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Rowan Atkinson, better known as Mr. Bean, is a car guy. The thought of him spinning hopelessly out of control in a McLaren F1 while making strange guttural noises sounds like a gag from his show. Unfortunately the accident occurred in real life in 2011. Having emerged from the bumble without serious injury, Atkinson found he held a record of notoriety.
Some relationships end due to drifting while others come to a crashing halt. Ours ended due to both…
I had to stop abruptly and sighed. Then I glanced into my rearview mirror and saw the F-150 truck coming at me. . I had a death grip on the steering wheel and squeezed my eyes closed. Never good to witness one’s own destruction. The driver behind me “drifted” in his concentration and then really crashed into me..well, into my car with me in it
On impact, my seatbelt held me in place, while my glasses came off and landed in the crevasse between the windshield and the dashboard. My cell phone came out of my purse pocket and landed on the floor, calling the most recent number (sorry, Kathryn). Oh, and the F-150 pushed my car into the car ahead of me. Nice.
A little whiplash and a lot of trembling later, my hero husband showed up and took over the details of information to the investigating cop and other drivers. My car was drivable – to the body shop. And while I was basically okay, my car was not.
And I LOVE my car. It was a post-cancer, splurge purchase. “Make it a really nice car, in case I die from this cancer, your next wife will enjoy a fancy car,” I said eight years ago. My husband did not laugh.
Our cars take us places and provide independence, needed solitude and security. In a culture that has not accepted public transportation, a car is almost a necessity. And my car was a symbol of renewed good health and hope for my future.
When the insurance company said the car would be deemed “totaled,” I cried. I cried because I not only lost the car, but all that it brought me – security on the road and a gift of kindness from my husband for the future. When I went to clean out my belongings at the body shop, I felt like we were at the bedside of a dying friend, soon to be organ donor. I said, “Thank you for protecting me and giving me great joy.” Silly? Perhaps.
We make plans; we live with a thin veneer of security as we move through our lives and yet, in a moment of drifting all of it can come to a crashing halt. This experience has been a profound reminder of life’s fragility, of how an instant of inattention can transform our lives. So, once again: say it now, do it now, pay attention, enjoy each moment. Love one another …So quickly we can come to a crashing halt.
Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) ― An Idaho man who was able to escape a fiery car crash suffered non-life threatening injuries when he was struck by a semitrailer as he tried to flag down help. The Idaho State Police says 37-year-old Patrick Grimm of Pocatello was eastbound on Interstate 84 east of Boise at about 4:30 a.m. Thursday when he fell asleep at the wheel. His car went off the road, through a fence and came to rest about 300 yards off the road, starting a fire that burned about 10 acres. Grimm escaped the car and returned to the interstate where he tried to flag down help and was struck by a semitrailer. The ISP says Grimm was taken to a Boise hospital by air ambulance with non-life threatening injuries. The crash remains under investigation.