blink, snap, beat

Funny thing, complacency.
There she was: scooting along through life,
whittling down her to do list,
wondering how it ever got this overgrown in the first place,
thinking of all the things she’s gonna’ do
One Day
and how marvelous life will be then,
even though she readily admits that it’s
pretty awesome right now.
But still.

Then the phone rings
and her husband says
“I’ve just been hit by a guy
doing about 50 mph.”
“Are you all right?” she asks,
and he assures her that he’s fine,
especially since he saw the guy coming,
swerving off the road then
back onto the road,
headed right for him
but he was able to move over just a little bit
so the fella didn’t hit him head-on after all
but just in front of the driver’s side.

Her car is in the shop,
so she calls her daughter and asks her
to go over
and once daughter says “I’m on my way,”
she breathes easier because
she knows her husband is okay
and she knows her daughter can handle anything.
Her son is in Colorado, but she calls him anyway
because emotional support doesn’t know geography.

Her husband and daughter get home
and they all spend the rest of the afternoon
quietly watching television
and refreshing the ice they hope will
contain the rise of the mountain
that’s grown on his left knee.

She sleeps good
and the next day she sees the
big, ugly bruise across his chest –
the seatbelt’s legacy –
and even though the soreness settles in,
and they snuggle and touch even more than usual
as the sobering possibilities of what might have happened
drape over them like a heavy, heavy, heavy veil.

She writes as though it happened
to someone else
because that’s as close as she can get
to it right now,
and she wonders
why it takes a near-negative event
to shift her into
renewed, committed



  1. MrsWhich

    Having survived a car disaster that should have killed me and surely would have killed any passengers I might have had, I can relate to this on a few levels. Very powerfully written. Thank you.

    • whollyjeanne

      Thanks, sugar. So glad your experience is a might-have-been. xo

  2. Brenda

    Beautiful–glad all is well and you are so right that on some days it takes a “what might have been” to see where we really are and how much we love it here.

    • whollyjeanne

      You’re so right, Brenda.

  3. Mrsmediocrity

    Oh dear. Oh wow. I am so very glad that it was only a near-negative event. You just keep hugging him extra tight. And I’ll keep sending hugs to you.

    • whollyjeanne

      i have an insatiable appetite for hugs, so thanks.

  4. Brooke Farmer

    I’m so glad everyone’s alright.

    Frightening events like these always bring life back into focus. I’ve survived a car accident, a bus rollover, a motorcycle wreck and a brain tumor. And each time it has snapped my perspective into place in a hurry.

    • whollyjeanne

      wowsher, brooke. that’s an impressive list. seems pretty obvious you have important work here. that or they won’t take you anywhere else;)

  5. Liz

    oh my love, my wholllyjeanne, I was missing you so much about an hour ago. Thinking that I needed to find your number because I had to make sure that you were ok. I have goosebumps, thinking of the fear and of your partner’s body, and of your love. I am sending you love. I hope he has gone to the doctor or plans to tomorrow? I am here. I love you.

    • whollyjeanne

      i felt your hugs – i always do – and i cherish them.

  6. Karen Sharp

    We are so raw and vulnerable, us fragile and beloved human beings. And to see that, especially so vividly, in bruises on beloved flesh, whoa, that so shakes us, brings us absolutely down to the fundamentals.

    And what’s fundamental, is love.

    What else is there, really? Love that redeems us, that makes us whole, us fragile, breakable, vulner-able things that we are, us humans. And when things around us appear so horrifyingly broken and twisted, like the metal of his car, and the scary scary heavy possibilities weigh on all our throats and our hearts…

    All of us, terrifyingly vulnerable creatures we are. All of us. You with your husband, me with my own husband, our families, our cherished friends, the way we reach out to each other in love, sight unseen, on Twitter…

    What else do we have, but touch, to love, standing up quiet and fierce and defiant, standing up for the sake of our rawness, our bruisedness, our unquenchable tenderness.

