So here’s the story about that picture I posted earlier this week.
Two weeks ago at this very hour yours truly was driving around the DFW Metroplex. During the day I am a teacher and school administrator. At night, however, I still maintain my other job as a medical courier. I don’t usually have Friday jobs, it’s just a slow night of the week. But this particular Friday night I got called to pick up a sample at a lab in north Dallas. On my way out to the airport I decided to make use of the time to pray.
Traveling south on the President George Bush Turnpike (yes, they use the full name as it was constructed during the gubernatorial administration of his son) I drove along, praying my rosary. I’m a pretty safe driver – never been in anything more than a minor fender-bender. I was praying for a few specific things. You see my car, a 2006 Accord, was starting to show its age and I had begun to think it was time to move on. “Blessed Mother,” I said summoning all best Catholic school boy piety I could muster. It never goes away. “Blessed Mother, I could really use a new car.” Trust me, friends, Mary is the Queen of Heaven and Earth. There is nothing she can’t obtain for us from her Son. Of this I am certain. But there’s also no guaranteeing how she’s going to go about doing that.
I was just about to toss in the part about the F-150 and in my mind I was thinking about color options (hint: a car should only ever be black or silver, possibly navy) when I looked up into my rear view mirror and saw a smaller, older pick up truck barreling toward me.
“Not like that!” I shouted as I frantically looked around to the two outside lanes. It was rush hour traffic, though, and there was nowhere to move. I braced for impact and in a second it was all over. The driver of the pickup wasn’t paying attention, caught himself at the last minute, and hit his breaks. He slammed into the back of my car and shoved me into the car in front of me. No airbags deployed so the impact speed must have been low enough. The three of us moved over to the shoulder and then waited for the police to show up.
The other two drivers barely had a nick on their cars. My Accord? Let’s just say it resembled an accordion. Hey, that’s kind of clever…
Anyway, I had the car towed home where a few days later an inspector came out to officially declare it a total loss. It’s obnoxious that someone else screwed up and I’m out a car but that’s life.
Today the second of two insurance checks arrived. I’ve been doing my research. Truthfully that F-150 isn’t totally out of the question, albeit a model that might be 3-4 years old with a few miles on it but that’s cool. I’ve learned all about the fun and exciting world of auto insurance as well. And to be honest, my agent, Steve Martinez with Safeco (props to him) was thoroughly professional and got the process rolling with good speed. The pickup driver admitted fault so that helped. But it still stinks.
That 13 year old car with 200K of my best driving miles on it was a sure bet for me. I’m sure it would have gone another 100,000 miles too. Instead I’m holding two checks for a minimal amount and a vision of a larger, newer vehicle dancing around my head.
And that prayer to the Infant of Prague I posted about earlier? Yep, that’s one of the intentions. I hear that devotion is particularly powerful. Nonetheless, I looked at that car on the shoulder of the highway two weeks ago and thought of something. In my own lifetime, in the recent past, a wreck like that would have taken someone out. Everyone had a seatbelt on and somehow we all walked away without scratches or injury.
For the possibility of landing in my dream car
For the Blessed Mother’s humor
For the grace of walking away from a serious accident and appreciating all the good things I have; coming home to my wife and kids and not heading to an ICU… For these I am grateful.