It's late. I awoke from a very sound sleep. 4:00 AM and all is quiet and still and I am unsettled.
Something happened. Something unsettling, frightening, not outrageously terrifying. Maybe close to terrifying. I need help women!! I need women to tell me what they would do. What would you do if someone you loved caused something that could have quite nearly injured or possibly killed those nearest and dearest to you (included the person that caused this event) and is not taking responsibility for it.
We haved planned an outing with an overnight in a hotel for my Mom's birthday. We decide to take her car because we own a van and her car gets better gas mileage than our car. Husband is driving the car. Two hours into our outing we stop and get gas. I buy chips for everyone. We get back on the road. Husband is driving. I am in the passenger seat. Daughter #1, daughter #2, and my mom are in the back. The girls are passing the chips forward for husband and I to have some. I pass the chips back. I think that I am looking at the directions (not clear, but I am not paying attention). Husband reaches his hand in the back to get the bag of chips. I look up we are in the left hand lane and we are startling close to a red jeep next to us. I say in surprise Husband's name. He makes a sound of surprise and the next thing I know we are swerving out of control all over the road. He is trying to gain control but it seems that every time he turns the wheel the front end of the car goes in that direction and the back end goes in the opposite direction. Daughter #2 is crying. Daughter #1 has grabbed her and is holding daughter #2's head to her chest. My mom is saying things like, "Oh my god!". We swerve out of control 3? 4? I don't know how many times and then we are driving down into a ravine or embankment through an old fence and toward bramble (big bramble bushes). When we hit the bottom, husband swerves the car quickly to the right so that we do not hit a bunch of metal pipes (or post or rails) that is on the embankment going up the opposite side. The car stopped.
We all ask at the same time if everyone is ok. Everyone is ok. Nobody was thrown around. Daughter #2 is crying. Her head still being held by daughter #1. My mom is saying, "What happened? What happened? Oh my god!". Husband starts the car and turns it toward the embankment to drive back up it. I say he can't do that it is too steep. It was he stops.
We get out of the car. It is a mess. The bumper is broken and pushed back. The driver side headlight is broken. The driver side mirror is broken off. The car is covered with scratches, big ones, all over the roof, the sides, the back. There are dents in the side where the car was turned suddenly in the bramble.
The man in the red jeep in walking down to our car to see if we are ok. Some other car, a white one, has stopped as well. The red jeep man is saying things about how lucky we are to be allright. Stuff like that. Husband is telling him that the driver side brake seized up on him and he was desperately trying to remember the high speed defensive driving class that he took thirty years ago. A cop shows up. We are all out of the car now and sitting on the grass. Stunned. I call AAA. They are coming to winch the car out. More cops show up to make/take an accident report. We've got 3 cruisers and an EMT guy (but the EMT doesn't stay). The car gets winched out. We get towed to a brake place to have the brakes checked. We are all still stunned. We walk over to a chinese restaraunt dive and we all order bad chinese that none of us can finish. We wait at the brake p[ace. It seems that the brakes check out fine. Apparently this was a freak thing...perhaps.
We all get back in the car. Husband wants to drive to make sure the car is ok. It seems there is no mechanical damage. Husband saved the bottom of the car by avoiding the metal in the ravine. We drive to our first destination. To the Flax clothing sale. And then to the hotel where we order in. We go to the Corning Glass Museum (out of sight wonderful!!!) and we drive home.
What would you do if your husband caused an accident that he hasn't apoligized for. He said he was sorry that the car is a mess. He said that he was glad I wasn't driving because it was terrifying. I think I snapped at him and came back with some answer like I felt a comment like that sounded like he was saying I wouldn't be able to handle myself or the car. He got up to ask some questions at the info booth (we were all sitting at a table having birch beers). It was then that I asked my daughters what happened before the red jeep came so close. "Dad had is hand in the back seat" was their reply. When husband came back the girls took off to buy stuff and my mom went to the bathroom. I told him that I thought he should apologize to my mom. He said he had. I said that I believed him that the brake seized but I had just found out that his hand had been in the back seat and that action had set off a series of events that ended in a car accident. He nodded agreement.
As we were sitting in the ravine, husband and I got out of the car first. We gave each other a hug. Apparently my mom was saying to our girls stuff about look what your father has done.
I told husband that we should pay my mom's deductable on her insurance. He agreed.
I awoke with a start tonight. I cannot participate in a play where husband is the savior. He caused an accident. He handled the car well when it swerved out of control. He kept his cool. He saw the big metal stuff at the bottom of the ravine and avoided it. He caused it and not once has he said to anyone that he is sorry for causing it.
My head hurts. My toes are numb. My chest is tighter than Jane Fonda's ass. My marriage is in an iffy state as it is. I have to talk to husband tell him how I feel. Our daughters need to know that he is sorry for what happened and take responsibility for his part in the cause. He needs to talk to my mother.
I am grateful for his cool head under pressure. I am not sure that I could have handled the car as he did. We could have easily flipped. I am not comfortable with his not admitting his role in how this came to be.
How do I approach the man I love and say, "Hey, you've got to come clean on this one." or "Our girls need to know that you are taking responsibility for what happened."
Oh I know that I am going to talk to him. Mom leaves this morning and we have an appointment with a lawyer. Later on today. I wish that I could have a heart to heart before my Mom left but that won't happen.
Oh women. Oh women. What would you do? I just want to know. What would you do?