The Short Version:
The accident was totally my fault. I was trying to get back to the freeway in a city I had never been in before, and was distracted by trying to figure out what my GPS was saying/where I was. As I came to a light, everyone in the lanes next to me was moving and the intersection was clear, so I just kept going. Turns out the light was red, and oncoming traffic was headed my way. A lady hit the front of my car on the driver's side, and then she fled the scene. I got off with a warning instead of a ticket (lucky, to say the least) and my insurance only has to take care of me instead of her as well.
I am fine. My neck and shoulders are sore, but that's pretty much old hat to me now because of how many accidents I've been in. Just another round of chiropractic care and some massage therapy. My car will be in the shop for about a month, and I will drive a fancy rental. And by fancy I mean newer model of the Toyota Corrolla.
I think accidents are worse when they're you're fault, because then it's not just the shock and scariness of an accident. It's also the disbelief of how stupid you were in that instance.
I've replayed the situation about a million times in my head- glancing at my phone, looking back at the road and assuming it was my turn, only to suddenly be hit and hear that terrible sound of another car hitting mine. I didn't even know what had happened until I got out of the car and the other woman said, "Are you F*ing kidding me?! You ran a red light!" I stared at her, dumb founded, and didn't say anything, because: A) I didn't know I had run the light and so B) the accident was totally my fault and thus C) she had every reason in the world to be furious with me. I just stood there as she walked past to me to the gas station nearby (never to return, as we later discovered) and tried to piece together what had happened.
They towed both the cars away (neither could be driven at this point) and our friend Brock came and picked me up and took me home. I was still too shocked by the whole thing to have any real response, so I was feeling pretty good and just prepared myself to live with the consequences.
The next day, however, was a little less manageable. I was on the phone for the good part of the morning with the insurance, the towing yard, the mechanics, and the medical adjuster. I will say this for Geico- they have been great to work with, and even had someone come pick me up to go get a rental car. Geico covers me having a rental for up to 30 days. (which, it turns out, is fortunate because my car is going to take about a month to repair.)
After I got the rental, I went to the mechanic where my car was. This was probably the weirdest part of the whole experience. I could have sworn my car wasn't as damaged as it was when I got to the shop. It was a very odd feeling of realizing that this was actually a pretty bad accident, and I was lucky to be alive- never mind not seriously injured. As I looked at my car and saw all the scratches and chunks taken out of the metal, I was filled with a deep sense that I had absolutely been spared. If she had hit me a millisecond later I would not have been so lucky. You'll notice the now concave tire. That could have been me.
And it was my fault. Like this accident was a total consequence of me being distracted, and yet I escaped punishment in a lot of ways. (Not that I should be grateful the woman was clearly some sort of criminal since she didn't stay on the scene, but... it does help me a lot. Maybe God was trying to teach her a lesson? Who knows)
This weird feeling was only increased as I looked at the inside of my car. From the inside, everything looks completely normal- no dents or scratches anywhere. And it was really weird to see remnants of my normal life when outside the car was totally not normal. I'm trying to describe it, but it was just very odd to see things like grocery lists, receipts, and sunglasses inside the car when outside the car was practically a near death experience.
The Pictures. Yikes.
This is all I can deduce: Nate had random brain surgery, and we were blessed in so many ways I don't think I could ever say there isn't a God. I get in a crazy accident that was my fault, and I walk away with sore shoulders at worst. Either July has it out for us, or God is trying to tell us that whatever happens here on earth, He's still bigger than it and can soften the blow. Who's to say, but Nate and I are still alive and kicking, so here's to life.