
knew in an instant that my gruesomely, distorted feet were both broken, so too
my nose. Blood dripped from my nose
and spewed out my mouth. I can still taste it all these years later. The yellow
folded float that lay on the passenger seat beside me was ominously streaked red
from my blood. My stomach ached – a jarring pain I can still feel every time I
pass the spot on the road from that fateful day when he collided with me.
favorite sunglasses – the only pair I’ve never lost or broken, lay intact in
the furthermost corner of the passenger feet area. So, too were my reading
glasses that only moments before hung gracefully around my neck and across my
chest by a pretty beaded chain that was given to me as an upcoming birthday
gift. The stick shift and steering wheel both seemed eerily somehow out of
took the rear window out to extricate me. I was life-flighted to the hospital.
My liver was lacerated and threatened my life.
Both feet were horribly, seriously broken.
In the surgeon’s words I, “shattered nearly every bone in my left
foot.” My eyes were swollen near
shut and two weeks later, when I was first given a mirror, they were still black
as tar. I had two broken ribs,
contusions and bruises on my abdomen, legs, pelvis, thighs, arms, and my nose
was as wide as a highway.
thirty-two days in the hospital, twelve in ICU, and through it all I was in
incredible, excruciating pain. Surgery
mended my feet – now held together with steel plates and eight screws.
My casts, to the knees, were a part of me for eleven weeks.
My recovery, however, has been long enduring and still ongoing.
longer walk with my once dancer’s grace. Eight-years
later my stride is still stilted and awkward and clearly evident to all that see
me. Don’t misunderstand me, I’m
grateful I can walk at all, and even more grateful to be alive.
But every day, sometimes a dozen or more times a day, I am reminded of
this senseless, avoidable assault to my body – to my life.
see, the man who struck me and many, too many of you, has something in common:
You don’t use your directional signals.
you actually do, however. But,
it’s as if it is a last minute thought just as you begin to turn suddenly you
seem to remember and engage the turning signal.
Unfortunately, for the majority of drivers out there, it is with careless
abandon that one drives. The evident
disdain for other drivers sharing the road is a blatant act of lawlessness that
could also result in a life-altering, if not deadly end.
my story, my heretofore, private experience, for only one reason:
I hope with all my heart, that by reading this very short version of my
harrowing experience, it will alter the consciousness of those of you who
neglect or refuse to use your directional signal.
For the remaining of us on the road, I pray it does.
And for those of you reading this who would take offense to my use of the
pronoun, you, it was not meant to be offensive, just inclusive.
© Norma Sherry 2006
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Genocide by Norma Sherry
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The Ill-Begotten: Reflections of Unconstitutional Precedence by Philip J. Rappa
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