Don't. Blink.

I know I'm going to die.
I'm not sure if I'm obsessed with it, or if secretly it is normal for it to be in the back (or front) of everyone's mind but nobody mentions it, so the notion stays squashed in order to go on living our day to days...
What I am surely obsessed with is protecting my daughter.  In every capacity of all spectrums.  Not much gets past me because I barely ever blink around her.

I want nothing more than for our daughter to live out her life and to love and to spread joy and help heal the cruelties and fears of the world's inhabitants. Tall order? (Warning: sidebar, pulpit rant!). It's not up to her, or 'us', or our parents or theirs...it is somewhere in between all of those and these generational intersections.  Somewhere in the 'in betweens', we all...all of us...inherited some level of complacency.  Doing things that hurt others without facing or acknowledging consequence or result...because nowadays 'Survival' is beyond survival of the fittest- it has become "he who dies with the most toys, wins"...without respect to the babies being born, as politicians grease or get greased to continue to perpetuate the catapult of industries that strip from the health of our future and feed the anti-productive industries.  How could it be humanly possible for men to be raping women, for children to be neglected, abused or murdered, or for the love of money to ensure our nation ingests food that is bad for our bodies at very least...when there is this variety of love when looking at my child-knowing that the majority of mothers and fathers on this earth share this involuntary impulse to love and protect...how could there be cruelty or suffering.

So, you're welcome. Lol... A glimpse into the very busy mind of Heather Horton-Murphy.  Michael is a Saint to make it through the days of my constant 'biting off more than I can chewitis'.  2 days ago, I managed to punch myself in the face trying to cut tree branches-chipping a tooth, got bit by poison oak cutting back bushes and then almost took my thumb off in the garbage disposal. Michael reminded me 'these things come in threes'...so I took that as some sort of relief and resolve...until...

...Yesterday, life imitated art.  'Sirens', a gut-wrenching, heart-piercing song, penned by Michael this year, literally sucks the air from my lungs every time we reach the last verse...this is where the main character of the song finds out his wife and daughter are t-boned by a Lincoln...and killed.

I saw it all, like many experience, in slow motion.  We were on our way to meet a cousin at the pool, leisurely driving down beautiful 79th/German Church Road, when upon entering the Wolf Road intersection, I watched as a speeding orange sports car, was not stopping. I locked the brakes and surrendered to the impact. Dead center for the T-bone, I saw a river of green, broken glass and white...(as Willie called them later, "covers", were the air bags). On impact, we flipped upside down and spun 360 degrees while continuing to flip landing back on our wheels on the opposite corner of the intersection miraculously not hitting any of the on coming cars, light poles while we were inches from taking outs both.

At impact, I was sure that it was over for me, but in those 7 seconds, I somehow super-rationalized that perhaps Willie would live.  But when I realized I was still alive when we landed, my terror evolved into what condition Willie was potentially in.  I carry a specific episode of the family on Oprah who lost all of their kids from a semi slamming into them from behind.. and run scenarios through my head on preventative maneuvers for the agony I feel for merely seeing a surviving parent on TV...or my friend's friend who lost their little boy being hit in a crosswalk by a cab...take me.  They say you never know what love is until you have a child and realize that -without blinking-you would hurl yourself in front of a moving train to save your child. It is factual. Take. Me. But there were no tracks to dive for now.  It was the literal moment of truth. Then I heard the screaming...blood-curdling, screaming- it was music to my ears.  I didn't blink...and then began my Emmy award winning 4 hour performance of, "this is going to be a new and very exciting adventure, Willie!"  Before I could even see her, I ripped my seatbelt off and lifted the airbags up and asked her, "was that scary, honey" as I jumped out to get her out - "yyyesssss" she said softly silencing her screams...but the door was completely plowed in, I dove back the car and pulled her out of her car seat and through the front seat agreeing with her that THAT was sooooo scary but everything is going to be alright...she didn't shed another tear.  I wouldn't let go until the paramedics pulled her from my arms to place us both in traction on gurneys...we held hands and talked about silly things laying side by side. And we heard "Sirens".

Before the police and paramedics arrived I went with Willie in arms, to face the man in the other car. I told him I'm not even sure what God is but he had better get on his knees and thank God nothing happened to my child...he was like a big sad Teddy bear and wouldn't stop apologizing...so we just hugged him.  Then we hugged the first witness to call 911 ('hug' in the arena of 'clutch-suction power hold, never-gonna-let-u-go hug') then let me call Michael from her phone (she was still trembling because we apparently just missed her while we were spinning) - a flight attendant on her way to the airport and at some point hugged both officers on the scene before we were corralled to the ambulance.  There were 5 or 6 paramedics and they all confessed eventually that they had never witnessed any two people waltzing out of a wreck like this.  They would confirm later, as well as an officer, that the fact we missed all the poles and cars was what may have saved us.

Michael met us at LaGrange hospital (absolutely superb, amazing, wonderful people) where they ran a bunch of X-rays and cleared me.  Willie suffered some abrasions around her neck and legs by the straps that saved her life in her car seat.  I had to pick out a few pieces of glass from my leg and forehead- I had bit through my tongue and my neck is stiff.  It is all a miracle.  What could possibly matter more than another day to love one another...?

Before we could leave the hospital, Michael had to go across town to get a new car seat for Willie, so we could get home.  Safely...all together.  We all slept in the same bed last night, but before Willie fell asleep in my arms, she made me promise that I would call the other driver and forgive him...so I did.  Well, sort of.  I asked his insurance agent, who called today, to tell his client that Willie and I forgive him.  And I probably only can because Willie is alive and well.  The insurance agent said he doesn't think he would be able to forgive him if he were us...my guess is this agent, 'Mike', deals with a whooooooole lot of verrrrrrrry angry adults on a daily basis.  My Willie kept me in line, though.


Today I went to retrieve items from the totaled car. The towing service was off a gravel road, off of another gravel road underneath Highway 55. I was greeted by a locked building door and not one, but two giant, unleashed, matted German Shepards that appeared from around the side of the shop- I was straight up Chevy Chase from, "Fletch". On the way there, I passed not one, but two funeral processions on Archer Ave...just blocks from one another.  I said a prayer to 'whatever God' might hear for each hearse...oddly, there appeared to be three...I didn't blink.

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