Black Friday

Monday, December 5, 2011

black-friday-1

For most people, Black Friday is that crazy day after Thanksgiving when hordes of otherwise reasonable people frantically swarm the malls looking to get something for practically nothing.    And unfortunately for me, from this year forward, Black Friday will always represent the agonizing day that I almost lost my baby.

What is it about this day that turns bargain hungry shoppers into deranged lunatics?  These seemingly normal people appear to lose all sense of reality as they camp outside of  Wal Marts and Best Buys for days, and then trample over each other for the honor of being one of the first inside when the doors open. The evening news reports are full of stories about innocuous soccer moms fighting like mad dogs over PS3 consoles and Let’s Rock Elmo.  Oh, and let’s not forget those silly Lalaloopsey dolls.   What is wrong with people?!?!  No, thank you – not for me!  There isn’t any material thing in this world that I want or need that badly.  It’s insane!    

At around 4:00 pm on Black Friday, I decided to stop by a local gift shop that a friend of mine owns. I spent half an hour or so visiting before I left to go home.  As I drove out of the parking lot, I noticed that there had been a car accident at the nearest intersection.  The fire department and a few police cars were already on site.  I remember looking at the crumpled cars, thinking that it looked pretty bad and that I should turn off as soon as I could so as not to get in the way.  I drove about six blocks when my cell phone rang.  I didn’t recognize the number, but I answered the call anyway.  A disembodied male voice asked me if I was Mrs. SCGG.  I started to get an uneasy feeling in my gut.  When I replied that I was, the man told me that my daughter had just been in an accident and was injured.  At that point, I think my heart stopped for a minute.  Then,  I asked the question that I suspected I already knew the answer to:  “Where is she?”   He told me that she was at the very intersection I had just passed.  My blood ran cold!   Filled with dread,  I turned around as fast as I could and raced back to the scene. I called Mr. SGCC on the way (using my hands-free Bluetooth).

When I got there, Mini SGCC was in the back  seat of the car.  She was obviously in  pain and I think, in shock.  She complained that she couldn’t move.  The man who had called me was with her.  He had witnessed the crash and rushed over to help.  God bless him.

Mini SGCC had been riding with her BFF and the friend’s father, who was driving.  Apparently, some stupid woman, probably high on shopping, had run a red light and plowed right into them.   Now, no one except her will ever know for sure why she ran that red light, but I’m betting it had something to do with a cell phone or some other distraction.  Drivers that are paying attention to the road do not randomly run red lights.

When the EMTs arrived, they told me that Mini SGCC might have a broken back.  I thought I might die right there and then.  They strapped her to a cold, hard spine board and lifted her into the ambulance.  At the Emergency Room, we were elated to learn that Mini SGCC “only” had a broken right clavicle, a broken left wrist, a few cracked ribs and lots of bumps and bruises.  Hah!  Imagine being elated about several broken bones?  Well, as bad as that was, I was happy to hear it because it meant that my baby would eventually be okay.

Mini SGCC is in for a long recovery.  In the meantime, her right shoulder and arm are in an immobilizer sling and her left arm is in a cast.  She had surgery on her wrist a few days ago.  They put a huge steel plate in her arm and screwed it into what was left of her wrist bones.  The prognosis is good, but she will never be whole again.   And, for the rest of her life she will have the dubious distinction of setting off metal detectors wherever she goes.  But, I’m not complaining.  It’s a small price to pay.

Hopefully, Mini SGCC will be able to go back to school soon, though she will need a full time aide for a while.  With both of her arms out of commission she can’t do anything for herself.    But it’s her senior year, and I don’t want her to miss any more of it than she has to.

I realize that this post has nothing to do with cooking or baking, but I had to get this out.  In fact, I think the Thanksgiving leftovers are still in my garage fridge waiting to be transformed.  But, I don’t have the energy or desire to worry about them right now.   As incredibly thankful that I am that Mini SGCC wasn’t hurt worse than she was, I am also angry – so very, very angry.  I’m angry at that reckless woman who wasn’t paying attention and ran the red light.  I’m angry that my child was in the wrong place at the wrong time.  I’m angry that she’s had to suffer from so much pain.  I’m angry that the memories of what should be the one of the happiest times of her life will be now marred by these events.   I’m angry for her scars.  I’m also angry that our society has become so engulfed in commercialism that Black Friday even exists.  And, I’m angry at the Wal Marts, Best Buys and other stores in this country that whip consumers into a frenzy promising “doorbusters” that can’t be passed up.  I don’t remember it being like this years ago.   Seriously, people, is a good deal on a TV really worth risking someone’s life?

rachel-senior-1

46 responses to Black Friday

  1. On December 05, 2011 at 3:07pm, Dani @ Cloud 8½ said...

    This made my blood run cold with fear. I’m so glad that your daughter is going to be okay! I assume her best friend and friend’s father are well, also?

