The Fateful Day It happened as my three excited brothers, parent’s, our golden beagle-basset, and I drove the last thirty minute stretch to my grandparent’s house. We’d been on the road for an hour, having Just grabbed some lunch from a McDonald’s drive thru. I could never have imagined the drastic turn of events that took place that ordinary day. The day I understood how you never know how much you love someone, in my case my family, until you think you’ve almost lost them. “Are we there yet? Joel, my usually cheerful, three year old brother moaned. Thirty more minutes. Pass some more fries to your brother please,” Dad answered. I moved my seat belt strap behind my back so I could reach Joel, who was strapped in a car seat to my left. Then I grabbed a couple hot, salty fries from the red and yellow McDonald’s bag. As I leaned over and placed the fries in his gaping mouth, suddenly my surroundings became a blur. Our red minivan collided with a monstrous truck, causing my body to fling around like a rag doll.

I was hanging over the side of my seat, the seat belt strap hat I should have been wearing properly, useless behind me. As I forced myself to sit up, my back ached with an excruciating pain that I’d never felt before. My head throbbed and I felt warm blood gushing from my forehead and nose. The windshield was shattered, tiny silver shards scattered across the dashboard. Smoke clouded the air outside. Everything I saw was hazy as agonizing distress overcame my seven year old body. Waves of nausea coursed through me. But a single thought consumed my mind.

Was everyone alive? “Dad? ” I whispered. A sickening feeling crawled into my stomach and my heart beat faster with each passing second. “Dad! ” I called urgently. Tears had formed two rivers under my eyes. I waited for him to answer, but after I heard nothing, I Just started screaming. “Dad! Dad!! Mom? Mom!! ” I had lost control of myself, and continued wailing their names over and over. My body was shaking uncontrollably and the more I tried to control it, the more violently I shook. Then finally I saw my Dad’s face slowly turn toward me.

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His blue eyes stared into nine and he gently whispered that we were going to be okay. When he reached out and grasped my hand, I felt much more at ease and my sobs died down. “Is mom okay? ” He reassured me that she was fine, and so with childlike faith I trusted in his words that we would all be okay. My brothers were crying, but I noticed that they weren’t seriously injured, Just terribly shaken up. Although I trembled from the traumatic incident, I felt my despair alleviate. I was so thankful to know that I hadn’t lost the people I loved most on that fateful day. By debilitate