So, I mentioned that my sister, Katelyn, got in a car accident last week Wednesday.
My sister (actually all of my sisters and myself) are generally nervous drivers. Where most teenagers can't wait to get behind the wheel, we had to be forced. I got my license at 16, then my closest-in-age sister got her license at 16, and then Katelyn got her license at ... 18. She didn't take driver's ed. She didn't have much experience behind the wheel. Those things right there, I think, made her even less confident about driving.
Katelyn started commuting to college this fall. She drives about 20 minutes each way.
And then, on Wednesday, on the way to college, she went to turn on the heat and the knob broke off. She looked down at it. And then this happened.
The police say that it looks like she rolled two or three times. Katelyn hit her head on the door frame and was knocked unconscious, so she doesn't remember much of the actual accident. She does remember waking up and hearing a man shouting, "Hey! Are you okay?" She responded, "Call my mom."
Her legs were trapped under the driver's side dashboard, and the man who found her asked if she could wiggle her toes. She said yes, and he told her that he couldn't really tell because he couldn't see her feet. She started freaking out right about then. When he called 911, he told the police that he smelled gasoline. Katelyn started crying harder. She said that she really thought she was going to die.
They had to use the Jaws of Life to cut her out of the car. Her legs were just fine, pretty miraculously, although her face was badly bruised on the left side and she broke her collarbone in two places. We are so blessed. It could have been much, much worse.
It's hard for me to think that I could have gotten a different phone call- not one about my sister in the hospital, but about my sister already being gone. It's humbling to remember how fragile life is.
She's doing great, only a week after the accident. She's going to her classes, she's losing the black and blue bruises and they're starting to turn green. The collarbone is healing as best it can. But she keeps saying she'll never drive again.
We're praying her through that fear. I can't say that I'm shocked that she feels like that, though. She's been driving for like, a month. Out of the blue, something as terrifying as this happens... But at the same time, I'm afraid that by saying no to driving, she's also saying that she's not strong enough to face her fears. It's driving now, but it could be choosing an unpopular major, making the difficult decisions in relationships, reaching for her dreams.