A Tale of Woe

A Tale of Woe January 26, 2006

Depending on the time of day (and where we happen to be in the schedule of pain medication), the latest drama in my life is either an annoying distraction or a horrific tragedy of epic proportions.

Knowing myself as I do the truth is probably somewhere in between. Let me tell you my tale of woe.


On Monday morning I was headed down 16th Street on my way to a meeting. My kids were out of school Monday, so they were over at a friend’s house for the morning. My plan was to go to my meeting and head back home to pick up the kids and spend the rest of the day in meaningful, educational parent/child interaction (in other words, they watch TV while I work on my sermon).

In a very unusual turn of events I was actually on time for my meeting. (Ha! Just goes to show that being late is sometimes helpful . . .).

To summarize my long sordid tale, a car turned left off of 16th Street and directly into the driver’s side of my car. That would be my brand new Toyota Corolla, which came into my possession only the first week of December and still smelled like a new car. I had not even begun “storing” important papers in the car, as I have a habit of doing!

After its unfortunate meeting with this other car, my car could not be driven; if it is not totaled well, then, it’s pretty close to totaled. And to add to the outrage, the car that hit mine was painted a bright lime green. Picture my beautiful new black Corolla, totally crunched and smeared with lime green paint. Horrible.

I was rather dazed by the whole experience but I remember thinking my kids would be very impressed by all the fire trucks, ambulances and police cars assembled at the scene.

When I surveyed the damage I didn’t notice any gushing blood so I declined an invitation from a handsome young man in a uniform to accompany him to the hospital (and have been suffering my husband’s wrath on that point ever since, I might note). Yes, after HE arrived on the scene and harshly reprimanded me for that decision, my husband dragged me to the emergency room anyway (so really I did get to go to the hospital with a handsome man. Are you reading this, Mark? I totally typed it with a straight face, as laughing hurts at the moment) and tests determined that the little brain I had before the accident is still intact. (Thanks be to God. Some of us are barely making it with what we have; can’t afford to lose any!)

The lingering effects of this experience are that I am pretty bruised up and very sore–increasingly, it seems. Hoping to turn a corner soon.

What have I learned from this experience?

Well, I’ve learned (once again–slow learner) that I am not in control of everything (it just seems to me that the world would be such a better place if only I could control other drivers on the road, weather conditions, just little things like that . . .).

I also have realized that, given the outpouring of concern I’ve received, had my life been tragically snuffed out in the accident I might actually be missed (isn’t that a nice thing to know?).

And, I also learned that the church can go on without me, as evidenced by the fact that I missed Church Council meeting on Monday night and the world did not come to an end. (Honestly, I am a little puzzled by that. Surely they NEEDED me??!? How on earth could things possibly continue without me? This is most troubling!)

I am sure there are other profound lessons from this experience, probably being learned as we speak. Come to think of it, I already know at least a few of them are in some way related to the horrifying state of daytime television in this country (how did I go so long without being aware of this outrageous situation?)

But for the moment I think it best to take charge of the one remaining thing I seem to be able to control . . . .

I’m going back to bed.

Just everybody pause (I know you need me); I’ll be back soon and the world can resume turning as usual.
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