Last night SM got home around 7:30. He went into Greenville SC for business and it's not uncommon that he gets in a bit late.
We all greeted him. Puppies jumping up and down whinning, a quick hug and a kiss from the Mrs. "Blah, blah, blah...(about my day)." I sat down. SM's still standing.
"I need to switch cars with you for a few days." SM says.
"Oh? What's up." I said...Expecting to hear about a new engine issue.
"Well...I got bumped by a semi." SM
He was heading south on I-85 heading into Greenville. He was in the first lane slightly ahead of an 18 wheeler in the second lane. He felt a bump.
Then he felt a second bump and confused, saw the front end of the Buick turning into the lane where the semi was. He looks up and out of his drivers side window and sees nothing but grill.
(By this time I'm on my feet and heading out the door. SM grabs a flashlight. He shows me where the first bump hit. A black smudge inches (and I mean inches) forward from his back bumper.)
Third bump and his whole drivers side comes into contact with the semi's front end. He's now sideways...no control.
Somehow this third contact...(and with the semi driver no doubt braking hard)... bumps him hard enough away and spins him into the highways concrete divider.
The semi goes on past him and stops a few more yards down the way.
(SM's flashlight travels up the side of the Buick. Tons of scratches and dents but no major indentions into his side panels.)
SM is now facing north in southbound traffic. Luckily, there was no vehicle behind the semi in that lane.
Cars stop. Everyone's OK.
(By this time we're back in the house.)
"When did this happen?" I ask.
"About 3:00. I didn't want to tell you over the phone. All the ice cream in the house would've been gone." He smiles.
You see SM's been in 2 other serious accidents and has walked away from them all. ("I swear you have 9 lives.")
Interestingly they've all been on I-85. One time he was in stopped traffic on the highway and the truck behind him wasn't paying attention and rear ended him. Totaled the car. Squished both the front and back ends like an accordion.
I get the phone call from him and (I was home at the time) ate my way through most of a 1/2 gallon of ice cream before snapping out of it.
A few years later SM hydroplaned his car about an hour north of where we live. Flipped the car over onto it's roof and spun him upside down into the greenway of bushes and trees. SM had to kick the windows out on that one. Again, not a scratch.
Another phone call, another totaled car and another 1/2 gallon of ice cream bit the dust.
"You OK?" He asks.
I stand up and hold him tight. I pulled back a bit and put my hands on either side of his face and looked into his eyes.
"Not yet." I said. "Did you think that might be it?"
"I wondered. I don't know what angels were looking out for me but..."