By Rachel Tharman
I’ll never truly forget what happened on June 6, 2011. It may have started out like any normal day, but little did I know what was soon to happen. I had planned on going to a friend’s going away parting later that evening, but instead I ended upside down in my car not too far from home.
When I arrived at my friend’s house, I realized that there was going to be a lot of water involved. I didn’t have my swim suit with me, so I decided to head home to grab some clothes and come right back to the party. Only I never quite made it home.
My friend lived on a gravel road, so naturally I was driving in the center to avoid any pot holes and because that’s how people drive on those types of roads. I had seen a truck down the road coming my way, so I was moving over to my side so we could both pass. I hit a soft spot and my car started to fishtail. I over corrected, lost control of my car, started spinning, and then I blacked out.
I woke up a few short minutes later.
My car had flipped, and I was safely inside. I didn’t really know what to think. I did, however, know that I did not wish to stay upside down. So I unbuckled and crawled out of the passenger side window, probably not the smartest idea, but I wasn’t really thinking that I should stay in there and wait for the ambulance. At that point in time I could only think about how my parents were going to kill me and how I wanted to be back with my friends.
It wasn’t until later that I realized what saved my life in that wreck. There were three main possibilities and I believe all to be true. The first was that God decided it was not my time to go. Second was that I had been wearing my seat belt, otherwise I guarantee that I would not be here today. Lastly was my headrest being above my head. When the roof of my car came caving in, my headrest kept it from crushing my neck.
I called my parents and they arrived about 20 minutes later. My dad looked so scared and gave me a huge hug when he saw me. My mom looked like she was about to cry and was real white as she gave me a huge hug as well. They hadn’t known how bad the wreck was, only that I was doing alright and had no need to go to the hospital. I had never seen my parents so frightened in their lives.
At first it was hard to get back behind the wheel, but I didn’t have a choice. Now looking back on the accident, I don’t remember it all too much, and it’s probably for the better. Sure I can tell you what happened and I can go into detail here and there. Sometimes I just can’t believe that it actually happened and it feels like I’m telling a story I heard or read, not something real or anything I had actually experienced. I can’t really say that any of this has affected me all that much emotionally, but what I can say is that it had a great impact on my life.
One of the best things I had gotten out of that wreck was being able to share my story. I was able to talk in front of a few hundred people, even if I was terrified at first. I got to explain how I survived, how it had impacted me, what I could have lost but instead had gained. It felt good to know that I was doing something helpful and educational. Not to mention that afterwards I had people come up to me saying how that story changed them or touched them in some way. For me to do something like that, it’s a feeling I can’t describe. But it is absolutely amazing, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Rachel Tharman is a student at Butler County Community College