The Packed Car
The Packed Car
The insurance agent gasped when he saw the damage–so did I.
My family was driving across Canada to Montreal where my husband, Ray, and I were going to be helping out a new church there.
Ray had gotten a head start with our daughter in a rental truck stuffed with our belongings. I took my two-year-old, John, in our family car, a hardtop convertible jam-packed from floor to ceiling with piles of books to use in our work. They hadn’t been able to fit in the truck.
We crossed into Ontario, driving along a narrow two-lane road. A heavy rain fell. Suddenly a truck veered into our lane. I turned the wheel sharply. The brakes screamed. Our tires hit the gravel on the shoulder. We went spinning off the road.
We’re going to die, I thought as the car flipped and rolled into a deep ditch.
Coming to my senses, I heard a man’s voice from somewhere outside my car. “There’s nobody alive in there.” Everything was hazy; fine pieces of glass covered me from head to toe. The metal frame of our vehicle pressed tight against my back. I could barely breathe.
John! Panicked, I reached behind me.
“Are you all right, honey?”
I craned my neck toward the window. “We’re alive,” I cried. “My little boy and I. Please help us!” A man reached through a shattered window and pulled John out. A few others pried the metal frame away enough for me to escape. Except for some minor scrapes, cuts and bruises, we were okay.
A kind policeman escorted us as we rode in an ambulance to the hospital. He offered to take us to the impound lot to retrieve our belongings when we were ready.
Four days later we went to the lot. The insurance agent who accompanied us gasped when he saw the wreck. So did I. The policeman looked baffled.
“These hardtop convertibles don’t have a window post to keep the roof up if they flip,” he said.
“Then why weren’t we...” My voice trailed off.
Our eyes turned toward the back seat. The roof had stayed up just enough so we weren’t crushed, supported by an amazing brace. Piled from the floor to the ceiling were the books that hadn’t fit in our rental truck.
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