Monday, April 13, 2009

7 Years Ago

On April 13, 2002 I drove from College Station, TX to Ft. Worth for an acting seminar. I was so excited about it and the day couldn't have gone better! I learned so much and even received a standing ovation from the casting director that was putting on the class. =) I was pretty proud and on cloud nine by the time I left the seminar that afternoon.

I had about a 3 hour drive back to College Station and I was going to meet up with Kyle at our friends house because it was parents weekend and we were all having fajitas and margaritas together (my parents both worked that weekend so they didn't make it). I started home but soon stopped to get gas and a drink then I called my parents and left a very bubbly message about how well the acting class had gone and that I missed them. I made a wrong turn somewhere along the way and had to call and ask Kyle what direction I was supposed to be driving in (I get lost everywhere!). The last thing I remember was driving and singing along to Britney Spears but the next thing I knew I was waking up in the Waco, TX hospital.

When I woke up I was crying and couldn't really move. There was a police officer in my room and I remember asking him what had happened. He sat down next to me and said, "You don't remember? You were hit head on by a drunk driver". I started crying even harder as I remembered seeing headlights right in front of me but it was too late and there was nothing I could do.

The rest of the evening is a blur. I remember people asking me if I was pregnant as they took me into x-ray after x-ray (you're not supposed to have x-rays if you're pregnant). My back and legs hurt so bad I could barely move. I asked one of the residence there if he could stay and hold my hand as they cleaned the glass out and stitched up my head and arm. Kyle and his parents got there before I knew it which made things a lot better! Then my parents and sisters arrived a while later.

Each of them have their own story of where they were and how the received the dreadful news. Kyle and his parents were at the party and Kyle kept calling me because he knew I should have been their already. He kept getting my voicemail and was starting to get worried. He then heard the news from my mom and roommate at the time and he and his parents rushed to Waco. My mom went through every parents' worst nightmare when she picked up the phone and someone said, "This is officer ___, your daughter has been taken to the hospital after a head on collision". She was a mess and couldn't even function after that! My parents were in one car, sisters not far behind and they both got pulled over by the same cop but they told him of the wreck which he had heard about over the radio and he let them go.

I started to remember more about the accident once I was back home. I remember people stopped to help me and stayed with me the whole time. I remember voices saying, "It's OK sweetie, we're going to get you out!", and then I remember singing, The Lord Will Be My Shepard (a great song we always sing in church) the whole way to the hospital. Whenever I would stop singing it my body would start shaking and the paramedic would say, "Keep singing sweetie, keep singing!". Poor people had to listen to my voice the whole way! My voice is bad when I'm healthy, I can't imagine what it sounded like after a brutal car wreck!

Later I got to talk to the paramedic and the people that stopped to help me on the road. What angels they were that day! The people that witnessed the wreck were driving behind the lady, Cynthia-aka bitch, that hit me. They knew she was drunk because she was slowing down then speeding up and swerving all over the place. They were trying to call 911 for the last 10 minutes but didn't have any service then all of a sudden they said her car turned hitting mine instantly. My car spun down the road 4 times then hit a guardrail and stopped on the side of the road next to the ditch. They instantly had service (thank God!) and called 911 and then ran to help me. I thought I was unconscious the whole time but she said, "Oh no, you talked to us! You asked me to hold your hand and we said a prayer together. Then you just started singing girl!" =) That was when I learned that The Lord Will Be My Shepard song began in my car, not just in the ambulance so unfortuantly more people than I thought had heard me singing! =) God never left my side though! The hospital was 30 min. away and once they arrived they had to use the "Jaws of Life" to get me out.

The first month afterwards I was in utter pain! Kyle and my mom were the best nurses I could have ever asked for! As for Cynthia, she was a 40 year old woman who was 3x over the legal limit. She went to the hospital too but left shortly after she arrived because of course the drunk is never injured! It took until December for her to finally receive any jail time but I really hope she learned her lesson. Oh and did I mention she didn't have insurance either?? Yeah she was a real winner.

It took me a long time to get back to normal, physically and emotionally. I cried A LOT! I cried when I saw wrecks on the news, I cried the first time I drove, I woke up from dreams crying, I was a mess! Post traumatic stress for sure! It took me a while to drink again. The firsts time we went out I cried (to Kyle not a big public scene!) because I knew 1/2 the people in that bar would drive home drunk. I then decided that I wanted to write Cynthia and tell her what I thought. Doctors can't tell other people about patients so she really had no idea if I was hurt or not and I wanted to let her know. I wrote a letter and included pics of all my injuries and of my car so she could see what she did. I never heard back from her but I'm sure she read it just out of curiosity. After that I felt 100% better and really healed emotionally!

Don't drink and drive people!! I feel so blessed to have lived these last 7 years that I otherwise might not have seen. Thank you God for saving my life! I know he was with me that night protecting me because it could have been so much worse! Always tell the people you care about that you love them because you just never know what could happen! I always asked myself what would have happened if I hadn't taken that wrong turn?? I probably would have been 5 min. ahead of where I was and it wouldn't have happened. So weird to think about but proof to me that God is in control and what is meant to happen to you will happen and when it's not your time to go, it's just not your time to go!!
Here's a few pics, once I find what computer the others are on I'll upload those!


Cara said...

Oh Kristin, I got so choked up reading this! I don't even want to THINK about what this world would be like without you in it! God is SO good and he was definitely right by your side through that whole horrible experience. I am so glad you wrote to Cynthia. I too think she read the letter, but she was probably too ashamed to write back. I pray that she learned her lesson!

Kimmie said...

I had no idea girly but think that your story is meant to be heard. Its a wonderful lesson learned on so many levels (time, God/angels, drinking/driving, healing). Im so sorry that you went through that but can now thank God myself for keeping you with us. Yet another thing to be thankful for. I LOVE being so thankful for so many things in life and you are such a piece of that. As Cara put it...God is GOOD!

Melissa said...

Ok I wish I could just give you the biggest hug right now! You are truly an amazing person to get through such a horrible ordeal and still without evening knowing keeping God #1 and in the center of what was going on bad or good. I too hope Cynthia learned her lesson. I have a dear friend that has been in two drunk driving accidents, the first he came out as a quadrapalegic (sp?), but his spirits to this day are amazing! But, people just dont realize how they can affect others but the stupid decisions that they make. I am glad you are still here though and that I have been able to get to know you better!

Rachel Buckley said...

awwww Kristin, I had no idea! I'm such a bad 'semi-family' member!

Well, that brought tears to my eyes and joy to my heart that you survived and made it through that horrible ordeal!

again, I want to publically state that I believe baby#2 is a girl.

Anonymous said...

Kristin, I read this post Tuesday morning, and I've been thinking and thinking about it ever since. I put myself in your shoes, Kyle's, your mom's... and I'm just amazed at how God works. The lessons that were learned by everyone at the time, and now by everyone who's read your story. It really makes me take a deep breath and thank God for the people in my life. Your point of view about what happened says so much about you! You are such an amazing person!