Runaway trailer; life just loves robbing me of my sanity

Last weekend Mark and Joel went on a father/son outing. They took the Dodge Ram 70 miles down I-44 to Cuba, MO to a place called Cowtown USA to pick up a camping trailer that I think we’ll probably never use, but Mark thinks we’ll use ten times per year, which is kind of a disparity… (Joel sat on some riding lawnmowers and boats, and then they ate some barbeque food as well.) I just can’t even with this description. I swear next thing I know it we’ll be raising goats, or hogs, in our backyard. I’ll be like my work friend who has a goat named Pinesol.

So I did not want Mark and Joel to go. I am all for father/son outings but not if they involve leaving the house. I just had this feeling that (you guessed it) something horrible would happen. When Mark and Joel said goodbye that morning, I was thinking, “This might be the last time I ever see them. What if I have to raise Fredrik alone?” I have these thoughts multiple times per day. Newsflash – it is fun to be me.

But, despite my worries, I allowed them to go, because every day I resist temptations to strip my living kids of a normal(ish) upbringing.

So they left around 9:30am, and Mark was great about updating me. He texted me to say that they’d arrived safely, and then he sent me riding lawnmower pics, and then he sent me barbeque pics, and, in the meantime, my parents arrived for a visit, so this distracted me a bit, and I decided at some point, “Their trip is going well – what was I ever worried about?!”

So my parents and I were having great conversation in the living room, mostly speculating on whether my dad would get food poisoning after eating a huge piece of meat that I initially told him was one week and one day old but later discovered (after calling Mark) was about 17 days old, when I realized, “It has been a while since I talked to Mark about that beef – shouldn’t he be home by now?”

And not even five minutes later my phone rang, and it was Mark, and I picked up, and was like, “Where ARE you?!”

And Mark was like, “I want to let you know, we’re okay, but something very scary happened.”

So my mom kind of freaked out, but I, mysteriously (and impressively), remained calm, because Mark had just said, “We’re okay.” (And also, I remained calm because Mark began describing the situation, and it involved a trailer, and I’m not well versed in trailer-speak, and thus couldn’t immediately process the potential implications of what had just transpired.)

So basically, what happened, was that Mark was driving down the interstate and happened to peer into his rearview mirror and notice the trailer NOT riding so smoothly (bouncing around?) behind him at 70-80 miles per hour. So I guess he immediately (and correctly) suspected that the hitch pin had fallen out (through no fault of Mark’s) and that the trailer was being pulled solely by its safety chains, which is never an ideal situation, apparently. And I guess the trailer was also kind of slamming into the back of his truck, since his bumper suffered some damage.

So Mark bailed into the grassy median as quickly as possible (because I guess the shoulder was only three feet wide before dropping off several feet, and I guess continuing on with the trailer in this condition was not a good option), unhooked the trailer, and continued to the next exit, which, luckily, wasn’t too far away and included an O’Reilly Auto Parts store.

At O’Reilly, he purchased the parts he needed, and then he got back onto the highway and then had to travel back into the median to hook the trailer back up to prepare for the journey home.

So all of this initially sounded pretty innocent, but then I realized that Mark sounded shaken up, and he isn’t easily shaken up, so it must have actually been very scary, and I guess Joel was shaken up too (which breaks my heart), because he is relatively sensitive to others’ emotions and could sense Mark’s stress.

And then, later, after Mark arrived home and we continued to discuss the events of the day, it officially dawned on me – this was really, truly terrifying. Mark could have lost control of his vehicle. My husband and my child spent part of the day in the median of a busy interstate. (It also did wonders for my sanity when Mark told me, “I talked to Kathryn (his sister), and she said she knows someone whose horse trailer snapped off their truck and killed an entire family.”)

“Trailers should be banned,” I declared.

I’m just finding it unbelievable that I was worried for Mark’s father/son outing with Joel, and then, something happened that could have been potentially awful. Granted, it wasn’t awful, but the trip wasn’t exactly uneventful either. I’m now worried that every time I have a horrible premonition, it might come true. I mean, sometimes I wonder whether Matthew died because I had feared (based on nothing logical) that he would. Of course I’ve feared many things that have never (thankfully) happened, but stuff like this screws with my mind so bad.

I’m (obviously) so thankful that they’re okay. I’m also thankful that I was spared of some of the in-the-moment stress of these scary events. I know this is selfish, but I wouldn’t have handled this well. I absolutely would have been standing in the highway median in tears, screaming eff bombs at the top of my lungs, shouting derogatory insults at Mark about his love for camping and vacationing as I dialed 911. This is just the way in which I generally operate when faced with adversity.

12 thoughts on “Runaway trailer; life just loves robbing me of my sanity

  1. Glad they’re okay… it must have been really scary and stressful. I remember seeing a caravan that was being towed completely flip over and drag the car 90 degress to the oncoming traffic. I was driving on the opposite side and saw it was going over the central barrier head-on into me! Luckily it just slid along the barrier and ground to a halt. Also, luckily all the cars behind managed to come to a halt before hitting them but the highway was blocked and it looked like a major incident! I phoned 999 as I was the first person to witness it.
    As for premonition worries..
    I suffer quite badly with this too. Magical thinking just screws with your mind.. I have to wave my husband off every morning with a verbal warning to be careful about various things and I worry that if I don’t then something bad will happen…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ahh. The joys of parenting. And camping. I know it was scary for Mark. And for Joel. But it was the first opportunity of many for Joel to see what a hero his dad is, who can take care of him when things go wrong. Yes. Enjoy that camper now. We had one from the time ours were very little and by the time murphy was in school we were no longer using it with schedules, sports, etc. (and mommy’s desire to camp in a hotel). More than once the kids and I were stranded at some campground or another. Or in the minivan. While Jeff took care of vehicle or camper issues. Good memories!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so right that this was a great opportunity for Joel to see his dad as a hero!! Hero situations are just so terrifying. I agree that things will eventually be so crazy with sports – we’ll have to do some fun camping sooner rather than later. I’m excited to see your family this summer – we’ll miss you though!


  3. I always enjoy reading your stories. I see a little humor with superman anxiety involved along with the horror of the accident. I know me before being bereaved, I would have taken that in stride. Oh, that broke. Need to go get part, replace it and then back on the road. Now it’s like, shit! We could all be dead and could have also killed others on the road. Flying f-bomb. Panic! As you know, I have that anxiety too. I think anytime, any day someone or even just me leaves the house is going to die. It just freaking sucks.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m often dishing out the derogatory insults too when my husband wants to do something I view as unnecessary and risky.

    The other day he was telling me that he was afraid if his own mortality, that he might hit middle age, get cancer, and die. I then told him that I was always afraid that him and the kids will get in a car wreck and all get killed. And he was all “that’s not likely at all” to which I said “well if you were to die this year I’d put my money on it being due to a car wreck.” To which he said “good point.”

    I’m not sure if it’s a good or bad thing that he’s coming around to my way of thinking.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m glad everyone is OK. It’s hard to find that balance between holding tight, wrap everyone in bubble wrap and letting them go to the wide world when you know how precarious the wide world can be.

    Liked by 1 person

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