Location: Palm Beach County, Florida, United States

Recently have been told I look like Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island. I hadn't heard that in years, but that is a good place to start as to what I look like, although she had a better bod. I have three boys and have been married for 13 years. Born of a Navy family, in Hawaii, one Mom, one Dad, one sister and one brother. The eldest of three children. BS in Applied Mathematics. Consider Pensacola my home town although I moved every 2-3 years of my life growing up. Currently work in the aerospace industry in an engineering position while being a Mom. Of Celtic heritage and very proud of it.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Time Stands Still

I got a call at 12:31 AM. I don’t like calls at that time. They mean something bad has happened and this was no exception. My husband teaches with a group, continuing ed for his profession, and after yesterday’s course got out at 7PM, they all went out for dinner. They ended up not eating until more like 9 and it was a long evening, relaxing I’m sure, all the guys. Some decided to go to another place after to dance and party some more, but he begged out. He doesn’t drink, he doesn’t like keeping late hours and as he put it to me, all he could think about was crawling into bed with his wife.

He was in the middle lane of I-95, going with the flow of traffic, which was probably about 60MPH, when in his rear view mirror, he just saw headlights. Within a fraction of a second, the car had hit him in the back rear right quarter panel and was pushing him down I-95. The kid was doing over 85MPH, the Florida Highway Patrol suspects. As the cars started to slow, the kid’s car disengaged from my husband’s, throwing him into a spin until he slammed into the wall of the bridge.

My husband drives a very well made, but low to the ground sports car. 1994 Twin Turbo Supra, loaded. He has that baby cranked at well over 450 HP on the block. It’s in pristine condition. The leather inside always treated just so. The white paint job looks like it just rolled off the factory floor. People stop to admire his car and he spends hours on it. It is his catharsis. If he is having a bad day, you’ll find him waxing his car or tinkering with it. In my garage I have the old exhaust system, the old wheels (he went bigger) and old stereo. He’s a motor head, which surprises people when they find out what he does for a living. He KNOWS cars and he loves them. But he is careful and doesn’t go all out on dangerous places like I-95. He has no death wish and has a good head on his shoulders. Thankfully.

But for the grace of God the man is still alive. When he called me, I misunderstood. I thought he was on the side of the road having witnessed a wreck. He was so calm. But that is him, Mr. Calm, Cool and Collected. His brother calls him the Iceman. I am his wife. I know better. Even as calm as he was, he was not thinking 100%. I was the first he called after the FHP and when I said, “Wait. YOU were in a wreck? I need to come get you,” his reply was a quiet, “No, I don’t think so. I don’t want you to wake the boys.” Finally I said, “Babe, how are you going to get home? Don’t worry about the boys. We’re on our way” and with that, I managed to get my boys dressed and into the van, with blankets to keep them warm, hoping they would stay asleep.

I got to the accident scene probably about 1:15 AM. The tow trucks were there, the cops, the road rangers had closed off two lanes of I-95. It was cool and windy out and a light rain had started. Cool, dark and rainy, I felt sick inside, not knowing what to expect. When I pulled in front of the lead tow truck, they had loaded his car up already. I don’t know where the punk was that hit him; I gather his family had already taken him away. It was not a hit and run as the punk’s car had a wheel shorn off during the wreck.

I know my husband was numb. I kept trying to give him a jacket as he was standing out in his lecture clothes in the cool rain and the tow truck guys and the cops were all wearing rain slickers and wind breakers. He refused and said he was fine. He went through the motions and the cops listed his car as totaled.

I have to tell you, the FHP were wonderful. I could tell they felt bad for him. As much as he looked unaffected, they would put a hand on his shoulder. The tow truck guy… wow. I was surprised when I saw the kid driving the lead truck. I said to my husband, “Since when did they let 16 year olds drive tow trucks?” He couldn’t have been a day over 21. But his boss… the lead, he was awesome. The windows are blown out of the car and they were towing it to a salvage yard and he promised my husband he would tarp it so as not to ruin the interior. (When we called the salvage yard today, they had my husband’s car inside AND tarped.) He told my husband if he really wants it fixed, he knows the guys who can do it. Luckily, we do too. He gave us great insight on how to deal with the insurance company and how to buy the car back with clear title so we can fix it. He was a plethora of information, obviously garnered from years of experience in his profession. He’s a motorhead too… a Vietnam vet that still has his 1966 GTO he bought right before he went to ‘Nam. He loves his car and knew my husband loved his.

So now goes the hassle of dealing with insurance and the fact the kid may NOT have had insurance. We’ll have it towed to our garage and I think he’s having it rebuilt. His mechanic races at Moroso and wrecked his Supra going 110MPH slamming into a wall. I know if his mech was able to have his car put back, they can surely do something for a car that spun into a wall at 60, although his mech’s car only hit a wall… my husband’s car was hit and THEN spun into the wall.

We just need to save and figure out when to do it. Until then, my husband’s car will sit in our garage, a reminder of how lucky we are. He walked away from this wreck unscathed, just a bit sore. He could be dead. I could be a widow. My children could be fatherless. I am dwelling on how blessed we are, but the alternatives cannot help but creep into my thoughts, the prospects that I could have been doomed to walk this Earth alone without my soul mate, the potential of having to raise our children without their father.

