Life goes on, but differently

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 3, 2003

Life goes on, but things look different. No, my eyesight is fine and wasn't damaged in the crash, but perhaps I can't help but be more cautious, more wide-eyed so-to-speak.

Tuesday morning was the single most frightening event of my life to-date. I scared myself and Sally Jarman of Andalusia. Driving back from one of the best times of my life at a concert by a band I have listened to for years, I had no idea I would be caught in a near-death experience.

And it all happened within a split-second. One minute I was gritting my teeth, biting my lips, and looking at a sign which informed me Andalusia was within 30 miles. The next minute, I lose control of the vehicle, and it goes off the road. My first reaction was to pull on the wheel to get back Hwy. 55. The jerk was too much for the car, even while going the speed limit, and it skidded until it ran off the other side, tumbled twice, and lay against a tree upside-down.

If anyone in my life has been a true mentor, without question it is my dad. And he's not a genius, but he doesn't have to be. He knows more about life than what appears in books - he's witnessed them first-hand. And he knows what he is talking about. I don't agree with everything he says, either. Most recently, we debated over a tax package, which failed Sept. 9 by Alabama voters, as we were divided on the issue. But he brought up some good points against the referendum, and he admitted that I had some good points also.

One thing my dad told me which I have never questioned was always keeping my cool, no matter how disastrous the situation. I unfortunately was in such a position Tuesday. I quickly realized Sally and I were overturned in a car. We looked at each other to make sure we were both alright before frantically searching for an exit. I tried to open the door, but it was pinned shut. I took one look at my window before kicking out the glass. Before escaping the vehicle, Sally told me to shut the vehicle off. She didn't crack under pressure, either, and she was smart to remind me of that.

I read a story this morning from the Associated Press which hit a little close to home. An 18-year old guy from Salt Lake City was trapped last week under his overturned Jeep. He managed to reach a car-jack and hike the car up to free himself. He escaped major injury to his legs, even broken bones. His muscles were torn, but he tied a T-shirt around the leg and continued along the rode until a rider stopped and called for an ambulance.

Like the teen from Utah, Sally and I were lucky enough to have such helpful and nice people to contact a rescue service, which arrived shortly and rushed Sally to Georgiana (the town in which the wreck occurred) Hospital. A special thanks to the couple who assisted us - you both will stay in my heart forever.

Now, in post-wreck life, I admit food tastes better, music sounds more harmonious, and daily events seem to be in slow-motion to me. Not that I took things for granted before the wreck, but I am seeing things in a different light. A brighter one.