Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A Memorable Memorial Day Weekend

I have a fear. A true phobia. Something completely irrational and silly to some, but a truly, deep, scary, scary, fear.

Many of you know this story but for those of you who don't, I'll fill you in. Ever since I had my first child, I have had a fear of bridges. Not of heights, but of bridges. And not bridges over land. Just bridges over water.

At some point in Spence's early life, I found myself driving over a bridge and the thought occurred to me that if I were to somehow go OVER the bridge, how would I save young Spence? Me in the front seat, him in the back, strapped into his five point harness. How would I be able to get myself unbuckled, climb into the back, unbuckle him, break out the windows and swim safely to the top of the water?

FREAKS ME OUT.

This problem has only gotten worse as I have had more kids because now I am seriously hosed. Not only do I have to save one child, but three children, as well as myself. It's more than my little brain can handle so I try really hard not to think about it. Except that I do. EVERY SINGLE TIME I GO OVER A BRIDGE.

This past Saturday finds my family out on the river jet-skiing and boating with the Wrights. Brad was on the jet-ski and I was in the boat with all of my children and the Wrights when the boat broke down and we were stranded. After poor Roger tried everything he could to fix the boat to no avail, we found ourselves needing to drift to the boat launch in Kennewick where Brad, Samantha, Spence and Hannah would be waiting. They all left on the jet-ski and I stayed on board with Roger, Quentin and Sienna. When we finally made it to the boat launch, Brad and Sam tell us the horrifying story of their trip from Pasco to Kennewick. As Brad was heading over the blue bridge, pulling the jet-ski and with two of my three children inside, the accellerator on the van malfunctioned and got stuck in the full speed ahead position. Panicking, Brad slammed on the brakes which did absolutely nothing and then threw the gear into neutral, where he coasted off of the bridge and pulled to the side of the road.


CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT????? LITERALLY, MY WORST FEAR ALMOST CAME TRUE.

I started shaking listening to Brad tell us what happened and I kept thinking "would I have known what to do?" I know that his quick thinking saved all of their lives and I'm so, so grateful that he was behind the wheel instead of me.

Poor Brad has had two scary dreams about it since and I can't help my mind from going through all of the what-ifs. So, so scary.

The van is now at Lithia and we're waiting word on what went wrong. I'll let you know and tell you everything I've learned in case it ever happens to you.

14 comments:

Heather said...

When Sam told me that story I was just sitting there wide-eyed. I too was thinking, "Good thing it wasn't me". I don't know that I would have even thought to put the car in neutral....

Nicole said...

WOW! that's CRAZY! So, now, I think I might have a fear of bridges - thanks! I am sure I would have just panicked! Good thinking Brad!

Kelly said...

SCARY!! So glad everyone is ok...what a freakish thing. I wouldn't have thought to put it in neutral either. I think it's time to start shopping for a new MV.

Melissa said...

That is SCARY! And it is a fear of mine too... I watched an Oprah about people who escaped from all of these crazy situations one time... I didn't learn a darn thing. It just gave me nightmares for WEEKS!! Let me know if you find out what you SHOULD do if your car goes into the water...

Brooklet said...

It gave me the chills to hear your story! I remember watching a movie when I was younger where a car wouldn't stop accelerating. It was a true story- so then I always had this fear of what happens if that happens!! You had both scenerios at the same time!!!!

krisnkrew said...

I always wonder how I would do in a panic situation. I don't think I would do very good. I'm always so glad when Jack is around, he handles bad things a lot better than me! Glad to hear everyone is OK! By the way, that's so cool that you are in YW's. I know the girls will love having you in there!

Michele said...

Darn minivans! I feel your pain. I fear fire in car and home invasion.

Nan said...

It must be a mom thing. I remember learning in Drivers ED to "always look for an escape route" no matter what you're doing.

Scary, I have never heard of an accelerator sticking. Thats gonna give me nightmares for weeks too.

Khatch said...

Holy Crap that is so scary! I want to hear what went wrong. How weird. I feel for you and Brad and the bad dreams and the what-if's. I had a bad experience on the blue bridge a couple of weeks ago and my kids were with me and I could not sleep for two nights. That is so scary!
On a different note I am so excited to work with you in Young Womens!

Shayla said...

Wow, I thought stuff like that only happens in the movies. I'm so glad everything turned out okay! It sounds like this was an eventful weekend for more than one family (Kim).

sdodson said...

I'm a bit relieved to know I'm not the only one who has a fear of driving over bridges when your kids are with you especially. My husband thinks I'm crazy that I tense up every time he speeds over the blue bridge. You and your family pretty much covered all of my biggest fears in one day. So glad everyone is alright!

Marilyn said...

Karen, I wouldn't say that I have a fear of bridges, but I am a worry wart and consider all of the horrible things that COULD happen. I have wondered the same thing before, how would I get my 4 kids out. And under water, it is really hard to open doors and with electric windows you can't just roll them down. So scary.

I'm so glad everything was okay!

Tharker said...

I don't even think I would know what to do in that situation. At least now thanks to Brad we all know to put the car in neutral. So freaky Karen!

Alicia said...

Wow. I have so many thoughts. One, darn those cursed phobias!! Two, I know EXACTLY what you mean about having three kids to try and save. Part of my fears of having more than two kids is in a emergent situation, like if we were being bombed by terrorists and had to start running, right now I have an arm to carry each kid. Any more than that...what the heck would I do? I hate driving over bridges in general, but I can't get over that dang blue bridge fast enough. All I hear about from my husband is "the horrible wreck" on the blue bridge ALL THE TIME!!!