Sunday, March 30, 2003
While I was posting about myself before service - dealing with judgmentalism and my own dang critical heart - I would not have expected what came after service. My wife and kids were in an accident. Everyone's fine, thought Cammi felt like she'd "swallowed smoke" into her already sore thoat (we figure it might've been scarey reaction and sucking in some airbag dust or something - nothing chocolate milk couldn't fix). Vicki might've been going to fast around the bend. The teenager might've pulled out of her driveway too fast. Whatever - the only fault was in the timing. Both cars couldn't be right there at the same time.
I drove up on them after the fact. Saw that Vicki was out of the car - okay. She was trying to get to Cammi behind her, so I pulled over behind the car and got out to check on Trace (right side, behind passenger seat). He was fine - still playing Spongebob on his GBA (such a thing as a little shock?). The other girl was shaken up, really concerned that everyone was okay. She was sweet, and her parents were supportive and concerned, too.
I brought the kids home, knowing the grandparents would be here soon with lunch, driving by Vicki at the front of the neighborhood, wanting to help and "do whatever we can." The latest is this: we've got a little Nissan Sentra (big change in altitude from the Expedition) as a rental, and we've made the call to the insurance people. Still got to get the beast towed to the body shop, but everyone's healthy - like I said, nothing chocolate milk couldn't fix.
All this time, I haven't pointed a finger at anyone. Our parents wanted us to blame the girl somehow, or they wanted to find out that Vicki was driving too fast and got a ticket. No citation, just an accident report (the officer did "chew her out" - her words - and said she must've been going over 30+). I don't care who's at fault. I care that life continues, matures, grows old together. I care that kids still smile, that Trace still plays his GBA, that Cammi's riding her scooter through the kitchen. I care that Vicki's replaying the whole thing in her head, trying to change history or at least make sense of it. Doesn't make sense - except that wer'e all sleeping in our own beds tonight, not in a hospital lounge, not somewhere more morbid.
Now, can I "learn" something here. No finger pointing in my time of climactic near-tragedy. Now to say "no" to the critical spirit in the midst of "regular life." Because none of it's regular. It's all "climacitc near-tragedy" - every minute of every day, walking through the valley of the shadow of death, walking the halls at church, crossing the atrium at work, coming around the bend at the front of the neighborhood. Don't sweat the petty stuff, and don't pet the sweaty stuff. And in the meantime, chill and pray and ask God for guidance and grace. And probably a little more chocolate milk, please.
**UPDATE: I went back through and added a few URLs/links to the text. I don't know, just helping me deal, I guess.