I've been doing a lot of quiet thinking lately, reflection, and self panic.
I'm having birthday related panic set in. I'll be 25 shortly. I feel 20 years older than that. I feel like this should be a mark between "youth" and "true adult"... and yet, I don't feel like I contribute to society. I feel like this began two years ago and I've BEEN "grown up" this whole time. Part of that is realizing that as an adult I won't always have the answers, even if that's what I think partly defines an adult, someone who knows.
I don't always have the answers. I didn't make the connection earlier to Wash having seizures again, even though I saw the end results. I am not a doctor and I'm not a neurologist. I don't know it all, but I have to know enough to keep him alive, safe, and happy.
So, Tash, let's go into what happened this weekend.
We got lost on the way down to the wedding. Wait, let me start earlier; we were an hour late getting on the road in the first place, thus starting my stress before noon. I wanted to make sure we had LOADS of time to find the place and get settled. Then, well, we got lost a few times. First the wrong city, then the wrong park entrance to find the actual site. This also stressed me. Wash was not able to navigate and that just, it was unfair of me to expect that from him, but at the time I could not see it. I had to stop the Blazer several times on the rough roads and turn around. (Note to self, pick up really good state/city map for car)
So about 30 minutes before the ceremony was to begin we find the right place (and was charged $9 to enter, something I really wish would have been mentioned on the invites) and park. The couple decided to have the ceremony itself at the Red Rock State Park in Sedona. It was literally picturesque. The guys were dressed in browns and deep reds and the bridesmaids were in these soft red flowy dresses. The bride was beyond beautiful. I really hope I looked that wonderful at my own. She was so happy as was he and it shone through. It was a lovely ceremony and just a moment I was so glad to have been part of.
The real trouble started after the reception. We had to leave early to make the drive back down so Wash could get his meds. And we got lost again. I had not eaten much all day. Wash needed his pills. Stress building. I find a little sandwich shop that gives me directions back and I head towards town and lights. We're out in the country here and there were not really lights around. When we got back to "town" and a stop light I do what seems legal and prudent and stop at the red light.
That's when we were rear-ended.
It was an older truck and the lady driving looked to be about my age. She was smoking a cig and shaking. No one was hurt, but I did learn this was not her first accident and copied down her licence and plate number in case she gave me bad info. I could not check the back of my car then, there was just literally no light.
So, we buckle back up and head back out.
20 minutes later and 30 miles of road between us and the nearest town and I see the freeway. We pass a small gas station and then get on the on-ramp.
The car veers hard to the left and turns, almost tipping over the side of the ramp. With no guard rails on it. I hold the wheel at firmly as I can and steer the car into a line along the "shoulder" on the left side of the road. We've come to a stop halfway down the ramp and a foot away from going over the side. It's a least a 30 foot drop in almost total darkness- terrifying.
My front driver's side tire is gone. I can see my rim and a small bit of rubber left at the top- the rest was just shredded.
Mentally I am a wreck. Two car accidents in an hour, leaving me at 90 miles away from the city, from help, from home, from Wash's pills, from food.... I called AAA and my mum. After going back and forth with both parties and my very limited options, we were towed back to the small town and my parents started the drive up to pick us up.
The tow driver was as helpful as he could be. Apparently he was off duty and heard the local call go out and noted it was a medical case (Wash needed his pills!). The driver's little brother also has seizures so he hurried to us to make sure we were taken care of. He also scared the fuck out of me by saying that the cars he usually picks up on that stretch roll off the ramp or blow out on the freeway... and he usually just gets the cars (ie no people survive).
We came close to DYING. My first tire blow out (not a slow flat) and it happens in the place that could kill us, but didn't.
We ended up at the Walmart in Cottonwood. For a few hours. At 10pm on a Saturday. I could write a whole post on that alone (I may, later) but for now we will say they were hospitable and warm. My parents showed up a few hours later and late at night brought us back down to the Valley. They rock. I also felt about 15 years old on that ride home, but that's for another post.
Thankfully we had some good luck come in and I did not have to take a shuttle back up to the town. Some of the local friends had stayed up for the wedding and some really really really awesome friends drove my car down for me.
So we have Betty back and new tires. I learned a few good lessons and I held myself together fairly well. There were a few Aspie moments when I was just sobbing wanting to just go in my closet, but I did what had to be done.
I have mostly been in reflection the past few days, thinking of the accident, thinking of my behaviour and my responses and thinking about my own mortality. I have so little time with Wash, so little time to be a couple, to be the small family we are, I don't want to lose anymore of it.
I am thankful for seatbelts. I am thankful I don't drink and drive. I'm thankful that when my tire blew we did not go off that ramp to our deaths or mutilation, but that I did get the car under control and did get it safely to the shoulder area.
It is so easy in this world to die, and sometime such a hard climb to live.
I still think it's worth it.
Pic is from the little bank inside the Walmart. This was literally the only thing that evening that made me smile.