I woke up totally refreshed late the next morning. I go into check on TJ. I ask him if he remembers talking with a woman. No woman, just the truck driver he tells me. I drop it at that. He asks me to get him his favorite sub from Jersey Mikes and then expresses concern about his belongings in the car. I suppose I could go find the car and see if they are still in there. I start making a few phone calls and locate the car at a junk yard in Mansfield.
As I'm driving north on I-71 my phone rings. I don't always answer while driving, but I am on the stretch of highway that is lined mostly with cow pastures and corn fields and very few cars. It is my dad calling. Bless his heart. This poor man has been caring for my mother since she had a very bad fall in November. She laid in ICU for some time while they drained the blood from her brain and now she is in a rehab center where they are trying to teach her how to walk again. She has very minimal memory and limited self-care skills.
And now I am telling him about his grandson being in an accident. A grandson he simply adores. Grandpa has been a TJ supporter from day one. I don't think he has missed one special event, one concert (and TJ was in six different band/orchestras) and has attended numerous sporting events. He has taken TJ on vacation after vacation and has always been available when we call for help. I remember being a tad emotional as I told him we could have lost TJ last night. I told him I was on my way to get the suitcase out of the trunk if I could. My dad warned me that it might be hard for me to see the car. I had not thought of that. What would I do? How would I react?
With just a few wrong turns, I finally got to the address I had been given. Surely this is not the spot, I say to myself. It looked like something straight out of a movie. I had taken TJ to California for his 18th birthday to see the L.A. Philharmonic play and while we were there we toured the MGM studios back lots. The scene before me now looked like it belonged there. There were 1950's dilapidated trailers, a few bony, scroungy dogs roaming around, old rusty pick up trucks, a cast iron sink thrown in the muddy lawn, and car doors, hoods and fenders scattered about.
Then Jethro comes out. He's wearing faded, filthy overalls, a torn flannel shirt and has a half smoked cigarette hanging out of the side of his mouth. This whole experience is getting more surreal by the moment. "You got business here?" he mumbles. I'm almost afraid to answer but I say, "I think my sons car was brought here last night." He throws his hand over his shoulder and points to the trailer while yelling, "Talk to the woman." I walk up the cinder block steps and open the door. The stench of old smoke almost knocks me over. "Hello...hello, anybody here," I ask in a meek, little voice. "Yea, were here. Wha'ya want?" a booming female voice yells. Out she comes from behind a terribly faded, calico curtain. I just want to bust out laughing, this is so like a movie set. She orders me to drive around back and look around.
I climb back into the van and pull around behind the trailer. There are hundreds of cars, some so old I'm sure they have been here for decades. I continue to inch into the lot until I'm afraid if I drive any further I might get stuck. I have my boots in the back so I put them on and then start to walk the lot until I spot TJ's car. The instant I see it, I feel a rush of excitement, almost a euphoric feeling. Instead of feeling sad, I am totally awe struck that TJ did survive this accident without injury. Indeed. It is a miracle.
I run back to the van and grab the camera to take photos. I open the trunk and get his suitcase. His suit is still in the bag. Even his CD's survived. The only area I was not able to open was the glove box. The dashboard had folded up like an accordion, and it had been wedged so tight by the impact, I just could not budge it. There was broken glass everywhere. I just do not understand how he was not cut by all the flying broken glass. I am feeling more uplifted the more I stare at this car. A miracle indeed.
On my way back to Columbus, I stop to get something to eat and call John. I had sent him an email late last night to let him know all was well, but I had not spoken with him since I left the hotel to drive to the hospital. John and I are not super religious folks. Actually, we don't often go to church. We do though have a strong belief there is a God. We pray. We firmly believe that our lives are guided by a higher power. And we believe in karma. We have never really talked about angels, although people often refer to Sarah as an angel. But on this afternoon, I tell my husband the only way I know to describe it, "I think we have been touched by an angel."