Everything is so close to nothing

In the beginning it was every Wednesday. Then it was every 11th of the month. Actually, there is no single day I don’t think about it. First it was every night my heart would beat like a drum as soon as the day came to its end. It takes a second to lose everything, your life, your children, your mind. Everything is so close to nothing, so don’t take anything for granted.

It was Wednesday 11th November 2020. I thought it would be a nice calm day. The previous day I had cleaned the house, everything was in order. I would take my kids to school and I would have an easy morning in front of my computer. There is a saying ‘when people make plans God laughs’. No, He didn’t laugh that day, I think He cried. God is not responsible for human actions.

As every day, I was holding my children’s hands and waited next to the traffic light in front of the zebra crossing opposite their school. The school traffic warden got in the middle of the street holding her Stop sign and the traffic light was red for the cars. Nevertheless, we didn’t move. The upcoming cars were running so fast. The first car stopped but the following car left the street and came towards us on the pavement. It was so quick, so sudden, so violent. There was no time to avoid it as the car was running at high speed. I had one last thought. It scares me that I know what it might have been the last thought of someone who has been killed like that.

The car hit us. From all the people around the spot only the three of us were hit by the car. I saw my kids lying on the ground full of blood. I was told weeks later that I started to scream ‘My kids, my kids’. This reference made me remember it although it isn’t really a memory. I thought my kids were dying. My older son stood up limping and his scared face was covered with blood. My youngest son didn’t move. He didn’t speak, he didn’t look at me, he didn’t walk. He was bleeding. His nose, his mouth were full of blood. ‘Oh my God. My baby is dying. I won’t see him become a man’ was my thought. There can’t be a worse feeling than that in the world. To see your kid helpless losing their life. Until now this image is stuck in my mind. (Thankfully we are all alive)

I ignored my pain. I had to save my kids. The first thing I did was to call an ambulance. Fortunately, there were many people around and ran to help. I was lost for words, lost for thoughts, desperate for the ambulance to come as soon as possible.

I looked around to find a friend, to see a familiar face. I was so lonely even though I was surrounded by so many people. I wasn’t able to do anything to help my kids. We hadn’t done anything wrong, my babies didn’t deserve to go through all this.

I had to call my husband and inform him what had happened. How hard to call a dad and tell him that his kids have been hit by a car and you don’t know if they are going to survive.

When the ambulance came I was so scared. My little son still didn’t move, didn’t talk to me. He loves me so much, he always runs to me when he cries, but this time he wasn’t crying, he wasn’t looking at me, he wasn’t talking.

For a long time it was difficult for me to describe all this without trembling with fear, without crying. It is still difficult.

Inside the ambulance I couldn’t see anything from the windows. I could hear the sirens and I could feel the speed. I am afraid of speed but at that moment I could only think of my kids and pray. My youngest son was lying without showing any signs of life and I kept talking to my other son to keep him awake as his eyes were closing.

The accident happened during a lockdown for coronavirus (but schools were still open until two days later) and all the previous months I used to tell my children ‘Be careful, don’t jump, we mustn’t have an accident, we mustn’t go to hospital’.

I tried to stay by my kids’ side during their examinations. My youngest son couldn’t reply to the doctor asking him ‘What’s your mom’s name?’. He couldn’t remember our names, at least I could hear him say ‘I don’t remember’. My baby was alive even though he couldn’t say my name.

After tests, stitches and hours of waiting I went to another hospital to have some examinations for myself. I don’t know what others thought of me as I was inside the hospital with torn clothes and injuries and I didn’t care. I only wanted my babies to be safe. I couldn’t wait to go back to the kids’ hospital and see my kids. My phone didn’t stop ringing. Other mothers from school were calling to see how we were. Some of them were present when the ambulance picked us up.

I am scared of hospitals anyway, but now the fear was at its maximum. And because of covid the situation was harder. I was yelled at because my injured kid had lost his mask, my temperature was higher because of all the pressure in my head.

