Today I am reminded of something that we all need daily - that life is precious. My dad was in a minor wreck this morning, and he is fine except for the emotional mess that comes after a wreck in dealing with insurance companies, etc. Being the drama queen that I am, I was really affected by this. If you know me at all, you know how much I love my parents - and how close we are. I talk to them every day, and see them every week. I have never moved farther than an hour away, and I am not ashamed of that. I consider myself blessed to be that close to my family emotionally. There are a lot of children out there that do not have this luxury, and my heart hurts for them.
When my dad first called me, he was very abrupt and needed the number for T-Roy's towing (what, you think my dad has a smartphone and could look that up himself? Fat chance!) I automatically assumed he had broken down. If you remember me from highschool, I drove a 1992 Jeep Cherokee Sport (and man, I loved that jeep - flow master muffler, size bigger tires......I was a redneck). When I got married, we bought the Jetta from them as my car - it was only sensible since I was driving to Raleigh for work. Plus, my dad didn't want me driving a 15 year old car on the highway. So, what does he do? Drive my jeep to work - everyday. Yes, the now 20 year old Jeep with over 200,000 miles and NO airbags. I repeat, no airbags. I have always been terrified of this and worried for his safety. I f you've passed him on I-40, you were probably cussing all the way around him because he refuses to travel over 65 mph.
So my first thought was that he had broken down. He seemed annoyed, but was short and I couldn't really get any info out of him. I called him back with T-Roy's number (I mean, really, if that's not a name for a towing service, I don't know what is). I started to try and grill him about his whereabouts because there was no way I was going to let him sit on the side of the road alone while he waited for a tow truck. He got agitated and upset, and finally screamed that he had been in a wreck and couldn't talk.
At that moment, my heart stopped. Adrenaline rushed over me. I knew he was ok because he called me, but a million thoughts and fears rushed through my head. What if he wasn't really ok? What is he was hurt but was hiding it from me? What if he feels fine now, but will be in pain later, as that sometimes happens with wrecks. He was obviously also upset because the Jeep was most likely totaled. You don't buy collision insurance on a 20 year car - the premiums would cost more than than vehicle's total worth. But I needed to know he was ok, and I wanted to be there to support him in this "mess." After all, he had done it for me countless times, and know will also do in the future.
I spent my morning supporting my dad - emotionally and logistically. My only wish is that he had called me sooner. As grateful as I am for his safety, it always hurts to see your car damaged. Even though it is only a car, to me that Jeep represented time with my dad and time growing up. Memories of washing it together and shining the tires so that I could, as my dad would always warn me against -"pimp"- in it to various CHHS outings:) Memories of driving out in the country and having those daddy-daughter chats about nothing special, but meaning everything. I know those memories are always there, no matter whether there is a physical car to tie them to or not.
So today, I was reminded that life is so so so precious. You can replace things, for they hold no real value. But you cannot replace people. I can't imagine the pain of losing a parent or child, but I know people that have. I will never understand their pain, but I pray that it is lightened daily by God's comfort. There has been a lot of sad news in the waterski community these past months about people we care deeply about - and I am very vulnerable to how fragile we are, and how we have no control at all. Max Lucado tweeted this yesterday, and I am still convicted of it (and hope I am every day for the rest of my life)-
What if you woke up this morning and had only the things you thanked God for yesterday?
This is the essence of being thankful and knowing what really matters in life. Any day where you can say, "it could have been worse" is a blessing, because we all know what worse is, and how painful it can be. I pray that we all take time to truly thank God for the people He has placed in our lives and the love He shows us through them.