    We were in a car accident this past spring and I had to watch my 4-year old being strapped to a back board, while I was strapped to my own. We had no reason to think she was badly injured, thank heavens, but watching my baby go through that and being helpless to do anything was the most terrifying moment of my life. My heart goes out to you!

    • On December 05, 2011 at 3:22pm, Susan said...

      Thank you, Dani. Both my daughter’s friend and her dad are fine. Just some bumps and bruises. They were in the front seats with the airbags.

  2. On December 05, 2011 at 3:11pm, cherie said...

    How horrifying, but how marvelous that your beautiful girl will be alright. Much to be grateful for.

  3. On December 05, 2011 at 3:15pm, Theresa said...

    Wow. I am so sorry your daughter has to go through all of that just because someone was driving carelessly. And you! I can’t imagine what an awful moment that must have been for a mother. But I’m so, so thankful that she wasn’t more seriously injured… or worse. A good lesson for all of us to be less distracted behind the wheel. I wish your daughter a smooth and speedy recovery!

  4. On December 05, 2011 at 3:15pm, Mary Jane said...

    Hug her close and let go of your anger. You are right —it is insane, but many of us have a more realistic attitude. We lost our son—I’m so glad she will be well.

    • On December 05, 2011 at 3:28pm, Susan said...

      Oh, Mary Jane! I am so sorry about your son. I can’t imagine what you’ve been through! I know that in time I will be able to let go of it. Being able to vent a little has helped. :)

  5. On December 05, 2011 at 3:23pm, Amy @ The Nifty Foodie said...

    Oh, how scary! I’m glad to hear that she’s OK. While Black Friday can be fun, some people get way too intense about getting that gift for $10 off. Not worth it if you could potentially harm another.

  6. On December 05, 2011 at 3:23pm, Erin said...

    Black friday is ridiculous. I didn’t realize how crazied society had gotten for the holidays until the past few years when reports of such incidents on black friday have seemed to increase. I am so glad she will be okay!

  7. On December 05, 2011 at 3:25pm, theminx said...

    Wow. I’m sorry that Mini SGCC has to go through that (and you too!) just because someone needed to get a bargain. :(

  8. On December 05, 2011 at 3:29pm, Emily said...

    I am so sorry to hear about this, and I wish your daughter all the best with her recovery.

    Take care.

  9. On December 05, 2011 at 3:38pm, Suzanne said...

    I am so glad to hear she will be ok. I watched some of the videos on Black Friday and I can’t believe how INSANE people act and how rude as well. It is amazing what some people will do.. I hope they see themselves and are embarrassed about how they acted just to save a few dollars. I also hope they read this blog!!
    Best wishes to your DD in her recovery!

  10. On December 05, 2011 at 3:53pm, Shirley @ gfe said...

    Oh Susan, I’m so sorry that you all had to go through this experience and still have your beautiful daughter’s recovery ahead. I’m so glad she will recover, but still sorry you had to go through this experience. Black Friday has become insane IMHO.

    Big hugs and hopefully happy holidays to you all!
    Shirley

  11. On December 05, 2011 at 3:59pm, Karnisha said...

    I didn’t realize how much I was holding my breathe while reading this post until now. Praising God that your baby is okay, and wishing her a speedy recovery. Hoping you feel at least a little better, because I know you were hurting for her and with her. Lots of hugs and kisses, and many well-wishes! Get well soon, Mini SGCC!! Happy Holidays to you and the family!

