Trauma center
Friday December 13th 2013, 12:05 am
Filed under: Family,Life

I was halfway through making dinner when we got the message and both of us dropped everything immediately. Except that I turned to grab my knitting, while Richard, understandably, but trying to be patient, said, We have to GO.

They would not let us near the scene, so we waited at a nearby In N Out to hear more, buying burgers as long as we were at it–it was going to be a long night and though it made sense to get some food down us, it was not easy to.

We apparently followed her ambulance without knowing it. They took her to the nearest trauma center, and so we waited in the ER at Stanford to hear more. But she was alive, we knew that, and that’s all a parent could ever ask for at that point.

The cops made a point of telling her, It’s not your fault. You had nothing to do with this happening. It’s not your fault.

The driver who caused it, she was told, one of the ones who flipped, had been doing in excess of a hundred miles an hour. And is the only one out of all the people in all the cars who, as far as they could tell at the scene, did not survive.

Michelle half apologized to me for not getting me a birthday present for Friday–that was an errand she had planned to run tonight. The only possible answer to that, was, You’re ALIVE! That’s the only present I could ever ask for!

She was able to laugh at herself a bit at the incongruity of the importance of chocolate and went, Yes.

Please. We don’t know yet why this driver did what they did, but we do know there is one family out there who are not taking their child home tonight like we got to do. Please enjoy the holidays in ways that leave only love and not grief in your wake. Please don’t drink and get behind a wheel. I beg you.


(Edited to add, months later: Apparently that description of the driving of the woman who died was given by the one who was later charged as being at fault. The full story as to which of them did what that resulted in their both flipping and Michelle’s being hit will come out later in court.)

33 Comments so far
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Thank goodness she survived. What a terrifying birthday post (5 minutes in.)

Comment by LynnM 12.13.13 @ 1:33 am

How terrifying! Thank God she is ok!

Comment by Jody 12.13.13 @ 5:41 am

Oh my goodness! So very thankful that Michelle is home and hopefully not too sore from the trauma. May it be a very happy birthday indeed. And I second your plea, having lost my Dad & a cousin to drunk driving stupidity, please do not drive when you’ve been drinking.

Comment by DebbieR 12.13.13 @ 7:04 am

I’m so glad she’s okay! What a scare.

Comment by Caroline 12.13.13 @ 7:32 am

Oh Alison! I’m glad she’s alive and will heal. Sending healing prayers to all involved and their families. Big hugs to Michelle.

Comment by Kathy in San Jose 12.13.13 @ 7:56 am

I’m so relieved! I know that heart-stopping phone call. Our youngest dd called one Sunday evening last summer, “Mom, I’m ok but I’ve stopped all the traffic on the MassPike.” Bless that 15-year-old Camry that crumpled around her!
We immediately drove 2 hours in heavy traffic to pick her up and rescue as much of her stuff as we could from her totaled car.
The distracted mom and 2 kids in the car that rear-ended her at 70 mph into a jersey barrier were pretty banged up. Fortunately, nothing like the fatal accident your dd was involved in, but no matter the age, they’re still our kids!
And we’re so lucky this holiday season to all still have each other!

Comment by Carol Telsey 12.13.13 @ 8:00 am

I am so happy that she is okay—-blessed holidays to you all

Comment by grace yaskovic 12.13.13 @ 9:21 am

Thanking God for your daughter’s safe return to you…

Comment by Ruth 12.13.13 @ 10:33 am

Amen. Thank goodness all is well.

Comment by melanie 12.13.13 @ 11:25 am

Oh my goodness Alison! You experienced a parent’s worst nightmare but did indeed received the greatest gift that your daughter is OK. I’m so happy for you–it puts EVERYTHING ELSE into perspective. And my heart breaks for the parents who weren’t so fortunate.

Comment by India 12.13.13 @ 12:20 pm

So glad your daughter is safe. Like you said, that is the best gift that you get to take her home.

Happy Birthday!

Comment by Joan 12.13.13 @ 12:21 pm

Oh my goodness – what a shock to you all.

Much love to those first responders, who, in spite of having to cope with an awful scene, thought it important enough to reassure your dear daughter that it was not her fault.

It’s never more clear that, on your birthday and in this holiday season, we should celebrate life.

