In case you didn't realize it, Friday was "Friday the 13th." I don't typically "believe" in that kind of stuff or even think twice about it. But after last Friday, I will never think of Friday the 13th as just another day.
It started off just fine...work was a typical day, nothing out of the ordinary. I had plans to see Fifty Shades of Grey with my sister (Ashley), sister-in-law (Lisa), and best friend (Kristen). We were going to the theater in my hometown, since that is where everyone but me lives. I figured only one of us should make the 45 minute drive, not three. So after work I went home to let Admiral out and hang out with him for a few minutes before I left.
I should have known the second I got on the highway, and traffic was stopped to just turn around and call off the movie. But that's not out of the ordinary for 5:00 traffic, on a Friday, in a decently large city, during a snow storm (we had a winter weather advisory I think). After being in the car for about 30 minutes and going maybe 7 miles, my wipers were starting to build up ice/snow on them. So I rolled my window down and tried to "fling" the ice off of them...you know how you do that sometimes, right? Well the second I touch my wiper, it flew off. I just laughed. I couldn't believe it. Here I am, in the snowy weather, stuck in traffic, with no wiper. So I called Kevin and told him what happened. I could see enough out the other half of the window, so I continued until I reached an exit that had an auto store where I could get a new wiper. That was a story in itself, but I'll spare you the details. Just know that another 30 minutes later, I was back on the road with a new wiper.
After dealing with more traffic and bad weather/roads, I finally made it. It took me over 2 hours to go the normal 45 minutes. But I got there. I met my sister-in-law at my husband's grandmas and we ate dinner and hung out for a little bit before heading to the movies. We all drove separate, because I was heading back to my house after the movie, and they were all heading the opposite direction.
Lisa headed out and I was behind her. Due to cars and stop lights, she was a little ahead of me. We got on the highway, and after a little bit, I see a car pulled over on the side of the road with it's flashers on, and I see the person get out of the car and run toward the ditch. I look and see an SUV in the ditch and I started freaking out. My sister was driving my mom's SUV to the movies because her car isn't great in bad weather. It looked just like my mom's SUV and then I realized the person running toward the car in the ditch was Lisa. I pulled over and with trembling hands tried to call my sister. Twice. Straight to voicemail. All I could say was, "no, no, no." I was just starting to dial Lisa when she called me. I said, "is that my sister?" she said "yes." I said "is she ok?" and she said "yes." I breathed a sigh of relief and said "I'm on my way down."
By this time, my sister and Lisa were up out of the ditch on the side of the road. We all got in Lisa's car to stay safe and warm while we waited for the police to arrive.
I should also mention, as soon as I pulled over on side of the road, I saw another vehicle spin out, hit the guardrail, and then slide across to the other side of the road, about 50 feet in front of me. This spot of the highway was treacherous. It didn't look bad, but the cold temps and blowing snow kept the roads slippery.
Once we were all in the car and I really could see that my sister was, we started talking about what happened. Lisa was the car behind my sister, but she had no idea it was her. My sister must have hit a patch of ice and she started spinning and then her vehicle ROLLED down in to the ditch. It did a complete roll and landed back on it's tires in the ditch. When I heard that it rolled, I freaked even more. Even though I knew my sister was ok, the thought of what could have happened scared me to death.
We waited and talked with the cop and waited while the tow truck pulled it out of the ditch. I think we probably sat there for about an hour total. In that hour, we saw three vehicles within 50 feet of us spin out in to the ditch or crash. While the tow truck was pulling out a vehicle in front of us that had lost it, we nearly witnessed 3-4 other cars hit him...I don't know how they all stopped/missed the tow truck, but it was scary.
Needless to say, we didn't make it to the movie. That was the least of our worries. My sister walked away unharmed and was able to drive my mom's SUV home.
I am beyond thankful that my sister had a guardian angel watching over her that night. I am also thankful for amazing friends/family. My sister-in-law Lisa witnessed the accident and immediately pulled over and ran to make sure she was ok, even though she had no idea it was my sister. And she sat with us the whole time and made sure everything was ok. My friend Kristen made it to the movie theater and we had to call and tell her we weren't going to make it. All she cared about was making sure my sister was ok and seeing if there was anything she could do. I seriously have the most amazing people in my life.
I can't even explain what I felt when I drove up to my sister's vehicle in the ditch. I think I knew immediately it was her, but once it was confirmed, my heart sank. Once I learned she rolled the vehicle, I really lost it. I was shaking the entire time and my heart was beating out of my chest. Even when I knew she was ok, I couldn't calm down. I don't think those images/memories will ever leave me. Things could have been totally different, but I thank God that they weren't. Someone was looking out for her.
That's why I will never think of Friday the 13th the same way again.