by Sheila Brennan~We can’t prepare for an accident in our family! It happens and you respond. But when it happens, who do you call? I got that call on Sunday from my 26 year old son. Followed by a text. “I totaled my car. On the expressway. I’m ok. My girlfriend is shaken up. Get here. Please.” Oh. My. God. As if that’s not a frightening text for any mother to receive, it became more complicated as I didn’t have a car. But I was only about 2 miles or so from him.
I had just completed a 10 mile run along Broad Street in Philadelphia. I only did this because my son had asked me to run a 10k with him a few months earlier. A 10k turned into a 15k and then I thought, I’ll try the 10 miles. So I had finished the run on a glorious May morning. And my first call was to my son, who happened to be driving to work! He was so thrilled for me! Told me how proud he was and how he always knew I’d finish and how it was simply “mind over matter”. He was my biggest fan!
I wandered amongst all the other runners and basked in the glory of my accomplishment. About 20 minutes later, the call, followed by the text.
I assessed the situation and decided how to best get out of the area and move closer to where I knew he was. There were probably 30,000+ runners and supporters in the same area as me. I had to get to him and move quickly. So I started running, dashed up a steep embankment, and jumped off a 6’ wall into a street to move me closer. Then it was parking lots, an enormous dining and entertainment venue, to the ball park where I found someone who would loan me a car.
Even better, I found someone who offered to drive me. But the traffic was impossible and we weren’t moving. I got out of the car and sprinted towards the flashing police lights. That had to be them. Running like I didn’t know I could run. We hear about adrenaline and the power we have inside of us. I wasn’t thinking about the power behind the strength. I was doing it. Like Nike says! When I finally got closer to the accident, there was a 5 foot fence that separated us. Not a problem, I simply went up and over. If someone asked me to do that under any other circumstances, I would have thought they were crazy. And honestly, I wouldn’t/couldn’t do it!
I ran up the final embankment to my son. He was ok but his girlfriend was critical. She’d hit her head on the windshield or the dashboard and damaged her arm. I needed to care for her so my son could tend to the totaled car. There were many more steps taken until she was finally moved into an ambulance and transported to the hospital. I was the bionic woman, wonder woman, super mom! Actually, I was simply responding to a text from my son and he needed me – in an emergency. No time to ask questions, no time to create a plan, no time to think about next steps. It was adrenaline at its finest.
It was quite a day. It was a day when we learned how much love and support we have. My son’s co-workers were amazing with their responses. My family jumped in with action or prayers. Friends learned about what happened and texted their support.
My son’s girlfriend was checked out and later discharged from the hospital and told to contact her doctor in the morning. They were both shaken and sore later that night. I was still recovering from the adrenaline rush but so happy I was close by when he needed me. I was grateful for his boss, his colleagues at work, my daughter, my sister, the EMT in the ambulance, and her best friend who appeared at the ER.
The next morning, I woke to a public message of gratitude on Facebook from my very private son.
“So today my mom, Sheila Brennan, ran a 10 mile race, walked another 4 miles back towards the subway, got my call about the accident, ran to the ballpark, got in touch with my boss, got him to drive her to my wrecked car, got out of the car in traffic, jumped a 10 foot fence, took my concussed girlfriend to the hospital in an ambulance, and stayed there until I arrived. So blessed to have someone that would literally run through a wall for me. No, no, I have the best mom. Sorry other moms! Love you Mom! ☺”
I’d do it all again, in a second, because someone I love needed me and said “get here”. Nothing could stand in the way!