Comment by Deb 12.13.13 @ 12:30 pm

Oh my. Oh my. That is totally all I can think of. Thank goodness she is at home and ok. She is, right? Other than all of you getting over the trauma of the incident, I mean. What a start to your birthday!

Comment by Susan (sjanova) 12.13.13 @ 12:35 pm

For the love of God, I’m so glad she’s ok…here’s hoping for a swift recovery. I hope i can hug you inperson before I leave.

Comment by Juanita 12.13.13 @ 1:00 pm

So glad that Michelle will be ok.
Praying also for the family of the driver who will not.
It only takes an instant.

Comment by Pam 12.13.13 @ 1:07 pm

What a heart retching moment. We are praying for Michelle, you, your family and the families of those involved in the accident. It sounds like heaven was watching Michelle. We are so glad she will recover.

Comment by Bruce 12.13.13 @ 1:34 pm

So glad to hear that she is OK and coming home and her only worry was no chocolate for your birthday! Hopefully Michelle will recover completely and quickly, and the rest of your birthday was more normal. Prayers indeed to the families of the others involved.

Comment by Margo Lynn 12.13.13 @ 1:48 pm

Cars can be replaced … people, not so much. Glad she is ok. Have a blessed birthday.

Comment by Anne 12.13.13 @ 2:02 pm


Comment by Diana Troldahl 12.13.13 @ 2:07 pm

Oh my goodness Alison.
I was just sitting here addressing envelopes, when I felt compelled to look at Facebook because I remembered a dear friend’s birthday….and there you were, at the top of the page, telling this story.
I am so very grateful that your daughter is alright….I am praying that there may be no after effects.
Much love to all of you, and happy happy birthday to you! Careful hugs all around!! (((((Hugs)))))

Comment by Karin 12.13.13 @ 2:28 pm

Oh my goodness, I’m glad she’s okay!

Virtual hugs and chocolate to all of you.

Comment by Alix in MV 12.13.13 @ 2:45 pm

I’m very glad she is doing alright. I hope the rest of your birthday is going better. *hugs*

Comment by Amy K. 12.13.13 @ 3:30 pm

Very glad she is okay, but what heart-stopping anxiety for you all. An extra layer of relief and sadness to your birthday. Hope chocolate is forthcoming!

Comment by Ann in northern CA 12.13.13 @ 4:54 pm

Oh, Alison, I’m so glad she is all right. We have had two traffic fatalities in Nashua this past week (black ice), and I’m especially mindful of how quickly things can change. A VERY Happy Birthday to you (and relieved and grateful, as well). Much love.

Comment by Joyce 12.13.13 @ 5:15 pm

Adding my prayer of gratitude for Michelle and your family to those already sent your way. Sending a prayer of comfort to the family of the person who lost their life in the accident.

I hope you had more pleasant surprises coming throughout your birthday. Sending hugs your way.

Comment by Suzanne from Montreal 12.13.13 @ 6:25 pm

Oh Alison, I had no idea that Michelle was in a car accident. I held my breath as I read your blog. I am so happy that she is home with you. Sending hugs and prayers to you and your family. Should I send you chocolate?

Comment by Robin 12.13.13 @ 7:15 pm

Oh! Oh!

Shema Israel, Adonai elhohanu,Adonai ehaD”

Comment by Afton 12.14.13 @ 6:36 am

Oh, this came so close to being so bad. My prayers of gratitude are flying along with the hope that there will not be any other effects.

Comment by Sherry in Idaho 12.14.13 @ 9:16 am

love to you all from the Irwins.

Comment by Tola 12.14.13 @ 11:34 am

So relieved your girl is alright. Very sad for the driver’s family.

Comment by Lene 12.14.13 @ 11:45 am

So glad she’s alive. Happy birthday in more ways than one…

Comment by Monnah 12.14.13 @ 11:53 am

Oh, my heavens!!! I’m so very glad Michelle is ok. Happy birthday to you, and hugs and prayers to your family!

Comment by Pegi 12.15.13 @ 3:44 am

Being behind in my blog reading doesn’t make this less powerful. Sadly, some family here had a similar experience this morning, only one of the innocents didn’t make it.

I’m so glad you had plenty to celebrate on Friday and I apologize for being late to wish you a happy birthday.

Comment by Channon 12.15.13 @ 7:08 pm

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