Monday, October 16, 2006


Back in the year of 1978 or 1979, when several of you were not even born yet something happened in our family that was probably the scariest day of my life!!

Everyone got up that morning and got ready for school like always. Our oldest son was a teenager, our second daughter was getting close and our youngest was around 6. I remember that she was in kindergarten.

My husband got them in the car that morning. It was very cold as always for an Illinois morning. I was still in my PJ's and I remember they left so I decided to start sweeping the kitchen floor. I was still sweeping when the phone rang. I went over and answered it and it was my neighbor from down the road. She very seldom called me. We lived in the country so it was not like living in a subdivision where you see your neighbors every day outside.

She told me to get in the car and come to her home because my kids were there and needed me. I told her NO they were in school. She said NO they were at her house and to just come. I said OKAY I will be there just as soon as I get dressed. I ran upstairs wondering the whole way...why am I going to my neighbors to pick up my kids? Where is my husband? Why aren't they in school? What am I doing? Now I am starting to panic!!!

I run out to our station wagon, fumble with the keys but try calmly as I can to back the car out of the drive and go down our long lane and turn left at our mail box and drive toward our neighbors home. I had to go up a sligh incline and when I went over it and came down ahead of me was our little car (blue VEGA) and a train!!! OOOPS!!

I immediately went past our neighbors home where I was SUPPOSED to go for the kids and drove up to the car. I jumped out of the car and ran to our Vega. I started looking inside!! I don't know what I thought I was looking for. Nothing and NO ONE was there. Where was my husband. In my mind I was thinking...I know the kids are okay but where is my HUSBAND!! WHERE IS HE!!! I was about screaming that by now. The train was right there stopped...It was freezing cold and I knew that something BAD had happened...

I look up and see him jump off of the back of the train. I made a BEE LINE for him and well ATTACKED him right there and was so HAPPY to see him....crying and asking what happened.
Here is what occured...

He got to the tracks and was just about to go over them, when he looked up and saw an Amtrak train coming from his left. He tried to go forward but the front tires became wedged in the ice that was between the rails. He only had a few seconds to react. He put the stick shift into reverse and the car moved backwards about 18" just enough that when the train hit them it shoved them sideways.

I guess he had time to tell the kids that he loved them. The kids told me that they all sat still and just let it happen. Our son was in the front seat and if he had tried to move and get out the car might have hit him. The girls were in the back seat.

Another miracle was that the train had a "cow catcher" on the front for snow. That made hitting the car even better because it just "shoved" our car and did not grab hold of the car. That would have been even more damaging to my family.

After I made sure that My Husband was okay, I drove back to my kids. I remember so well walking into that house and seeing them sitting there. The two older kids were just staring, like in a daze. My youngest came running to me, crying. I picked her up and we just sat there all together like we were so thrilled to be together.

My husband came in and we went home as a family!! Once we got home he hugged all of us and cried and apologized to the kids. He cried a lot that day. He learned just how important his family was to him and just how close he came to losing them. I learned how close I had been to losing everything in this world that meant anything to me too.

What a day that was!! A day that I will never forget!!


LadyBugCrossing said...

Wow! That's a doozy!
I'm glad it all turned out okay!

Lazy Daisy said...

Wow, I don't remember you ever telling me that story before. I bet your heart stood still for sure. Do Julie and Jon still remember it?

I got goosebumps just reading about it. Forget Halloween....your story wins in the scary moment category.

celebrating life and family said...

I remember that all too well...That is why still today i DO NOT like trains and wouldn't you know it we live in a town that has one come by about every 10-15 minutes. UGH!!!!!

Wystful1 said...

I had something similar but not AT ALL close to what you went through!!

(I was going to our kids school to pick the youngest up for the 1/2 day that kindergarten has. In front of me was my aged father driving down the same road, but not even knowing I was a couple of cars behind him....the person in front of him had his left turn signals on to pull into the schools parking father slowed down....but the car in front of me DIDn't stop!!!! My father and his car was wedged between two cars!!! Totaled!!! Luckily my dad was okay. But ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, can that ever scare the wits out of you!! Ya know?!!

Scary, Sandy....oh so scary!!!!!!! I as with you are so thankful everything was okay and it was just the CAR damaged. Maybe some nerves and an awakening for sure, but all physically unharmed!!!

sherle said...

What an amazing story!!! What a great idea to share memories in writing for you children! I think I'll add that to my list of things to do... a Monday Madness thing. Found you at your daughter's blog. Hope you don't mind! ;-)

MugwumpMom said...

Wow, that is an amazing memory. Thank God that no one was hurt. Thanks for sharing your memory.

Jane said...

Oh, Sandy, that must have been horrific. What a story. Those are the moments when you truly learn to treasure each moment as if it is your last. Thanks for sharing it.
Also, thanks for stopping by my blog this morning.

Anonymous said...

WOW, Sandy! I can't even imagine something as scary as that. Thank God for His goodness!

Thanks for coming by and the compliments.

Jennifer said...

Sandy, how dreadful! I'm sure you don't need me to tell you how lucky and blessed you are!! I think I would have completely come unglued!!!
Thanks so much for checking on me and leavign all your sweet comments. You have been such an encouragement to me. I love you, sweet friend!! :)

Anonymous said...

What a horrible experience and such a close call with death....Thank God for his tender watch care over us. Your husband was a quick thinker to to put the car in reverse like many things together so fast...I can't imagine how your heart was stopped with fear. God bless you for being able to recount this to us!

Mrs Lifecruiser said...

Wow, that was a horror story really! My hair stand right up.

So close... really scary.

Makes you thinking: things can go pretty fast, so better show and tell your loved ones that you love them every second :-)

TC said...

what a scary story! My heart just stopped in the fear I could read in every word. God Bless you and yours.

Thank you for being so supportive of me. I appreciate it more than you can know.

Melli said...

WOW! What an amazing story! Your family had guardian angels all OVER the place that day! How terrified you must have been! You ALL must have been! Thank God they were okay and you're all still together!

Anonymous said...

Yes I remember that day and was one that one never forgets. You called and told us and think we had a picture of the accident. God was sure traveling in that car for sure, that was proven, no wonder you believe. God does do a lot of miracles and so glad as they are all wonderful grandchildren to Dad and I. I love reading your blogs. Love mother

Bonnue said...

Good morning,
Yes, I sure do remember that day!
The Lord sure was with all of you & just bringing you all together more tightly! He is so good & I'm so thankful He kept all of you in His hands! Love my cuz! Bonnie

Terry said...

Dear Sandy... I just love to read your Monday Memories and I will be glad when i can do just that!
I am coming and going too much and the world is spinning so fast!! I will be glad when I can step off and get back to normal!!
Just wanted to say hi to you and hope that everytning is going alrignt!!
Betty comes back to work soon and then I will have more time to read your blog and some of the others that I have been "neglecting"!!
Catcb you again....Love Terry

Mrs Lifecruiser said...

For your inforamation we've made some changes at Lifecruiser:

Terry said...

Oh Sandy...Judging by my last comment, it is obvious that I hadn't read THIS Monday memories
Oh boy..that must of been the scariest day in your whole life!
How good the Lord is in all of this.
There must of been a whole lot of Guardian angels working for Him THAT day!...I am so gald that there was!...Love Terry