Saturday, December 27, 2008

Sleepless in Maine

I still wake up in the middle of night trying to catch my precious breath… panting and dripping wet in perspiration despite below zero temperature.

Spending sleepless nights is not new to me. I may not be a night person but there would be times that I would wake up in the middle of the night for no reason at all. Well, the trips to the bathroom is not considered a valid reason but I have been spending sleepless nights for over a week now and there is no way I can catch up with my beauty sleep during the day too [unlike before] because of my present change of predicament.

It has been a week now since I had that almost fatal car accident at Waterboro Road but the scene keeps playing on my mind over and over again and I can’t seem to make it stop. The scene keeps coming back too even when I am wide awake. And it keeps bugging me every single moment that I am not destructed by my work load. For a change, this is the only instance that “work – per se” works as a destruction… in a most positive way.

It’s hard to start the day when you didn’t have a good night sleep. But the situation in the home front is kinda different now since I got my new job. I couldn’t be happier to do a “real” job now after being a bum stay-at-home wife for almost two years. But what makes my day even worse is that I had to drive down the same road [where I had the car accident] to go to work and back everyday now because that is the shortest route to reach my workplace. And I have no choice. I need a job so I need to deal with my fear everyday from now on.

On the hindsight, the accident opened up my heart to really understand the meaning of life. It gave me a chance to really know how precious life is. It gave me an opportunity to appreciate God’s gift without reservation and doubt. It gave me the possibility to see the goodness in other people and strangers alike who stopped on the road ready to help us. And more importantly, it gave me a second chance to live life to the fullest with a different perspective... a renewed hope... and a stronger faith in God.

NOTE: To read about the full detail of the car acciddent... click here.

My Second Lease on Life

December 17, 2008: It was a Wednesday. It supposed to be a good day for me.

I was so ecstatic to drive 30 miles [or so] to Sanford for contract signing and work briefing for the [very] first job I was accepted for since I came here in the United States. Being a bum and jobless stay-at-home wife for almost 2 years, it meant so much to me. Hubby missed work just to go with me to Sanford because he was worried about the road condition. We had a snow storm the night before and roads were really shitty bad. It was my first winter driving and I had no idea what slushy road meant much less how it felt like behind the wheel. But I got to do what I had to. I need to learn how to drive in winter roads.

Maine is very beautiful in winter time. It is picture perfect especially after a snow storm. It is like a life-size greeting card with me on it all bundle up. But beyond that beauty lays a treacherous road that I was not so familiar with. Black Ice season is totally unheard of from where I came from. I am so used to dusty roads which sometimes caused zero visibility and frying-pan-hot pavements in 80 degrees tropical backdrop. But that's all about it. Road accidents are usually caused by crazy motorists and not because of bad road conditions [or maybe on some isolated cases].

It already stopped snowing and the sun started to show up when I hit the road. But the roads were still covered with white powdery snow flakes that made it impossible for me to see the yellow lines in the middle of the road. It made it tough for me to know where the road ends and where the ditch begins. It made it hard for me to realize too that the plummeting temperature made the road slushy and icy. Needless to say, the snow storm made the road’s condition even worse because we still have not gotten over yet with the ice storm that caused statewide power outages the week before.

Everything happened so fast. I drove back home after I signed the contract and stopped a couple of times at the stores to do the rest of my Christmas shopping. I hit the road back on right after without any hint of the fate we were about to have in the next couple of miles ahead. I had no clue that I was driving right on the ditch until Hubby alarmed me. I didn’t know the difference because the road was all covered in white and I didn’t know how it feels like when the tires are spinning. When I went back on the road, the tires started to spin and as I stirred the wheel the car slid sideways going to the opposite lane. My mind, my hands and my foot seemed to be uncoordinated and my heart started to sink. At that moment I knew deep inside where we were heading. Hubby was hollering about something that I can’t figure out or maybe I was already totally disoriented because the stirring wheel seemed to have a mind of its own. Next thing I knew Hubby grabbed the stirring wheel trying to straighten it up so I let it go while my foot jammed on the break. There was indeed nothing we both could do to get the car back on the right side of the road. My poor car went straight to the ditch on the other side of the road and hit the huge pine tree head on. My heart stopped. My right knee felt as if someone hit it with a hammer. My hands were numbed but shaking. My whole body was trembling. Tears came running down my checks. I was totally scared and I just shut my eyes and sobbed.

But there was something wrong. There was one thing that definitely wrong. I didn’t hear anything… not even the sound of the crash or the impact of the car hitting that big pine tree. I know I was screaming… "Oh, God! Oh, God! No! No!" But that… I didn’t even seem to hear too. I knew I was crying but not because I was hurt. I was crying because I was seeing in my mind that Hubby was pinned down on the passenger’s seat covered with blood and motionless. I saw that image in my mind for a couple of minutes. Then I started to gain my hearing back. I started to hear the squeaking sound of the branches of the trees as the briskly wind blew hard. I started to feel cold. And I started to open my eyes to see what had just happened. I looked on the passenger’s seat. It was empty. The door was open and Hubby was not there. I shut my eyes again and sobbed harder. I could hear myself screaming and sobbing all at the same time. Next thing I knew, Hubby was on my side. He managed to get out of the car… went to my side… opened my door… and checked on me. He was hugging me and asking me if I was alright... if I was hurt. I opened my eyes. Having realized what was really going on at that very instant, I sobbed harder and hugged him so tight... thankful that he was alright.

I cried hard enough that made Hubby more worried than ever. I cried hard because I was so relief that Hubby was by my side alive and hugging me. I cried hard because I was so glad that we were both safe and unharmed.

I managed to get out of the car as soon as I got the strength to pull myself out of the driver’s seat. It was freezing cold but I could taste the saltiness of my perspiration [or was it my tears]. Hubby already called 911 and our insurance agent but still I couldn’t believe that he was standing beside me with his free arm wrapped around my cold body. At that particular instant all I was thinking was… how blessed we are to have survived such mishap.

Indeed, God is good for sending us his angels to protect us. I was so thankful for all those people who stopped offering us help and assistance. And I am grateful that I was given a second chance to appreciate how fragile life is.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


For a change, I went out to feel the cold wintery breeze. I went out to see the wintery landscapes. I went out to check out the uncrowded stores.

For a change, the cold wintery breeze isn't that cold at all. It felt kinda damped. It felt kinda chilly. And it felt kinda nippy but not as cold as the year before.

For a change, the wintery landscapes are not bad too. The trees had shed all its leaves from its branches. The ponds are already somewhat frozen. And the hills are clothed in frost but not as frosted as the year before.

For a change, the stores were not too crowded. There are lots of festive decorations that could attract the shoppers. There are still a lot of things on display and on sale. And there are still a lot of things to buy not not a lot of souls who wanted to spend.

For a change, it is Christmas season and I can feel it in the wind. I can see it in the landscapes. But I can't tell it in the shoppers' spirit. Is it the recession? If it is, we do need change.

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