    Nisha :)

  12. On December 05, 2011 at 4:30pm, Katya said...

    I’m SO sorry your baby had to endure so much pain and agony at the hands of a careless driver. Having been in a similar accident with similar injuries, I can definitely sympathize with what she is, and will be going thru. I pray for her speedy recovery and for strength for you for what you will have to go thru with her during all the physical therapy and doctor visits in her future. And I pray you will find the VERY BEST injury attorney around. That driver should pay thru the nose for what they did to your baby. Take lots of photos of her injuries, trust me, it sounds crass, but they will come in VERY handy when you go to court. Sending you big hugs and wishes for better days to come.

    • On December 05, 2011 at 11:29pm, Susan said...

      We’ve got it covered, Katya. Mr. SGCC is one of the best Personal Injury lawyers I know! ;)

  13. On December 05, 2011 at 4:44pm, Avanika {Yumsilicious Bakes} said...

    Oh no. I’m so sorry to hear about this, I just hope she’ll recover soon! I hate any sort of thing that causes mob mentality

  14. On December 05, 2011 at 5:31pm, Ginny said...

    I”m so glad she’s going to be okay. I agree with you – Black Friday is NUTS. And it didn’t use to be this way.

  15. On December 05, 2011 at 5:37pm, Farmer Jen said...

    I am so sorry to hear about this, but I am very happy that your daughter will eventually heal and get her mobility back. She is such a beautiful young woman. Hug her closely and love her always. And thank you for sharing your story with us. You never know, your story might help someone else. Might even save someone from getting hurt.

  16. On December 05, 2011 at 6:51pm, Tatiana said...

    I’m so sorry to hear that this happened. I’m glad your daughter is doing ok! My thoughts and prayers are with you guys.

  17. On December 05, 2011 at 6:58pm, mrsblocko said...

    My heart just sank as I read your post. I’m so glad to hear that mini will be ok!

  18. On December 05, 2011 at 7:49pm, Saskia said...

    I am so very sorry to read this happened to your baby. I am wishing her the smoothest recuperation possible!
    There had to have been some angel watching to have you be so close by that you could be there to comfort her immediately. What a blessing that it was not the worst case.
    Hugs!

  19. On December 05, 2011 at 8:08pm, Suze said...

    Big hugs and much, much sympathy, Susan–I cannot imagine how you endured the terror of hearing that her back might have been broken. <> MiniSCG has my prayers and very best wishes for a full and rapid recovery!

  20. On December 05, 2011 at 8:09pm, MeLissa said...

    Oh, dear, I am crying. I know I can’t say anything to make it better…I just hurt for you all. I have some experience with this, but not to this magnitude. You must just want to scream… The only thing I must tell you is that I remember you’re in California and I believe close to a fabulous doctor (chiropractor) who may be able to help/provide some direction and who might be good if you have to go to court to have in your corner (he does a lot of expert witness stuff). I would really encourage you to search out Dr. Dan Murphy (if nothing else, you can probably locate him by contacting Life Chiropractic College West in Hayward, CA). He was one of my huband’s teachers and is just so smart. Anything else I can do, please let me know….though we barely know each other, I am totally here for you.

  21. On December 05, 2011 at 9:28pm, Maggie said...

    Your daughter is so beautiful. I am sorry to hear about the accident. Just be there for her and realize how precious the time we spend with them is. May you both spend some quality time together mending your hearts and your bodies. Blessings. Keep us posted.

  22. On December 05, 2011 at 9:50pm, ciaochowlinda said...

    Thank God it wasn’t worse. I don’t blame you for being angry – people are in a rush to buy, buy buy – even if it means risking life and limb. I wish your beautiful daughter a quick and total recovery and for all your family a serene Christmas.

  23. On December 05, 2011 at 10:39pm, Wendy said...

    x

  24. On December 05, 2011 at 11:28pm, Susan said...

    Thank you all so much for your support and good wishes! Mini SGCC, Mr. SGCC and I are truly touched. We appreciate it so much! Mini SGCC is one tough cookie and she is getting stronger every day. :)

  25. On December 06, 2011 at 8:56am, Emily said...

    I am so sorry all around. I know people will tell you to let go of your anger, etc., etc., but I am pleased that it sounds as though you are going to sue the bejeezus out of the responsible party. There need to be consequences for such egregious driving behavior.