    I am so so glad, so grateful that this was not worse, for you and yours.

    Cherish your husband. Cherish your loved ones.

    Love’s all we got.

    • whollyjeanne

      well said, my friend. thank you.

  7. Dr. Dolly

    those photos made me gasp. i’ve been hit in too many car accidents, and i was the first on scene for a fatality accident. sending you a huge hug.

    i know you’re not asking, so, please ignore…just know this is my reaction…as a healer and a doctor, but please get your husband to a good chiropractor as soon as possible. he’ll avoid long term whiplash damage the sooner he can get worked on. ice and arnica montana for that chest bruise.

    hugs to you!!

    • whollyjeanne

      thanks for the hug and the excellent suggestions, especially that he see a chiropractor asap. sure do wish you were closer . . .

  8. Roxanne

    I saw Karen’s comment earlier and her “love’s all we got” and I think she’s spot on. I recently survived a very serious car crash myself and I am sending all the love, sympathy and healing vibes your way.

  9. Meredith

    I certainly hope everything works out for the best, and I’m glad he’s safe.

  10. Sally_G

    There she was, scootin’ along through life, whittling down her to do list, wondering how it ever got this overgrown in the first place, thinking of all the things she’s gonna’ do One Day ~ straying into a future moment that does not yet exist, not realizing that this moment, now, is all there actually is, really ~ when suddenly – the Universe reminded her.

    I was in a similar accident not too long ago. I sported the same blue and purple reminder, soreness, tenderness, vulnerability and upset.And I now drive through intersections differently.

    My husband recently spun out in my car ~ it sustained A LOT of damage, he, somehow, did not. Not even a bruise. And days later, as he thanked me for not being like everybody else – for not telling him all the things he could have/should have done to avoid such an incident and how they all hope it taught him something about the way he sometimes drives … I thanked him for noticing. And invited him to see the gift in the incident too ~ for one of his greatest fears is losing control, total control – and on that day, he did just that. And the only thing damaged was a thing that could be fixed and replaced. HE walked away.

    For me, there was a message there somewhere …

    (Resilience is beautiful – and you have it in spades.)

  11. littleyawps

    Whew. Just whew. Car accidents of certain severity leave us all a little more careful. Careful with our feelings, careful with our actions, careful with how we respond to our loved ones. The Old Man and I both find it hard to drive in cars controlled by others due something that had our truck looking similarly mangled. I do not envy the claims process ahead of you…but really, you can’t put a price on the things that made it out unscathed can you?

  12. Sarah

    the ordinary and the extraordinary, all in a moment. it takes barely a moment for the deep gratitude, a few more for the love to overwhelm. it can take a longer while to absorb the shock of the real news: that this moment is all we have.

    yes, love, cherishing without grasping, knowing the warning light of loss is always on.

    grateful you are there to put this event in your blog – that your daily lists will continue to help you through the daily life – and that the bruised body next to you is still a physical part of you.

    fear and the unknown do rise sporadically — that sudden shaky feeling — just let it go its way. allowing reaction without attaching.

    eyes open. eyes close. breathing in. grateful. breathing out. grateful. for you.

  13. Abigail

    I’m giving you Stylish Blogger Award! And just in time for National Compliment Day. 🙂 I love your blog! Not sure why the award is called “stylish” as opposed to just “good,” but hey, I won’t complain! (Don’t feel pressured to participate–I just wanted to recognize you! I’m pretty sure you’ve already gotten this by others, too. The more the merrier?)

    Here are the details:

    Recently I got a stylish blogger award. I am passing it on to you because I love your blog and want to get it read by even more people. See my recent post for the list with your blog on it!

    So here are the rules for acceptance of the award:

    1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award.
    2. Share 7 things about yourself.
    3. Award 5 recently discovered great bloggers.
    4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award.

    There is a button that goes with the award. Click on mine and copy the properties into your own blog.

    Rock on!

  14. Noel

    I’m glad everyone is ok! Thank you for this beautiful post.

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