So when my daughter rang this morning, after leaving to drive to the hair salon for a pre-booked cut, little did I expect to receive a call from her fifteen minutes later, and through the tears, make out;
“Mummy…. I’ve had an accident….. The car is on its roof.”
Never have you seen my departure from the house be so swift; grabbing keys, coat and confused husband in the process. I thrust to his chest area my mobile as we entered the truck and I reversed out of the drive, proceeding to take the same route she had only minutes before.
Black ice hid around every bend on the country lanes, it’s black poisoned fingers clawing their way silently across the tarmac.
The sun had killed some of it, where the hedges gave way to gaps and the rays had melted, then dried the results of yesterday’s rainfall.
As I drove and he held her panicky voice in his hands, her wails spilling from the smartphone screen, she suddenly sounded like the four year old who had cut her chin open tripping on a step, or the scared twelve year old stood on Stratford Station after a ‘big independent girls’ day out but finding the trains home cancelled. That tone in their voice which hits the very core of parenthood … I still need you.
As we raced our way to her, whilst driving as slowly as I could bare to, we knew she would be about to experience a whole procedure with policemen and tests and questions. Her car was blocking the lane and as we drew closer, she was stood hugging herself looking smaller than her 5’8″ stature.
How the hell did she walk away from THAT?
I pulled over to park to the side of a driveway, tears starting to flow of their own accord. I knew she was fine; she’d telephoned us and I could clearly see her standing there on the verge, but the overwhelming emotion when I saw that car filled my whole body with shivers.
My common sense translated the scene in front of me while my imagination re-wrote events. It did this immediately, the bastard. I saw my daughter’s head smashed against the driver’s window, her unconscious body unable to make her escape before another driver of a more heavy vehicle sees the obstruction in time.
She walked over to hug me and we held each other tightly, longer than our hello/goodbye hugs.
“I don’t know how it happened. It was so quick.”
“The car doesn’t matter darling; you are safe. Honestly, it’s all that matters.” I talked into her hair as I held her, tears still coming from us both.
The police had already been called by a generous young man who happened on the scene, and had kindly stopped to check the driver. He had rung the police for her and gently suggested she turn the engine off as it was still running. She sat keeping warm in his car following her initial call to us. I do not recall his name – she did mention it – but we shook his hand warmly on handover and thanked him for stopping. Bless those souls who pause in their day for others.
The police duly arrived; two patrol cars to cordon off the lane from each direction. One interviewed our worried daughter, helped her relax and explained how the breathalyser worked. She passed this; her most recent tipple had been Boxing Day.
The second rang the recovery people who arrived only 30 minutes later and established that an upside down car should stay upside down on the transport lorry due to leakages already inevitably going on.
The scraping sounds as our daughter’s first car was winched unceremoniously but expertly off the road, filled my mind with further visions of the sounds she would have endured an hour earlier.
Someone was looking on our family today. This evening she is with her wonderful boyfriend – I drove her to him myself – because tomorrow they fly out together to Amsterdam for New Year.
He was as relieved as we were to discover his girlfriend is in one beautiful peace and needs only moral support and hugs. Lots of them. He will keep her cozy this evening.
I cannot speak highly enough of seatbelt safety. Had she not been wearing one, I may not have been typing this. I may have been sat beside her bed in A&E. Or worse.
Daily word prompt – COZY
(posted with my daughter’s knowledge and acceptance that to share a positive outcome such as this, may help other young drivers)