  26. On December 06, 2011 at 9:54am, Anne said...

    I was very sorry to read what happened but glad your daughter is ok. a few things made me unconfrtable though (ok, maybe now is not the time and I’ll probably get a lot of angry replies for this but I thought this needed to be said because that whole cell phone while driving issue is driving me crazy)”
    ” Now, no one except her will ever know for sure why she ran that red light, but I’m betting it had something to do with a cell phone or some other distraction”. 2 paragraphs above that though, I understand you picked up your phone while driving AND proceeded to cal your husband still while driving? Handfree device or not, what’s dangerous is the distraction it causes. And I can’t help but feeling that you too could have run a red light. Not excusing the lady who ran that light at all but it does seem awfully hard to not using our phones while driving doesn’t it?

    Read more: http://stickygooeycreamychewy.com/2011/12/05/black-friday/#ixzz1flYchr9i

    • On December 06, 2011 at 10:09am, Susan said...

      Anne, I have a voice activated Bluetooth phone installed in my car with a control button right on the steering wheel. I don’t have to take my hands off the wheel or my eyes off the road to make or answer a call – and I didn’t. But, thanks for your concern.

  27. On December 06, 2011 at 10:22am, Liz Anderson said...

    Oh my, the tears! Our daughters are the same age, and I understand the anger and hurt and fear you are experiencing. I only hope you are able to heal along with Mini SGCC.

  28. On December 06, 2011 at 12:31pm, Peg Carroll & Ron Smith said...

    Susan: I’m a neighbor of your mother and father-in-law and heard the news. I was always delighted to get the updates on your family, especially your daughter from them. I’m sorry this happened and hope her recovery is quick. I agree 100% with you about these idiots and their consumer frenzy. The world is going crazy! Keep those you love and cherish close to you at all times. You’re in our thoughts and prays.

    Peg Carroll and Ron Smith

    • On December 07, 2011 at 9:42am, Susan said...

      Hi Peg & Ron! Thanks for the good thoughts and prayers. I know that this has been hard on my in-laws. I’m sure that they would much rather have happier news to report about Rachel. Hopefully, she will be up for a visit to Port Orange soon. :)

  29. On December 06, 2011 at 12:37pm, Janet said...

    Wow Anne, did you bother to fully read..? She used a voice activated device- even safer than cruise control.

    I’m so glad your daughter now safe and on the mend!

    • On December 07, 2011 at 9:43am, Susan said...

      Wish WordPress had a “Like” button like FB does! ;)

  30. On December 06, 2011 at 12:43pm, Colleen said...

    I am so sorry that Mini SGCC had to go through this. I understand your agony and fear and heartache and anger! All of it natural reactions once the adrenaline settles down and you fully comprehend the brevity of the situation. Also you see her frustration at not being able to help herself right now and its awful to watch. My hubby had a very serious motorcycle accident July 2009 on his way to work in the morning. A guy did an illegal right turn in front of him and he T-boned the vehicle. He was thrown 40 meters and sustained fractures to both ankles, his spine, all his ribs on the right side and a severe impact tear to the one buttock which required surgery as well. He is now my bionic man held together with titanium. BUT he is alive and with us. And he has recently started hiking and climbing the mountains around us with our little grandson.I thank God for that and I thank God for Mini SGCC’s life. I have been praying daily for her full recovery and also for you and Mr SGCC. I am wondering if Anne (above) has ever rushed to the scene of an accident involving her child or loved one? I wonder if she answers or uses her cellphone in her vehicle? I wonder if she uses a hands free bluetooth set? It almost seems to me that she is unable to empathize with the brevity of your situation at the time. We should never point a finger….there are always 3 more pointing right back at us! Hugs to you Susan. Hug your girl close to your heart, love her and let go of the anger. xxx

    • On December 07, 2011 at 9:50am, Susan said...

      Thank you so much, Colleen! I am so sorry to hear about your husband’s experience, and am thankful for you both that he is recovering. People just don’t realize what kind of destruction they can cause by driving carelessly.

      I don’t think that Anne was trying to be mean. She obviously has never been in this situation or she is one of those drivers with a cell phone attached to her ear. She almost seems a little defensive to me.

      {{{HUGS}}}

  31. On December 06, 2011 at 4:54pm, Sandra said...

    New to your blog and so sorry to read of this horrible tragedy. It’s for that very reason I stay home on Black Friday and make turkey stew. Sending loads of healing light to your daughter and surrounding you with peace. :-)

  32. On December 06, 2011 at 7:23pm, Shugah said...

    Black Friday has just become such a dreadul event. I’m so sorry to learn of your dear daughter’s accident.
    May her recovery be swift. You and your family are in my prayers.

