Morton Avenue and Lakeland

January 23, 2009

When I visit my parents I am forced to drive by the intersection that was the site of my 1997 car accident. A friend of mine had picked me up for an evening out and a woman ran a stop sign and hit us. I only remember fragments of that night, hitting my head on the windshield, trying to talk to my unresponsive friend, the firemen having to try to cut us both out of the car. I remember my mom sitting in the hospital with me. Still tied to the backboard an unable to turn my head, I was unable to see her, but I remember knowing she was there.

Years later in a rare conversation with my sister, she mentioned that night in passing. Only 11 at the time, she recalled the phone call from the police and my dad yelling for her to run and get his car keys and grab a stuffed animal from my bed. It was chilling to hear another version of that night. Ultimately we were both lucky and came away with extremely minor injuries. In that moment it seems like a life changing event, but now at 12 years later my passes through the intersection on the way to various holiday meals are the only times it crosses my mind. Though we’ve never discussed it in depth, I have often wondered if the life change happened not for me, but for my sister.

I can’t put my finger on it, but I may be just a little bit closer to solving the “why do bad things happen to good people” mystery. I suppose it all depends on if involuntary actions can be considered selfless.

I’ll get back to you on that.

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