I still remember how I found out. The moment is crystal clear in my memory. I was driving home from work, singing to the radio. Tom Petty's Free Falling. Is that irony? I can never tell after that Alanis Morissette song. Should have been wearing my seatbelt. I think about that a lot. If I were wearing my seatbelt, this story would end as a one in a million miracle. But I wasn't wearing my seatbelt and what was about to happen wasn't a miracle, it was impossible.
Later, I'd find out that it all started when a semi-truck ran into a minivan full of Girl Scouts, but at that moment all I saw were the red brake lights on the Saab in front of me. I locked up my brakes and yanked the wheel to swerve but still rear ended the silver Saab. Metal folded against metal like tectonic plates. The impact threw me out through the windshield.
I always expected that if I were in a car accident that everything would slow down to "bullet time" like in the movies. I was wrong. As I smashed through the windshield a quick image of my wife flashed in my mind. I was hurled out of my car; my body flew into the rear window of the silver Saab and continued out the front windshield. They tell me that next I bounced off the trunk of a Cadillac that was in front of the Saab and skid about thirty yards across the pavement into oncoming traffic.
As if that weren't enough I was hit by a Geo Metro doing fifty-five, which is about as fast as I think they go. It was at that point that I stopped traffic by defying science and reason by standing up. My clothes were shredded to almost nothing; but there I stood, not a scratch, bump or bruise. Not one scrape or broken bone. Not a one in a million miracle but an impossibility. My life would never be the same again.