Blog 1017 – 06.08.2018
A Week After The Crash
A week ago I had an unexpected detour, they happen often through life. Mine was off the road and put my trusty pick-up out of commission but thankfully, my body was not “fold spindled or mutilated” (an old punch cards day saying you youngsters never heard.) anyway I came out of it unscathed physically. But there is always for even us “more enlightened one” (I perhaps give myself too much credit) a residual effect of accidents. They can make us (I am full of cliches and old sayings today, “gun shy.”
My dad was quite a joker and one of his oft repeated ones was that he told my mama when they made a car with rubber bumpers that he would get her a new one. Well in 1973 General Motors produced the Chevy Laguna with a heavy painted rubber nose all across the front. So my funny dad just had to get one for her. Not withstanding the mostly ornamental front mom had an accident and hit another car, head on just a couple of blocks from home. They do say that most accidents happen close to home. Not withstanding the low speed, little damage to either car and no one being physically hurt mom said she was going to give up driving. But thankfully she did not and lived to drive another twenty years or so.
A little history on mom’s driving. The first time I ever remember seeing her try was in the early to mid nineteen fifties I and my brother were small boys. Dad had either walked to work or gotten a ride with a friend and so had left the car at home. Often we would walk with mom the several blocks to where lived my grandpa (will called him Paw-Paw) and Lilly (my mom’s step-mom and the only granny we ever knew.) and mom’s brothers and sister who still lived at home. But this day my brave and sassy mom said, “ I am going to drive us in the car.” No experience, in that car at least, and no driver’s license but we were game if she was so we hopped in the car. And my mother never learned how to drive a standard shift transmission auto so we literally hopped to Paw Paw’s. Or as daddy laughingly would say, “She had it in ‘frog gear’ all the way.”
Mom got her drivers license just a couple of years before I got mine at sixteen, we had an automatic family car by then and she was a fine if not long time experienced driver. The accident in the new Laguna was only her second, the first being merely bumping another vehicle at a sudden stop because she failed to pump her brakes (back before anti-lock braking systems to be sure), instead locking them and sliding into a car ahead of us stopped to make a turn. She had a hard time forgiving herself for even that one and it was a very minor accident, no one hurt and little to no damage to either car.
As I passed the scene of my accident twice every work day this week I, too,was reminded of my human frailty and fault and accident proneness. But I am determined to let it go and “get back on the horse” so to speak. But is there perhaps another purpose behind accidents? I mean besides humbling us or teaching us to persevere.
Whether you believe as some do that everything happens for a reason or that there is some lesson to be learned even from accidents and tragedies – accidents do distract us from the ruts of our thinking and cause us to question, “Am I really where I want to be, doing what I really want to do with my life?” In that regard if in no other they are gifts too. Every brush with death, disaster, or near miss should remind us that this life is indeed short, quite so for some, so we should not waste our time stuck in ruts but be doing and seeing the things and places we really want to do and see. It is our experiences that we should treasure far more than possessions that often end up owning us and keeping us stuck or on some wild goose chase rather that pursuing our true desires.
Your friend and fellow traveler,