I had to leave the hospital on foot alone. The two hospitals were close to each other, but I wasn’t sure if I would be able to make it. I was walking in the dark with torn clothes shaking from the cold and my whole body was in pain. When I reached my destination I had to cross the street. I couldn’t. I still can’t.

I spent the night on a chair leaning on my youngest son’s bed. I had to wake him up every two hours. I happened to have a book in my bag. I couldn’t read, I couldn’t answer my emails. Nothing matters when your kids fight for their life.

Months later I wondered, I demanded God to explain to me ‘Why us, why me, why my kids?’. No, I wouldn’t want somebody else to be in our place instead of us. But I want to know if there is a lesson I was supposed to learn. Aren’t I good enough as a human being, as a mother? I have never taken anything for granted. I have always told me kids ‘I can’t believe that I have you’.

If I had to tell my kids something, that would be that they are my heroes. They are so young but so strong. It wasn’t fair to have such a horrible experience. They didn’t deserve it, nobody does. They have seen the dark side of this world very early. I wish they only have happy moments from now on.

If I had to say something to the driver if they came to me crying or being shocked because they are a mother too, I would say not to worry, I don’t hold bad feelings towards them.

But that person who was in a hurry not to stop at a red light, who hit my kids and me, who has caused so much pain physical and mental, who has changed our lives forever, who never came to help when my kids were bleeding, who didn’t call an ambulance, who yelled at me when the police came, that person never said she’s sorry, never called or asked if these kids are alive. So, I can’t say anything to her. She doesn’t need any encouragement. She still drives that car, takes her kids to school, goes to her work, puts on her makeup, takes photos for her social media. I can’t focus my life on hate. I will pray that one day she will understand and hug her kids with love.

If I had to tell YOU something, that would be ‘Please don’t run!’. We all owe to be careful when we are in the street, either as a driver or as a pedestrian. Don’t put yourself and others in danger. My family has suffered a lot while we did nothing wrong and the difficulties have not been overcome.

This has been the most difficult piece I have ever written. It took weeks to finish it. Not because I didn’t know what to write. There is so much more I could mention, my feelings, the therapies, how I can’t do certain things anymore, how the kids felt, our injuries or possible future surgeries. But I won’t write about all these. It was hard because it isn’t easy to bring these images in my mind with details again and again. They are always in my mind, especially now that the anniversary of the accident is approaching, but it is so hard to describe them.

It isn’t about me that I almost lost my life. It is about a mom who almost lost her babies. It is about the terror my kids experienced. I wish it had been only me instead. My kids would still be scared for losing their mom, but they wouldn’t have felt the physical pain or the shock to have been hit by a car. I could see their sadness when I wore a bandage on my arm or I couldn’t walk because I had my knees injected. I am sorry to tell them ‘I am not allowed to jump with you, I can’t lift you anymore’. When a kid hurts, their mom hurts too. I wish I could delete all their pain. And this is why I didn’t inform my parents immediately and they still don’t know exactly what happened. My father has lost his little brother in a car accident and he has been hit by a car himself too.

I want to thank God. Thank you God for the strength you gave me when I saw my kids in this condition. I couldn’t stand up and not faint if He hadn’t given me this inner power. He helped me gather my pieces and stay upright although the fear, the despair and the pain tried to put me down. I tried to answer back when the offender was yelling at me, but I held my strength to be present for my kids who needed me.

Thank you for this miracle to keep as alive. Thank you to my angels up in the sky who have been protecting us.

Ηow much I grieve for all the parents who have lost their children. How can you ease their pain?

I can’t even wear clothes to my kids with the same color they wore that day.

The least we can do is make sure there is no other person who has a similar experience or loses their life. If there is a message I would like to send, I must beg for anyone behind the wheel to follow the road traffic code and not put themselves and others in danger.

After our accident people have died in the same street. People don’t learn from other people’s mistakes. Don’t wait to learn from your own mistake, it may be too late.

Everything is so close to nothing

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