As I was sitting on the side of the interstate, watching my husband pace back and forth, talking to the FHP and the tow truck drivers, deciding on where they were going to take his car and what to do next, all I kept thinking was, “I don’t want to be here. I want my babies in their beds. I want my husband in bed next to me.” I just wanted him lying next to me in our bed. Warm and safe.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMG! I am so sorry! I'm glad he's feeling okay - but I'm willing to bet he's got some stuff really all wacked out of place. I hope you know a good chiropractor!

You're right - the worst part about all of this will be getting things fixed again and back to normal. I'm glad the FHP were so nice to him. When my husband's car got rear-ended at a gas station by a girl - who was a new driver, driving her boyfriend's Porsche!!! - the police were almost accusing him of causing the accident... even though he was parked at the pump, the car was OFF and he was standing next to it. To this day, I still cringe when I think, if she had been 10 seconds later - he would've been getting INTO the car when she lost control!!! She knocked it forward about 20 feet.

Anyhow, sending your husband hugs and some of those wacky healing vibes. It will be a while before he feels normal... and I'm just so very glad that the worst part is the smashed car!


12:24 AM  
Blogger That 1 Guy said...

Holy crap, Bou! All I can say is that I'm glad he's alright!

Yeah, that's all I can say... damn.

12:27 AM  
Blogger Tammi said...

Sweetie! We had just hung up the phone! Damn, I'm so glad he is alright.

I knew something was wrong when we talked yesterday morning, but the connection was bad and I couldn't hear you. I called back and thougth you must be out.

I'm just so glad he's ok - you need ANYTHING let me know......

7:01 AM  
Blogger VW said...

Bou, let me know if there is anything I can do for you this week. Pick the kids up, whatever. I know it will be busy trying to get it all straightened out.

7:58 AM  
Blogger Harvey said...


7:59 AM  
Blogger Quality Weenie said...

I am glad everything is alright.

You can use this as an example to people (and kids) on why they need to wear their seatbelts and airbags are your friend.

Off-topic: On getting the car fixed, just my opinion but I wouldn't do it. I'm sure the frame is bent and that itself will cause you untold misery forever. It really can never be bent back to factory condition.

8:42 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Oh, Bou, you have just spoken absolute volumes.

I hope your husband is, indeed, all right and feels better (no soreness) soon.

I am very sorry for the accident.

May God continue to bless you and yours.

8:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Incredible. Glad your husband's OK. I don't watch the news on weekends and hadn't heard about the wreck.

Maybe I missed it, but I didn't see if you said he was wearing a seatbelt. I assume he used one to get out of the crash so safely. I became a real believer in seatbelts when a friend got cut off on I-95, rolled her car, and walked away from it. She said she felt like she got beat up, but no broken bones or blood, thanks to seatbelts.
- George

10:11 AM  
Blogger Boudicca said...

We're big seatbelt people. If he hadn't been wearing his seatbelt, he'd be dead. No question.

His airbag malfunctioned and didn't go off. Since the front was the first to slam into the wall, we're thankful, that it didn't go off. He was able to still see where the car was heading, as he was able to control some of the spin. Plus, we are afraid if the bag had gone off it could have broken his wrist and put him on disability. One more pain in the neck.

We are very very lucky. Someone was looking out for him.

11:48 AM  
Blogger Pammy said...

Oh, Bou. (Hug)

12:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bou, I am so glad he is okay! Do some follow-up though, as soreness and more can take a day or three to develop. Get him checked out now! Glad he is okay, and relieved thoughts are with you all. Let me know if there is anything I can do.


12:37 PM  
Blogger Jody said...

I am so happy to hear that your husband is OK. What a terrifying thing to have happen. I hope the kid has insurance. And, if he doesn't, I hope your insurnace company leans HARD on his parents.

Good healing vibes from Iowa- and get DH to a chiropractor at the end of the week. And maybe a good massage therapist.

12:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From DLK : Sweetheart, I am thinking of you and can feel every thought you had running through my mind too. The last 48 hours here in CT have been tough thinking of Mom and how I should have done things differently.
Take of you and do what you need to do to deal with "what if's" and "what might have been's" and what now you will do differently as a result. I know how you think Bou, and I am there in spirit with a hug for you, and a hug for Mr. Bou.

12:58 PM  
Blogger Stu said...

I've logged my share of time on I-95 in Palm Beach County. That kid had to be an idiot to rear end a moving car!

1:15 PM  
Blogger Sally said...

Thank God he's O.K.


2:53 PM  
Blogger KTreva said...

I'm really sorry this happened, but glad to hear that Mr. Bou is OK... recovery and healing are slow but sure.

8:16 PM  
Blogger Dash said...

Sorry to hear about that. It's a tough thing to go through, but it's good there was no serious bodily injury. I know how he feels about the car, too. I've been there... twice. He'll find another one if that one can't be restored. Good luck to you.

9:26 PM  
Blogger Anathematized1 said...

*Big hugs and deep sighs of gratitude that hubby is ok*

9:29 PM  
Blogger momotrips said...

I'm so glad he's okay! I dread getting that phone call. You seemed to handle it very well, I'd have flipped out. I hope he recovers just fine.


9:50 PM  
Blogger Contagion said...

I'm glad your husband is okay. Accidents can scare the crap out of those involved and their loved ones. But the important thing is that he's okay.

8:04 AM  
Blogger Graumagus said...

No matter how nice the car, it can always be replaced.
Thank god your hubby is ok!

3:15 PM  
Blogger Caltechgirl said...

I'm so glad everything is alright. He was lucky. And especially that he had you to come pick him up and take him home to get warm. I-95 is a menace, even up here.

5:28 PM  

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