Monday, June 30, 2008

Balance Held

This past week, my daughter was running an errand for me. It had begun to rain and the streets were most likely slick with motor oil that was rising from the pavement and had not been yet washed away. She needed to make a left-hand turn through the intersection. She thought she had clear access to make her turn and began her way across the oncoming lanes. The next thing she remembers is someone knocking on her window, asking if she was all right, her car pointing in an entirely different direction than the one in which she had been headed.

From witnesses, we understand that an oncoming car hit her directly in the middle of the passenger side of her car. She spun several times before stopping against a small embankment on the side of the road. The passenger side of my daughter’s car had folded in on itself. The metal wrapped around both the front and back tires. My daughter hit her head against the door frame, causing her to lose consciousness. Her left knee was jammed in between the steering wheel and the dashboard, causing a good deal of soft tissue damage, but thankfully no broken bones. She was very fortunate to have not been injured worse.

The gentleman who knocked on her window to see if she was all right stopped traffic for her so that she could pull her car out of the middle of the road. [This gentleman was gone by the time I got there and I want him to know how much I appreciate his help to my daughter. I am very grateful that you were there for her.]

She received a ticket for failure to yield the right of way. I expected that and don’t argue with it in the least. Considering the damage done to my daughter’s car and where she wound up after her spin, I did expect that the woman who hit her would have received a ticket for driving too fast for conditions. She was an elderly lady and I was greatly concerned as to her own physical condition. I know that she was shook up and probably, like my daughter, she is having a hard time convincing herself to drive again. Her husband came to the scene to drive her home, leaving his truck in a nearby parking lot. I hope that someone was kind enough to take him back to pick it up later. I should have offered.

These were dark moments for both my daughter and the woman in the other car. I worry about them both – physically and emotionally – as they recover. I am thankful that neither of them were seriously injured. I am grateful that no one else was caught in the accident and suffered for their lack of involvement. I am satisfied with whatever comes of the status of my daughter’s car, whether it is repairable or totaled. It has been a good car and if it can be fixed, I know that it will continue to serve her well. If it must be totaled, we will look for something that doesn’t sit so close to the ground and has a little more presence on the road. My daughter is not contesting her ticket and has taken the responsibility of paying it in advance. She is prepared for the insurance deductible to fix her car and is preparing for increased insurance rates. Not once has she whined, “Why did this happen to me?” or exclaimed, “It’s not fair! What am I supposed to do now?” She understands that with privilege comes responsibility, and is willing to take on both, hand in hand.

In this comes the balance of the situation. I wish it had not happened, but if it had to happen, then at least some good can come from it. A lesson learned without great loss. An understanding gleaned without great cost. In this situation, the balance was held. Would not it be great if it could be held in all?

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