Column: Sister reminisces near death experience of sibling

Allie and her sister have remained close through the years. The near death experience strengthened those ties. (family photo)
Fear. Unimaginable, unbearable fear was all my mind could process.

I stood shaking and sobbing as I watched my worst nightmare happen before my eyes. I kept saying to myself, “She’s not dead. She’s not dead; I’m too young for a dead sister.”

Laura and I had never been the sisters you see in the movies. We weren’t best friends and we rarely got along. We loved each other and we would do anything for each other, but we just had a different view of the world and how things work.

People know where my church is because it’s the Methodist church next to Sonic. Across the street is a popular park in our community and our weekly small group decided that we would meet there for our final gathering until school started in the fall. My mom decided to drop Laura and me off at the church because our brother, Brad, had an event with the boys; we didn’t mind for the sake of socialization.

The boys got ready to leave and our youth director pulled the church van out into the road to block traffic and waved us across. Laura and I stepped off the curb, and I remember looking over at her face. She was smiling with her eyes bright and sun shining through her hair. Then I met Hell on Earth.

We were halfway across the street. We were so close. A loud beep came from my right where the church van was and I turned my head up. A moment of hesitation saved me. Laura wasn’t as fortunate.

In a split second I saw a black suburban 3 inches from my body. I put my hand out and tried to shove the car away, like I was Superwoman or something. It did nothing. I watched my only sister flying through the air and concrete filled my shoes. Everything moved in slow motion. I stood helplessly as Laura landed face down on the pavement 50 feet in front of me.

I woke up from my trance and realized I was half screaming half crying. Everything was a blur. People running around me, the smell of burnt rubber, my sister’s screams. It was all more than I could handle.

In the hospital I kept replaying the scene over and over in my mind. I remember the shaking, uncontrollable shaking for hours. Finally, I was allowed to see her.

I walked down a hall and found Laura lying in a small bed. Her hair and eyebrows were matted with blood and her eyes were closed. She heard me approach and her big blue eyes flew open. She looked up at me and said, “Hey Allie.” We both sobbed.

Laura came out of the accident with a fractured wrist, a bruise on her hip and some cuts on her forehead. The car was driving 30 mph, and the police said that if she had been one step further across the street she wouldn’t have lived.

We went home and Laura sat on the side of the bathtub and I washed the blood out of her hair. I watched the blood circle the drain and her trembling shoulders. I laid in bed exhausted, but not sleeping. I couldn’t shake the thought of, “Why hadn’t it been me?” My mom came in and curled up next to me. I finally fell asleep.

Other people may have their beliefs about why Laura was virtually unharmed, but I know that God is the only way she was saved. Sometimes when you feel like your feet have left the ground, and do not know how you will land, He will catch you.

I realized that day how short life is, and it really can be gone in a second. I was ashamed that I had taken life for granted and even worse I had taken my sister for granted. It’s been exactly a year since the accident, and now I do have a sister like you see in the movies. We gossip and hangout. We laugh and cry. We are each other’s best friends now and it is sad to think that it took one of us being almost killed. Life is too short and too unpredictable to not live it to the fullest, and to cherish every moment you have with the people you love because once they are gone, there is no coming back.