On Saturday, my friend's husband, Paul and I set out to drive to Rochester (I was driving Andy's car) and we were going to visit my dear friend, Susan who was at Mayo and had undergone open-heart surgery on Friday. She is doing well, by the way!!
When Paul and I had passed Denver and were back on the 2-lane part of 63, we came to "the curves" near Fredricka. Just as we were going into the first curve, I seemed to catch a patch of ice on the road and we began to spin out of control…we skidded across the road and into oncoming traffic, missing a minivan coming at us by FEET…then when we hit the ditch on the other side of the road, we rolled 1 1/2 times finally coming to rest upside down. It took a few seconds for all this to happen but I can't even tell you how frightening it all was!!
Paul was asking if I was okay, and though I heard him, I couldn't see him–the roof of the car was collapsed between us (Andy later told me they are designed to do just that as I was thinking if it had collapsed over one side or the either one of us would have been squished). I finally answered him and I said, "Paul I'm SCARED!" I think he said it was okay, and he was getting out of the car by climbing between the seats.
My phone was sitting in the cup-holder and landed right by my head…I called Andy right away and all I remember is him saying, "Get Dressed NOW, Ella!" so they were on their way to see me. I was still hanging by my seatbelt at this point and I was covered in snow, dirt and shards of glass–my door and the rear door was blown out and the windshield was shattered. My shoe had fallen off and I was trying to find it because I was not getting out of that car without both shoes.
All I had was a few scratches on my hand (and a stiff/sore neck and shoulders)–the same with Paul.
Within a minute there were people stopped and down in the ditch to help us…it actually was kind of a deep ditch so we had gone down a ways off the road. They had blankets and put us in the back of their warm car. All this happened before it got really nasty out–on our way home it was very much a white-out situation…and during the time it took for Andy to arrive (we moved to the back of a Sheriff's car) and the tow trucks to arrive, at least 2-3 different cars had gone in the ditch near us.
I am confident there is no good reason for us leaving that car basically in perfect shape. I know that there is a reason we didn't hit that mini van and that we were protected. The funny thing is that I had bought an angel for my friend Susan and had it in my purse. It was about the only thing that did fly out of it (my purse doesn't have a zipper–just a magnet to close it). When I saw it in my purse I knew that this was a special angel (and I had to keep it)…Once things set in about what had happened, I kind of started freaking out a bit…crying a lot and shaking quite a bit…Paul was my hero and I said to him, "Don't take this the wrong way, but I am so glad you were with me!" He smiled, hugged me and held my hand as we waited for Andy. He was so calming to me and though I kept saying I was so sorry to him, he was so wonderful to me.
I thank God every day now for sparing us that day. I continue to ask Him to watch over us and keep us safe, and I now drive a little more white-knuckled. I am so thankful that my kids were not in the car with us and that Julie (Paul's wife, my very dear friend) is still talking to me–she actually came over and brought me some flowers on Sunday after she came back from Rochester. She is too kind! Andy has been so sweet, too. He and Ella went out Saturday after he put Carl down for a nap and they "ran errands" or really went car shopping (I did total his car, afterall). He brought back Flowers and a Pizza, too–it is like a little garden here–I am so touched!! He wasn't upset about the car at all (secretly I think he is just excited that he is had to get a new one!)
p.s. I bought another Angel for Susan….. 🙂