Friday, May 18, 2012
Her first fender bender...and my heart!
A right of passage for any driver.
Not so much fun when you have only had your driver's license for just under 2 months.
It was a beautiful day. I had worked the night before, so I was asleep when the phone rang. As I was walking out the door to get to the car pool line, the phone rang again. It was my husband. "She is okay, but........Emily was in an accident on her way to work!"
She had called him first. He was out of town for a meeting and was still an hour away from home. After picking Zac up from school, I headed straight to the scene. It was hard to get to her because the traffic was backed up and very congested. I had spoken to her and knew she was okay, but she was unsure of how to handle herself with the other drivers and the police officer.
When I finally arrived, Zac and I had to cross 4 lanes of traffic to get to the median where all 3 cars were lined up in the left turn lane. Apparently and according to the police report, a car had made an illegal u-turn at the median causing the first car in the turn lane to slam on brakes. The next car hit the first car, then Emily hit the second car...and it hit the first car again. Two separate accidents..and the dude who made the u-turn..gone and enjoying the beautiful day! Of course!
Everyone involved was okay. The first car was one of Emily's co-workers at Chick-fila who was also on her way to work. Her Mom told me that her daughter had been in a similar accident the previous week...but in that accident, she was at the back of the line...just like Emily. Strange? The driver of the second car was a very nice lady. Her 3 year old son was in the car seat in the back seat eating cheerios and watching a movie.
Again...everyone was fine and for that we are all so very thankful!
So...why was that not enough. Why is it that once I realized that no one was hurt, I immediately moved from the extremely thankful Mom, to the "I told you so" Mom....and the "See, you are not invincible" Mom. ..and the "What is the best way to teach her some responsibility here?" Mom.
Of course, I did not say these things...but it was all could think about....the finances, the insurance calls and the inconvenience of her not having a car for a few weeks.
She wasn't texting, or talking on the phone, or looking in the floor for something, or typing an address in the GPS, or putting on make-up, or painting her nails. All of which I have done at some point while driving. Yes!
No...She was engaged and paying attention. She just wasn't experienced enough to see ahead, notice the u-turn dude and realize that she had better slow way down.
Hopefully now...she will realize that she isn't invincible, things can happen. They can happen quickly and it can be scary. Hopefully she will learn a little responsibility whether it is by paying the deductible or increasing her savings account to help out with the insurance payments. Hopefully she will remember that when we say things like slow down and pay attention...she will take us seriously and know that we have been driving for many years, and can actually teach her a thing or two.
And hopefully for me....over the next few days as I process this whole experience, I will come to some understanding of myself. How do I fix my gratitude gauge? I want to be grateful first....and always.
My summer book club has chosen Ann Voskamps "1000 Gifts". I got the email about 5 weeks ago. I haven't started the book yet, but I think it's time I do.
I got an email from the other young girl's Mom. She had gotten to the accident before me and had an iphone to take some photos. She sent the photos and this message....
"I hope Emily is doing ok. She handled it very well. I’m sure you’re very proud of her.
Please call me if you need anything."
Proud? Yes! Absolutely! And thankful beyond measure!
Again, I was reminded of God's grace and of how much I have to be thankful for.
Have a wonderful weekend and please drive safely!
What was your first fender bender like?
Have you read 1000 Gifts?