When mom Rachel Martin was driving her five children along in her van, she suddenly noticed that something was wrong. She was planning to spend the warm spring afternoon in the park with her kids when her car started slowing down. In moments, Martin and her young children were thrust into a life-and-death situation. She panicked and tried her best to remain calm. But she was all over the place. All she could think was “this isn’t happening to me.” But when the flames erupted in her van’s engine, a more primitive part of her brain took over and she knew exactly what to do.
“We were driving to the park to go for a walk and I missed the turn and I backed up and made the turn and as we driving down that park road all of a sudden every electrical warning light on my van came on and it totally died. I had no control over the steering and no brakes,” Martin blogs.
When she got out of the van to examine the damage, she saw that her entire engine was on fire. And it showed no signs of slowing. Her first instinct was to pull her five children out of the car. But at the speed the fire was blazing, she would be too slow to get them all to safety.
Instead, she decided not to pull her children out of the fire.
She shouted, “Everyone out of the car now!”
She knew that she didn’t have time to be the “perfect mom” and get all the children out herself. She had to trust that her children would listen to her and follow her lead. This was a test of all the parenting tricks and tips she’d tried to live by for all her years as a mom.
As her children escaped from the blazing van, Martin decided to try to put the flames out. She stamped at the fire with her feet. Bad mistake. The burns she received needed to be treated at the hospital.
After the destruction consumed her van and almost her life, she decided to blog about her experience. She shared a picture of the charred remains of the vehicle to her blog and Facebook page called Finding Joy, writing “That’s what is left of the inside of my van.”
The dangerous ordeal has terrified Martin and her children. Now she has to reflect on the experience and heal her physical and emotional wounds. She writes on her blog…
“And I don’t know the cause. Many many many many people are asking what caused it. It is such a strange thing because I know that would be my initial question, but now I have this perspective of space because after something hard happens the cause doesn’t matter to the person involved – just regrouping, balance and processing. But, to answer many questions, the firefighters speculated there was an electrical failure and then a spark and that ignited some fluid within the engine.”
Do you think mom made the right choice?
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