  33. On December 07, 2011 at 1:39am, Anne Galivan said...

    My niece, at the age of 19, on April 11, 2007 was killed when her friend, who was driving the truck my niece was riding in, going 85 on the interstate tried to make an exit she had missed, rolling the truck several times as a result. My niece was buckled in but was thrown from the truck anyway because of the violence of the crash.

    My sister had heard about an accident on the radio and had tried to call my niece to warn her there might be a back-up, knowing that she was on her way to work. When my sister didn’t get an answer she drove to where the accident had happened and found her daughter there, dead on the road.

    So yes, there are definitely much worse things. My brother was killed by a drunk driver in 1997 at the age of 37. It was approximately ten years later that my niece was killed. My heart has been broken so many times it will never be whole.

    Speed kills. Drinking and driving kills. Careless driving kills and reckless driving kills. I wish more people would think of the fact that it could be their loved one who might die and their heart that might be irrevocably broken. But the truth is people will continue to be stupid, careless and selfish and get behind the wheel of a car.

    • On December 07, 2011 at 9:59am, Susan said...

      Oh, Anne! I can’t even imagine the horror your family has gone through! My heart breaks for all of you! I thank God every minute that my girl is going to be okay.

      Many, many years ago my 12 year-old cousin was killed by a drunk driver as she walked home from school. He was a drunk, off-duty cop who had stopped off at a bar after his shift to knock back a few. I can still remember the devastation to our family as a result.

      Thank you for sharing your story. I wish you peace and comfort. :)

  34. On December 09, 2011 at 10:52pm, Lisle said...

    Oh, I’m so glad that she’s okay! (ish) You will be, too. Soon. Keeping you both in my prayers.

  35. On December 11, 2011 at 5:14pm, Tracey C. (SugarPunk) said...

    I’m so sorry to hear this, but very grateful that she will eventually be okay and that it wasn’t worse. Your family has our utmost sympathies and good wishes.

  36. On December 13, 2011 at 12:29pm, Charlie said...

    I’m praising God that your daughter’s injuries were not more serious than they are.
    I’m also praying for a full recovery for her.

    I agree with you about days like black friday, and about these fads that make people go crazy.
    I remember about 30 years ago the cabbage patch craze.
    My Mama phoned and asked us to get a certain cabbage patch for my niece.
    The night before we had seen the news where people were shoving and actually attacking each other just to get a doll. We point blank said no.
    If our sights are set on the material as a priority, then something is definitely wrong with our society.

    Praying that people wake up and see what is really important.

    Your daughter is beautiful, and I can tell by the warmth of her eyes that she has a warm and giving heart.

  37. On December 22, 2011 at 2:13pm, Chris @ TheKeenanCookBook said...

    Just came to this post after reading your newer post and hearing about your daughter. As a new Dad, I pictured my own Baby Boy in that same situation as Mini SGCC and it made me sad and scared. I’m glad that her injuries were “only” as bad as they were, as it sounds like could have been a lot worse. But even that is small consolation.

    Our prayers are with your daughter for a speedy and as pain free as possible recovery.

  38. On January 12, 2012 at 9:18pm, Diane D said...

    I just read this post and had to respond. No one knows how the blood absolutely freezes in your veins upon learning that your child’s life is in danger but another parent who has endured the same thing. My son is 21 now and thankfully still alive and getting better every day. He broke a windshield with his head while riding in a vehicle with no seat belts. He only attended high school for a short time, as the accident happened just a couple of weeks before his freshman year. It took almost a year to diagnose that he had suffered Traumatic Brain Injury and by that time he had given up. He is slowly making his way back, but will never be able to live completely on his own without supervision and will never drive. I am so glad that your daughter will eventually make a full recovery.

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Hello and welcome to SGCC! I’m Susan, a professional writer, food columnist, recipe developer, wife, mother, daughter and sister, who used to be a lawyer in a previous life. My love of food comes from a long line of wonderful and creative Italian home cooks who didn’t always have a lot, but knew how to make a lot out of what they had. I hope that you enjoy yourself while you’re here, and visit often! read more >>

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