The Day My Brother was Hit by a Car.
It was a Friday night when I got the call.
When you hear the words “There’s been an accident,” you feel irrational dread instantly cementing in your stomach, no matter how gentle the person on the other line is.
was IS extremely hard to write. It’s taken weeks to find the words through the emotions, especially when I see this:
The Phone Call
As my brother’s room mate explained the details, the story got worse: Hit and run. Driver fled the scene. Excessive speeds. Car was totaled. Blood everywhere.
I felt like I couldn’t breathe, and I was crying noiselessly as the full weight of “what could have been” settled on my heart.
Ryan has no memory of what happened, so we had gather clues with the police.
He stopped at a stop sign, and proceeded to cross the street. The officer believed that the other vehicle was travelling at such excessive speeds that he would have looked far enough away to cross. The other vehicle was an SUV.
After that massive hit, the other driver kept going, fleeing the scene, and spinning Ryan around and crashing his back end into a fire hydrant:
It looked like Ryan was able to get out of his car, but didn’t make it much further than that:
When the paramedics got there, Ryan was lying in the road, covered in glass and blood, with no memory of how he got there.
The last thing he remembered was crossing train tracks, a few blocks before the accident happened.
The police said that one of the neighbors came out of the house and was trying to clean him up with towels while the medics came.
Whoever you are, I thank God you were there, taking care of him when he couldn’t take care of himself.
Incredibly, Ryan was safe. He only suffered a concussion, and 24 stitches to his face and head.
What the Driver didn’t know:
My brother was planning to propose the next night.
He had planned for a few weeks, made reservations, put incredible thought and love into this weekend, and it was almost here – I couldn’t have been happier for him.
Ryan was on his way home after work, with all the preparations for the next night in the car, like this very special, hand-made card for his girlfriend Ruth:
Looking at the wreckage again, and realizing how close Ryan came to not walking away from this puts a strange disquiet in my soul, a dissonance of shock and gratitude that layer like oil and water around my heart.
Was I angry at the other driver? Absolutely. I struggled with this for a long time, which is why I’m just now writing about it (weeks after the accident). I think it’s natural to be angry at the person who hurts you, especially when you are operating out of fear, but you can’t let that consume you.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in this life, it’s that bitterness destroys you. I took a cue from my brother, who was incredibly free of anger, even wondering if the other driver was okay (I could have cared less at that point, since he was well enough to drive away…but I’m still working on that…).
Things to be Thankful for:
- That no one was in the passenger seat:
- That my brothers room mate Phil knew something was wrong, and went looking for Ryan. He did an amazing job calling everyone and taking care of Ryan for us, and we are so thankful he was there!
- That the other driver left his license plate at the scene (this is probably my favorite fact) = sweet justice!
Seriously, I have so much to thank God for, namely that Ryan is alive.
The Happy Ending
After all that, is it any wonder my brother didn’t want to waste anymore time proposing to Ruth?