I have done a lot of venting yammering and going sideways in my posts about the challenges caring for my mother. (PharSytid). This posting is not one about mom driving me nuts, potty chair etc., no, this one is about how my mother has kicked butt and my admiration of her for how she handled a couple of ungodly situations.
When I was four years old, mom dad and I piled into the ‘72 Nova for a trip to Colorado over a holiday weekend. I have very vivid memories of a particular point of this trip: I was in the back seat of course, and we were on the highway in the right lane closest to the cliff range along the highway, I remember this powder blue van in the left lane next to us driving ‘weird’ with three guys carrying on and their radio blasting and I recall my dad being very irritated because when he sped up trying to pass them they sped up, the next thing I remember is my dad shouting JC! and something rolling onto the hood of our car and disappearing and I remember seeing my dad jumping downward off that cliff shouting “I’m coming buddy, I’m coming”. That blue van had swerved into our lane and dad veered right to avoid the van and we hit a man who was hitchhiking, the right side of our car from the front tire to passenger door we’re hanging over the cliff, not an embankment, a freaking CLIFF! I remember smelling gas . I was in my car seat mom up front dad going down the cliff and the car creaking and popping. I remember mom slowly turning around unbuckling me while calmly explaining to me on my level that it was very important that I listen to mommy and to sit very still and only do what she tells me and nothing else ; I knew we were in a bad situation but my four year old mind really couldn’t wrap around it. As mom carefully precisely moved toward the drivers side in the front seat, she was directing me when how and where to move my hands feet and body toward the drivers side in the backseat, the car freaked and I heard the gravel slide a couple of times but mom remained focused and calm talking me through the movements that literally saved my life her life and my dad and that hitchhikers lives had that car gone over, it’d of taken them with it too. Next I remember seeing my dad pulling a man up onto the road and the man’s face was all red and yucky and my dad kneeling by him repeating” hang in there buddy, they’re coming, don’t move buddy, they will be here” he kept calling him buddy. Luckily, an off duty cop going the opposite direction saw what happened and radioed for help and went after the van and brought them back. I vaguely remember the ambulance but I do remember sitting on moms lap in the tow truck and her randomly squeezing me whispering for me to close my eyes- apparently the tow truck driver was driving very fast on the two land highway heading back to Phoenix. Mom was only 26 when this happened, unrehearsed and without warning or prior experience in a situation like that. She told me that she remembered seeing the glass from the jar of jelly that the man was carrying that hit the windshield only after she got us out of the car. Imagine what she must have thought that jelly was? Nonetheless, she stayed calm and collected and without dad or anyone’s help, she got us out of that car safely. She never gasped, panicked, cried or oh my godded and she patiently and calmly spoke to me therefore I didn’t panic either. Mom kicked butt that day cause I will admit that I wouldn’t have been able to stay collected, most of us wouldn’t, and if mom hadn’t it would have turned out very differently.
Thank you mom and I love you.