"Dad, I need to go to Hailey's to borrow a shirt for school tomorrow," I shouted from the back room. It had been a hard week for me. My cheerleading squad was preparing for a performance, and we had been practicing before and after school. While I waited for an answer from my dad, the game show, "Who Wants to be a Millionaire," sounded in the background. "Dad, I am going to run to Hailey's real quick," I repeated my shout.
A reply came: "It's snowing pretty hard, wait for my show to end and I will take you. I am on my way to the store anyway." I looked out the window to see snow coming down pretty heavy. On any other day, I would have argued to leave right away, but for ...view middle of the document...
I excitedly explained the game we had played to my dad as we drove away from Hailey's house. We turned onto a dark road surrounded by fields. The road passed over the interstate and is a bridge over the speeding cars. I continued to talk rapidly with my dad as we began the incline to the peak of the bridge. I looked out of the windshield, and saw a bright flash. An inexplicable feeling consumed me. It was a feeling of panic and eerie calm. I somehow understood that everything was out of my hands. I vaguely remember pushing towards that back of my seat trying desperately to get away from the flash. Then my world went black.
I slowly regained consiousness and struggled to make sense of the chaos I felt. When I couldn't make my body do what I wanted the terror set in. My eyes were open, but I couldn't see. Every emotion in my body soared and panic consumed me. "I am paralyzed," was my first thought, and then almost immediately my thoughts turned to my dad. I was trying desperately to ask him if he was okay, but I was only making unintelligible noises. I couldn't look at him, but could hear him wheezing and moaning. "Daddy, daddy," I cried. No answer. As I waited for something to happen, my disordered cries changed to, "Heavenly Father, Heavenly Father."
I felt alone and panicked when I heard a faint call, "Where are we?"
A subtle feeling of peace came over me and I replied, "We got in an accident"
"Oh yes," my dad said, "There was nothing I could do." He seemed to be asking me to understand that he did all that was in his power to prevent this, but it wasn't enough. I could sense the pain in his voice that he had been unable to prevent this from happening to me, his little girl.
"I know," came my reply. I still wasn't able to turn my head to see my dad, but I reached out and found his hand. "Dad," I said, "I am going to say a prayer." I prayed for our health, for an element of calmness, and for the people in the other car. As I finished my prayer, I was able to turn and look at my dad. He was pinned between the seat and the steering wheel, and his head was sticking out the driver's side window.
"I'm stuck," he said. The vulnerability and helplessness of my dad struck me hard. He really wasn't made of steel; my dad, my strength, was not unbreakable. The realization that the bigger responsibility to remain strong was on my shoulders scared me, yet sustained me. A strength I didn't know I was able to possess filled my body. It was my turn to quit sobbing and support my dad. Without consent from either of us, our roles switched.
Eventually, the scene around me began to come into focus. I saw a big white bag in front of me, and felt slimy cold. I noticed the shattered windshield, the distorted car frame, and the lack of dashboard and radio. Just then, someone came to the window and asked if we were okay. I simply said, "My dad is stuck, call the paramedics." The man left, and the silence set in. It was completely dark...