life

A Roll of the Dice

“Mom, it’s bad.”

“What?”  My mind scanned the possibilities.  She wasn’t dead, or hurt so badly that she couldn’t call on her own behalf.  Did she kill someone?  “Did you get in an accident?”

“Yes.”

“Are you okay.”

“Yes, the airbag went off and injured my hand, but that’s all.

I gulped and braced myself for the answer:  “Is ANYONE hurt?”

“No.  The woman is fine.  It doesn’t look like there is much damage to her car, but the front end of mine is completely smashed.”

“Were you texting?”

I was heating up left over hamburger patties when she called – organic, grass fed hamburger patties, to be exact, because, as you know, I am kinda’ BOO-zhee.

I grabbed my purse.

“You can have both burgers,” I said to the hub as I headed toward the door.  “I’ll pick something up for myself on the way home.  I’m starving though.  I hope this doesn’t take too long.”

She and her smashed in car were about 45 minutes away, I knew I wouldn’t be eating any time soon.

And then I did something that I have NEVER DONE in my entire life.  I put down my purse, and said, “I’m going to eat my burger before I go.  She can wait.”  I assembled my burger – mustard, ketchup, pickles – and ate it wolfed it down.

On the way to the accident site she called and said she had ridden along in the wrecker to the tow yard.  I should pick her up there.  The ONLY reason I answered her call en route is because I have hands free calling and answering built into my car.  Otherwise, I would have waited until I stopped at a red light and called her back.

She skipped class last night to get together with a group of friends who are in town from Cleveland and Chicago.  She is allowed one absence per semester, and she spent this one on a get together of tumblr friends.  On the way to the gathering the hostess sent a group text, and because she COULDN’T EVEN WAIT until she stopped at a red light to read it, her sweet, easy life just got a whole lot harder.

I couldn’t help pointing that out to her on the way home.

She’ll have to kiss goodbye the job she lined up for the summer at the Boys and Girls Club – which she loves, working for her old boss – whom she loves, because it is 25 miles away and she no longer has a car.  Instead she’ll have to get the kind of job she hates because those are the only jobs within walking distance of home.

Kiss summer fun goodbye because she has no car and every bit of money she earns will have to go towards saving for a new one.  And towards car insurance because she will no longer be on ours.

I would not have been quite so disgusted, quite so quick to boot her from our insurance if this had never happened before.  But it did.  Just one year ago.  Her car was still drivable that time.  But the $500 deductible to get it fixed pretty much wiped out her savings.

“You could have killed someone and ruined your life,” I said that time.

“You could have gotten yourself killed and ruined my life,” I said.

Before the first accident, she swore she didn’t text and drive.  She lied.  And that was the hardest bit, because the one thing I had always admired about her was her honesty.

She said she learned her lesson back then. And maybe she did.  But it didn’t stick.

“Why can’t you grasp the concept that if you are moving forward, you have to be looking forward?” I asked.

“I do understand the concept,” she said, “and if I ever have a car again I am going to lock my phone in the trunk while I’m driving.”

That kind of struck me as being like an alcoholic saying, “I’m going to lock my booze in the trunk while I am driving.”  He won’t.

The sheriff didn’t ask her if she was texting.  He should have.  Texting while you are driving should be as legally egregious as drinking and driving.

This morning, as I drove her to work, I asked what she might have missed in class last night.  She said, “Probably not a whole lot.  Ever since the professor started to date someone, we take a 20 minute break and then he says, ‘Have we had a break yet?’ and then we take another one.”  I’m assuming so he can resume his text, e-mail or facebook conversation.  Lord have mercy on this text addicted society.

DO YOUR JOB AND THEN TALK TO YOUR GIRLFRIEND.  When you get home.  Like a grownup.  Like a professional.

KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE ROAD.  Text when you get home, or to your destination, or AT A RED LIGHT.

I ran some errands after I dropped her off at work.  A woman was walking through the Costco parking lot with her head down, looking into her phone.  WATCH WHERE YOU’RE WALKING!  She could have easily been hit or backed into by a driver who, head down, was sending a quick text.

Lord have mercy, my head is going to explode.

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24 thoughts on “A Roll of the Dice

  1. I hit a cop. I didn’t hit his car, I didn’t hit him with my car, I hit him with my fist–in the chest. After seeing the burned out twisted pile of wreckage that had been my daughter’s car, I knew in a instant that my daughters (yes, both my girls were in that vehicle) were dead. The policeman said the girls were okay, that they were at the hospital, but they were alive and would be fine. I looked at the wreckage again, turned to him, yelled, “You are lying to me!!” and then I punched him.
    You did well to eat your burger.

    PS: My girls were badly beat up (pun intended) and their bodies mended before my nerves did.

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  2. andih94 says:

    My mother used to say, when she’d given up explaining something to me for my own good, ‘If you can’t hear you must feel.’ Think your daughter’s feeling it now. Stopping to eat your burger probably gave you time to calm down, too. Wisdom.

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    • Your mom was so right. It’s like that with God, too – we can heed His wisdom and warnings or we can feel the sting that comes from ignoring them. I’d much rather heed.

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  3. You took the right decision. Now your daughter will (should) realise that with responsibility goes accountability and being responsible for one’s own actions is part of adulthood. Clipping the insurance was a great idea and a genuine reality check for her. Hard decision for you I’m sure but certainly the right one. Your youngster will appreciate it as time goes by, rest assured.

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  4. So glad no one was hurt. And thanks for your parenting wisdom. My kids are away at school (it was 3 hours away, then we moved from WI to FL, so now it’s much farther). Parenting young adult children is a challenge! Sounds like you’re an amazing mom.

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    • Thanks Peggy. I don’t feel like an amazing mom right now. I feel like a mom who should have done more than require her to pay the deductible the first time around. It’s HARD to watch your child suffer the consequences of her poor decisions, but God does it and so must I.

      Lord, please watch over and protect Peggy’s children, so far away from her. And please watch over and protect mine.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Alma Mater says:

    Wow, I’m so glad that she is okay! Good for you for allowing her to feel the consequences of her poor choice. That’s some difficult parenting. I pray that this experience and its consequence will stay with her, and serve to make her much more careful in future!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. How terrifying! I’m thankful she is alright.

    It is good that you made her suffer the consequences of a lost car and did not enable her to do what she wanted to do. It’s tough, but it’s real love. She will learn a better lesson that way. I’m so thankful the consequence wasn’t her life or somebody else’s.

    We (myself included) all need to put down our devices and look up more. Life is going on all around us. Be where you are. Be there for the person next to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Can’t believe I just got round to reading this.I’m glad she’s okay.
    I always have to complain about answering calls and driving. My King does that a lot. And I won’t be silent about it because of all the trouble it brings. Neither do I keep quiet if I’m in your car and you do the same.

    Liked by 1 person

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