Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My Sister Saves My Life - Years After She Died

When I was a freshman or sophomore in high school, I hated riding the bus to school. It was crowded, we had to wait outside early in the morning when it was freezing out, and it took forever to get to school (all grade levels rode the same bus, so we had to drop off the elementary kids, then the middle schoolers, then the high schoolers finally got to get off). Fortunately, I had an older brother who had an awesome car (metallic blue 1966 Ford Mustang), and my mother had told him he had to take me to school sometimes. She was smart enough not to insist on all the time - because nothing steals away the coolness of your hot wheels faster than having a tag-along little sister.

Anyway, one night, I made arrangements to ride to school with my brother the next morning. I had to stay up late working on a homework assignment, and riding with my brother meant an extra 45 minutes of sleep in the mornings. He agreed, and I stayed up late to finish my homework.

The next morning, my brother came in my room and snottily informed me that I was not riding to school with him, so I had better get my butt out the door and on the bus! Thoroughly confused (not to mention ticked off), I argued with him, asked him why I couldn't ride with him. His response was an adamant, "Because I don't want you to."

At this point, I could hear the bus coming down the hill getting near the stop. So I grabbed my toothbrush, threw on some clothes (didn't even have time to SHOWER, ugh!), and raced for the bus. I grumbled and glowered the whole ride, thoroughly working myself up into a state. I was determined that, as soon as I got to school, I was going to call Mom at work - she had already left for work when my brother and I had our argument - and tell on him! As we all know, tattling is the secret weapon of little sisters everywhere. But when I got to school and went to use the payphone in the attendance office, the line was way too long. I knew if I waited, I'd be late for homeroom. I also knew Mom would already be out delivering the mail by the time I got another opportunity to call. This just ratcheted my bad mood up to a whole new level. I spent all of homeroom glowering at everyone, muttering under my breath and being as miserable a human being as I could. After all, there's nothing worse for a teenage girl than having to go to school - not only not having a chance to shower - but not having a chance to put on make-up and/or fix her hair, either. It was a humiliating experience!

But when I got to first period, my attitude changed completely. My brother's homeroom teacher happened to be my first hour teacher. When she saw me, the first thing she asked me was "Where's your brother?" I was stunned! What did she mean, where's my brother? He should have been there. I'd seen him myself getting ready for school. What was going on? My anger at him began to turn to worry. I knew he wouldn't have skipped school that day. He had plans to meet up with friends and do something (I don't remember what, now) right after school, on school grounds. He wouldn't risk skipping school then being on school grounds later. He was smarter than that. Something had to be wrong!

My brother and I shared another teacher, so when I got to her class, the first thing I asked her was if my brother had been in class. She said no, as well. By this time, I was really freaking out. By the end of the day, I was frantic to know where he was and what had happened. Of course, this was all before cell-phones were affordable/popular (or smaller than the size of a breadbox), so I couldn't call him. I also couldn't reach my mom, because she was out on the mail route.

When I got home, I discovered what had happened. There was a real dipstick who lived on our road. One of those drivers who doesn't pay attention to anyone else, drives down the middle of narrow country roads just because she has a big vehicle and thinks she's entitled, you know the type. She crested the top of a blind hill and stopped in the middle of the road just over the apex. My brother was behind her, and - since she was right over the crest of the hill, in the middle of the road in a blind spot - he hit her square in the rear of the vehicle. This was a long hill, so my brother usually had a pretty good clip going by the time he reached the top of the hill. This day was no exception. He wound up totalling his car, his windshield shattered, his bottom teeth banged against the steering wheel,got partially flattened and shoved back in his mouth (the only thing that saved his teeth was the fact that he had braces), and - because he had long hair and dressed all in black - he got extensive questioning by the local law enforcement who responded. They thought he was on drugs and had caused the accident! (Fortunately, there was a neighbor who saw everything and set the record straight.)

Anyway, when I got home and ascertained he was in one piece, I asked him why on earth he wouldn't let me ride to school with him that morning. His reply? "Jodi told me not to." My sister had come to him in a dream the night before and told him under no circumstances was he to let me in the car with him that day. Jodi told him to say or do whatever it took to keep me out of the car that day, so that's why he was so mean to me about it. If she hadn't insisted, I might not be here to relate this story.

In the course of surveying the scene and looking over my brother's car, one of the state policemen made the comment that it was a good thing no one was riding with my brother at the time of the accident. The front passenger side seatbelt was defective, and would not have worked at all. If anyone had been sitting there, they would have gone clear into the windshield - causing either horrendous disfiguration or even death, according to the state trooper.


Jessi said...

Honest to goodness cold tingly chills. That's my new favorite story. I hope you don't mind me telling everyone I know, because I usually can't help myself. (But feel free to tell me to try.) What an amazing thing for you guys to share.

Side notes: what a pity about that car, I don't remember it, so this may have happened before I knew you guys, but it sounds awesome. Also, I can totally picture this in insane detail because of my super-sized freshman year crush on your brother. I'm blushing.

Becca said...

I think it was a general rule for every girl to have a super-sized freshman crush on Jenn's brother. Count me in.

I have heard this story many times, most recently while in San Antonio, and it still gives me chills.

Suze said...

I had not heard this story before, either, but I'm getting major chills.

Yeah, I might have had a teeny crush on your brother too (though I never ever ever would have admitted it).

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine who lives in Georgetown told a story of another Georgetonian (I don't remember who) who lived in the country and one evening had fallen asleep in front of the fireplace. She was awakened in the night by the sound of marching feet. As she watched, a Confederate soldier with a gun in hand and boots on his feet marched right by her. She thought, is this real or am I imagining things? but she saw her little dog, who had also woke up and was as paralyzed as she was. He had seen it too, and she knew it was real.

I sometimes think Kentucky has more ghosts than other places. I've known more than one person who has communicated with deceased relatives.''

Jenn, I'm glad that your experience was to such a good end.

Mrs. G.

ann said...

I had a small crush on him, too, and he was my first kiss. (Okay, so he kissed me on my forehead. But still.)

I remember this. I think it's sooo sweet. I don't understand ghosts at all and have never seen one, but I will say this is my favorite ghost story. Maybe partly because she appeared in a dream, and dreams feel safe to me.

Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

I had NO idea so many of my friends had a thing for my brother. I'm almost positive he never had a clue, either.

Jessi said...

I was just wondering if he had any clue how popular he was with the freshman set.

Becca said...

He's probably cursing the fact that he could have had his very own harem!