So in my last post I ended it with us getting ready to drive the two hours back to our townhouse.
So I start driving. The sun is going down as we head towards home. I’m driving along and seeing dozens of rabbits running off the road or alongside the road or just wherever. And then after maybe thirty minutes of driving I hit one!!
So did you know I’ve never in my life hit and killed any animal with my car? Not even a small frog or anything? No birds, no bunnies… nothing. I’ve been lucky because I really have a super hard time with animals being killed and I think it would destroy me to kill something with my car.
And yep, I hit that bunny and I can feel and tell that it’s for sure dead. I feel my whole body droop in sadness… I feel like crying. For the next ten or twenty minutes I can think about nothing else. That poor, poor rabbit. I just killed a living thing. For no reason! I finally shrug off the pain enough to focus on driving.
Brooke is in the front seat and we talk all the way home. We’re about fifteen minutes from our house (yay!! I’m so sick of driving!) and it’s pitch black outside.
Suddenly I see a deer on the side of the road. I’m going about 75 mph (the speed limit).
I immediately start braking while everything in my body tenses up and I nervously spit out, “Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh.” I’m sitting straight up and both hands are gripping the steering wheel and I’m trying to stop my car quickly while not slamming on the brakes causing me to lose control of the car since we’re going so fast.
This all happens in about two-three seconds.
The deer is walking so slowly. Leisurely. As if the car with the bright headlights is nothing, of no importance. It never runs. It continues it’s leisurely walk… straight into the road! In total it’s for sure less than three seconds from the time I see him to the time I hit him. He was on the right hand side of the road when I first spotted him. He’d walked to the left hand side of my lane of traffic in those few seconds. This is all so fast and though slowing down and veering to the right I can’t avoid him and I hit him. Direct impact to the front left side of my car. I see him. I see him up until the second I hit him. I never flinch or blink or close my eyes because everything in my body is focused on keeping my car as stable as I can and saving my children from a bad car accident. I can see his entire body when I hit him. I see his face. I see him so closely and in such detail.
Brooke and I burst into tears the second it happens. Brooke is sobbing hysterically. “Mom!!!” She screams in painful sorrow, “Mom, no!!!” Her eyes are clenched closed and her head drops into her hands and she curls into her seat. I am shaking uncontrollably and actively taking deep breaths to calm down. It is pure black outside. There is absolutely nothing. Not a house, not a light, nothing. There is no one. Absolutely no one else on this stretch of road. It could be hours before anyone drives this way. I have no cell phone reception here.
I don’t stop, this road is narrow here and there is little shoulder. I’m terrified to stop… it’s a really scary stretch of road (it’s called the loneliest road in America) and I can’t call anyone. So I just drive. I drive with tears pouring down my face. I need to calm down fully though to drive as safely as possible so I tell myself that I’m thankful it was a full grown buck so that I knew it wasn’t a mama, it wasn’t a baby, and it likely had a few years of good life behind it. I knew this from it’s huge antlers. I think about how horribly sad it is that it died for no reason. I wish someone could get the meat, at the very least. I hope someone finds it.
I tell Brooke we can say a prayer together. Everyone is totally silent as I pray for the deer. I pray that if he wasn’t killed immediately and is going to die that he dies as quickly as possible. I thank God for our lives being spared, for our car being fine, for our health. I pray that we are safe for the rest of the drive home. I pray that we don’t kill any other animals.