This past Wednesday, February 20th, started out as a nice relaxing day. I went to visit some of our church folks at the Altavisita nursing home. After that I was going to deliver bulletins to the churches, so they would be there Sunday morning when everyone arrived. Not having anywhere to rush to, I was having a leisurely drive enjoying the country. I was driving down Riceville Road, coming over that rise in the road coming towards the camera. There was a car at the stop sign at that road to the left. As I was coming down that slight incline, when they pulled right out in front of me. I hit the breaks, but it was too late and too close. I hit the other car in the driver's side door and its momentum pulled me into the other lane and the other car went off the side of the road down a 4 foot embankment. The young lady driving the other car got out before I did and asked how I was. I told that I had banged my knee and she told me to stay seated. I had my seat belt on and I'm sure that if I hadn't there would have been a large hole in that windshield. She called 911 on her cell phone and flagged down a car to go get her mother who lived just down the road that she had pulled out of. Fortunately for us the 640 Rescue Squad is at the top of that rise in the road and arrived quickly. The State Police and the Sheriff got there in about 10 minutes. They took our statements and provided us with each other's information.
I was able to get a call from Joanne before my cell battery went out. We decided to have the ambulance transport me to the hospital. The only problem was that they routinely take you to the closest hospital. Which means they planned to take me to Danville. The EMT said he would rather take me to South Boston. Neither of these would have been the least bit convenient for Joanne to get to me. Meanwhile, Joanne called Carl Wayne Adams from Providence UMC, who lived nearby and asked him to go check on me and to try to get me sent to Lynchburg General Hospital. I heard Carl's voice when he got to the scene asking the EMT, "Is he conscious?" He told me Joanne had called and would like for me to go to LGH if at all possible. The EMT said they would be willing to take me there, so it worked out well.
When I was placed in the ambulance, the EMT's strapped me to a back board, put on a cervical collar, and immobilized my head. It was about that time that I thought, "This might not be good". On the way to the hospital, staring at the roof of the ambulance, I started saying the Jesus Prayer to myself. Breathing in on "Jesus Christ, Son of God" and breathing out on "Have mercy on me a sinner". It helped to calm me and give me something to concentrate on. I also was aware that there were more people than I knew praying for me. Knowing Joanne I was sure that she had our churches and half the District notified and praying. When I arrived at the ER, Joanne, my Dad, and Jeremiah, our son, were waiting for me. They rolled me into the Er and sent to an exam room. They got me off the board, but left the collar around my neck. The doctor came in and did a check of my legs and arms, then ordered a CT scan of my neck and x-rays of my chest and spine, still leaving the neck collar on. The scan and x-rays didn't take long and I was back in the room. The doctor came in and without saying a word came over and removed the neck collar. That told me all I wanted to know, everything else would be relatively good news. The diagnosis was that I had whiplash and muscle strain.
The next morning the phones started ringing around 7:00. Folks letting us know they were praying for us and wanted to know how I was doing. We got calls from our insurance people and the other driver's people. In the afternoon we went back to Gretna to meet the other driver's insurance person to talk to them about a settlement and to see the Miata since it was towed. I hadn't really spent much time looking at it when it happened. Well, they totaled the Miata, it was too damaged to repair. So, Joanne and I started to unload the trunk and glove box. I had always complained about how little the trunk held, man was I wrong. When we finished we drove over to the church and finally delivered some bulletins.
Well, my playmate is no more. It's like losing an old friend. We bought the Miata in 1995 used and its been a good car. It has really been fun driving the back country roads between churches. As bad as it looks, it held up well. The cockpit didn't compress and the was no glass breakage. The seat held fast and I didn't bang my head on anything. The airbag didn't deploy, but I'm not so sure that that was a bad thing. I am very thankful to my guardian angels; Shirley, Goodness, and Mercy, who were there with me as they have been all the days of my life. All in all, I felt protected by God's loving hand, covered by the prayers of the saints, loved from all directions, and blessed beyond comprehension. I know what it could have been and I know what it is, and I am so incredibly thankful. Every day walking with Him is another day of adventure, no mater what, it is all part of the adventure.