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Erin Grace

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Late 1987-1988 (Senior Year)

I had wanted to go see a therapist for a while, to deal with how I was feeling. The first appointment I had was in Syracuse and it was the first day of the season that we had any snow. I was really nervous about driving and I had asked my mother to go with me, prior to that day. I had just received, as a gift, my great aunt's enormous, 1972 Oldsmobile. I swear that damn thing took up the whole road. I should have called it The Intimidator, at least for how it made me feel. Anyhow, my mother said she couldn't go with me because she had to do some things (?) with my car before I could drive it. I was stuck driving her smaller car, which made me nervous in wet, snowy weather. After the last accident with her, most little cars made me feel claustrophobic. My mother and I got into a huge argument because she said she couldn't go. The last words I said, before I left were, "Well, don't blame me if I get into an accident." Famous last words.

I was driving down the road, about 4 miles from my house, when I came up over a small hill. As I crested the hill, there was a car that was pausing (not stopping), at a stop sign on the right. She pulled out into the road in front of me and I was, admittedly, going about 5 miles over the speed limit. The roads were slippery, so I knew I wouldn't be able to slow down in time, without hitting her from behind. I began braking but I also jerked the steering wheel too hard to the left, catching the left rear of her bumper. I still had the wheel turned too hard to the left and as I caught her bumper, I felt the car start to roll. I thought, "This is it. I'm going to die." The car rolled side over side, three times, until it came to rest right next to a large boat that the homeowners had in their driveway for the winter. I had rolled over their mailbox (special delivery!) and through their front yard. Luckily, after the accident with my mother and "S", I had learned to wear my seat belt. No doubt that saved me.

When the ambulance arrived, the paramedics told me that I was very lucky, as the week before, they had been to a very similar accident scene that was a fatality because the person wasn't wearing a seat belt. I had no serious injuries but the next day I couldn't get out of bed. When the car began to roll, I had tensed up so much that all of the muscles in my body had been exhausted from gripping the steering wheel and trying not to get thrown around, inside the car. I had hit my head and shoulders against the drivers side door and window but I didn't have any serious injuries from that.To add insult to injury, so to speak, my mother came tooling by the accident scene right after it happened. There were no emergency vehicles there yet, so she said she just looked at the car sitting there, next to the boat and she told me that she said to herself, "Gee, that kind of looks like my car." I had to laugh at that one, you know what they say about luck...

Now that my mother's car was totaled, I had no transportation to and from my mother's house for school. My mother was so upset about the accident that she barely wanted to let me leave the house, much less ever commute again. She had to use The Intimidator =) until she could get another car. I refused to transfer back to my hometown school and stay with her. "James" said his family would allow me to stay with them, so I began living with them and taking the bus to school. My friend "Jared", who hung around me when I was dating "Lee", was also the cousin of "James". It was great that I got to see him again and we had become really good friends.

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