APRIL 15, 2015, THE SHORT VERSION   32 comments

I was on my way home via Audubon Road in Chaska, Minnesota, a short distance from where I would take a right turn onto Engler Boulevard. Not far from the safety of my own garage.

I knew I was sleepy, so I was fighting it, when suddenly there it was, the last car in a line of cars that I was bearing down on. There wasn’t really time to say words to myself, but I thought, “I did it!” (fell asleep, that is), Not wanting to injure anyone else, I turned off into the grassy area on the side of the road. From there I rely on the report of an eyewitness who saw the whole thing. In fact, he called 911 before my car had even hit the ground for the third time. “Send everything,” he told them.

I just barely clipped the bumper of the car in front of me, and apparently accelerated to turn off into the grassy area. There ensued a wild ride, steering desperately to avoid trees and poles, knowing I wanted to get my foot to the brake, but too busy steering. The eyewitness tells me any other choice I might have made would have been disastrous for lots of people.

Then my car hit something that propelled me about 8 feet over the street sign, taking out a street light as I landed for the first time. Two more rollovers ensued before my car came to a stop right side up. All I could do was repeat “Oh my God!” Several times as I listened to the loud metallic noises of my 2002 Acura RSX in flight. Not like a prayer. More like astonished observation.

By the time I landed, the eyewitness had left his car behind and was there to lean in the hole that once was the passenger side window. I saw black smoke and thought “I’d better get out of here. The car is about to burst into flames.” That’s when he reached in and touched my hand, telling me he’d called 911 and help was on the way. “What’s your name?” he asked, and I told him. “Where do you live?” he asked, and I told him. “Are you married?” he asked. “Divorced since 1976” I said.

“I expected to see a bloody dead body,” he reports, “and instead I found you tucked away in your little cocoon.”

Help was there in two minutes, and what wonderful help it was. Such kind people who went well beyond the call of duty.

I have more details to report, but I’m running out of energy. For the short version – every part of my car was smashed except the part I was in. I have three broken ribs, lots of bruising, and a fractured?/crushed? vertebra, L1, I think. It’s the one at the base of the spine.

I’m doing great. Ever so grateful I didn’t hurt anyone else, Amazed I’m alive. More than that, I’m joyful.

I’m even blessed by the fact there was a place for me in a rehab location just 5 minutes from my home where some of my friends volunteer.

Already the ribs are less painful. My logistical problem is the brace that must be worn for three months (predicted) whenever I am upright – even in the shower, for example. We’re now down to the point where two of us can get it on and off, an experienced aide and me. I won’t go into the problems of living alone with it, and I assume I’ll solve it at some point. Right now, though, please don’t ask me when I’ll be going home.

I did go out this past Tuesday, though, to participate as a presenter in a forum on forgiveness.

I’ll try to attach photos of my car.

Anyway, that’s why I haven’t been around the blogosphere much lately.

Crushed Car #2jpeg Crushed Car #1

32 responses to “APRIL 15, 2015, THE SHORT VERSION

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  1. Mona, I too am grateful and joyful you have survived it all. Continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Love, Dottie

    dottie johnson
  2. Mona, You are one lucky lady after looking at the pictures of your car. Darlene C

  3. Mona, Close calls like this one are much too close, but also reason for all your family and friends to be grateful you made it through. The pictures of the car emphasize how close you came. Thanks for sharing the story here and prayers and best wishes for healing.

  4. You surely had an angel on your shoulder that day, Mona!

    xx Mary

    Sent from my iPad


  5. Lovely Mona, so good to hear that you still are joyful and seem to have forgiven the whole ordeal – this must surely be good for something, as I know you will never waste a day complaining –
    sending love and light and healing embraces – thinking of you and having you in my prayers, tucked safely in
    xxx Leelah

  6. God was with you blessing you all the way. Still with you as you recover.

  7. God was certainly watching over you! Glad to hear that you are going to be fine.  I think your biggest problem {besides the brace} is slowing down your life style a little.  Think of where you”ve gone and what you have done this past year.  Even though I very seldom answer your e-mails, I enjoy receiving them. You are in my thoughts and prayers.                                                                    Joy {and John too}

    I just assumed you were on another trip; not hung up on a lamp post!!!!!

  8. Oh Mona! What a shock as I read your post. How fortunate you were! I ‘’l l look forward to your total recovery – slow but steady as it will prove to be!

    Did you see in the Mt. Calvary church information that my John died on March 16th. This past year, or at least since last July, I guess, has been a bit rough – not life as John would term enjoyable!

    And so, as it does for some, life came to an end. He was able to celebrate ( ?) his 93rd B. day last February in the nursing facility in Hopkins where he spent his final days.

    Daughter, Mary, is coping with major changes in life – a move to Sacramento in several months when the family takes up residence with dad, Orn, who is now Dean of Public Affairs at the U. there

    She has been so great what with me and adaptations that I have had to face. They have sold their home in St. Cloud – are renting an apartment until school is out for the boys, ages 13 and 14 .

    Blessings, my dear friend. Ann

    • Yes, Ann. I was planning to attend his memorial on Saturday. Obviously my little flight through the air changed my plans.

      I can’t imagine how it is for you without him after all these years together. I hope your family is of some real help for you.

      All I can do is send good thoughts.


  9. I posted this on your FB page, but in case you didn’t see it…. Reading about your terrible accident brought tears to my eyes. I am so very relieved that you are o.k. How like you, and how illustrative of your open-hearted character, that in those frantic seconds your initial reaction and action were to avoid causing harm to others. You are such a sweet person, and I hope your full recovery is super speedy. And I’d definitely consider another Acura! Multiple rollovers and it looks it, but YOU survived! Yay!!!!!

  10. Just read your ” short version” — an almost unbelievable event. We’ll probably be seeing a replica in the next catch- the-spy-after-a-long-car-chase movie! So happy to hear your upbeat progress report. So here’s to you, Mrs. Determination. Love, Peggy

  11. UNBELIEVABLE!!!! Your description was so calmly reported, and so reflective, but my overwhelming reaction is total amazement that you are alive and mostly well and “calmly” coping with rehab. Your reflex reaction to get out of everyone’s way was amazing. Think of the mayhem that might have been the alternative and the burden of having hurt others haunting you for the rest of your life. Oh, Mona, I can understand the relief and even joy. I am so grateful that you made it through such a nightmare and are your same sturdy self on the other side,

    And you recently left to be a presenter at a MEETING!!! Yikes.

    And you’ll have your brace for three months. Wow.

    As you can see, I’m in awe of your resilience. Thanks so much for giving us the short version, and please, as I know you will, keep us in the loop as healing progresses.

    So much love and prayers for you. At Meeting today, I “held you in the light” and hope made it to Minnesota.



    Elizabeth Conant
  12. Mona once again I was unable to post a comment. However I wanted you to know that I was so very sorry to hear about your accident and am glad that you are on the mend. Your actions to avoid implicating others was heroic… and I am not surprised knowing you to be the caring person you are​. Bones will mend, you can get another car, but your life is precious so please take care. All my best wishes, Pat

  13. Mona, we’ve had the opportunity to share some thoughts in the past and for some reason, even-though we’ve shared little since I read the pages you sent me for My Father’s House, you’ve remained an impress. I wish you a swift recovery and hope we can again touch base. May God’s light continue to shine on you and may your message of forgiveness resound.

    • Thanks for this lovely and encouraging thought

      • How great to hear from you! I know what a blessing you and your wife have been to your mom, and I’m sorry to hear about her ankle which now requires another change in her life. I hope it will be a move of contentment for her.

        Thanks for the reminiscences of the days on Hill Street. They were fun, weren’t they.

        I also appreciate hearing the news about Fran Grindell. Lots of us moving on …

  14. To a very lucky old neighbor…Mona, this is Ediths youngest, little Bud Robinson….my mother recently took a fall and broke her ankle, she is in a rehab in Guilford Ct. With some other complications going on, Diabetes , etc it appears the next stop is Masonic Home. My wife and i were cleaning and gathering some items from her condo. and came across a message from Mary Y. about your tumble, i spoke to my mom about it and assured her you were on the mend. For the heck of it i googled and found your blog, wow.. quite an accident, having been in a few myself, and by the pix of your car, frankly shocked you survived,,,,,,we always talk about the old days on Hill Street, Mark Grindells Mom just passed and we still mention the shelter in your old house wich became a haven for Barbies and Gi Joes….my wife says im an old soul. anyhow im very glad to see you are okay and Rehabbing…i will give Edith your regards, sincerely Buddy Robinson

    Leland Robinson
    • I accidentally sent this reply to someone else. Here’s what I meant to go to you, Buddy.

      “How great to hear from you! I know what a blessing you and your wife have been to your mom, and I’m sorry to hear about her ankle which now requires another change in her life. I hope it will be a move of contentment for her.

      Thanks for the reminiscences of the days on Hill Street. They were fun, weren’t they.

      I also appreciate hearing the news about Fran Grindell. Lots of us moving on …”

  15. Mona, I am so sorry to hear about this and grateful you are okay. Amazing that during what I can only assume to be a terrifying experience you were thinking of others safety. Hats off to you and your quick thinking. You are in my prayers.

  16. OMG I’m so glad that you are doing ok. When I saw the picture of the car it was very hard to believe that you were still with us. How grateful we all are for that. Keep us posted.


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