Monday, January 14, 2013

Humility is a Monday a.m. car crash in hot pink pjs

I am the luckiest person in the world today. So very, very fortunate and blessed and grateful. Not because I had a good day. But because it wasn't worse.

There are times in life we are humbled. Today was one of those for me. And I hope I can take the lesson from it and make changes for the better - like getting up 15 minutes earlier so I'm not rushed in the morning and slowing down to think through everything I'm doing.

Because let me tell you, there's nothing like running full speed in pink fuzzy pajama pants and snow boots to catch your runaway car. But let me back up (and there are NO pictures with this post).

I got up a bit late this morning and so Brady and I were behind heading to school. It was also 12 degrees out. So for these reasons I guess my head was a little foggy and Brady and I both forgot to make sure he had his backpack. Luckily I realized this when I pulled into the driveway at home.

I normally drive my automatic Toyota Corolla, but today I was, as I mentioned, in a hurry, so I just took the 5-speed manual transmission Toyota Echo parked behind it. When I realized our backpack problem, I pulled back out, drove back to the high school where the kids are dropped off to meet the bus, parked the car and went in to give Brady his backpack.

I couldn't have been in there 20 seconds. When I came back out, the car had rolled halfway down the parking lot and was headed for the street. My first thought was, "Who's driving my car?" And then I realized no one. As it turns out, I had not engage the parking brake well enough, allowing it to roll away.

Decked in a red stocking hat, black coat, hot pink fuzzy PJ pants, my glasses and snow boots, I tried to reach it in time, to no avail. It crossed the street and took off the front bumper of a car parked in front of the day care before coming to a stop at the curb!

I was MORTIFIED. Here it is 7:45 a.m. on a Monday morning. Everyone is out and about in our little town dropping kids off, heading to work. And I have just wrecked my car.

In my pajamas.

I ran in the day care to ask the lady supervising the kids if I could use the phone. Oh dear. The look on her face spoke volumes. "Was that your car?" She nodded. Oh, I apologized up and down. I felt terrible.

She gave me the phone and we called our husbands and the police and sorted through it. What else can you do?

But the reason I'm the luckiest person in the world is that it could have been so much worse. What if a kid had been walking in front of the car? What if a car had been driving down the road in that spot at that moment? What if it'd been 6 inches to the right and hit more than her bumper? What if it'd been a foot to the left and hit the gas line? What if it'd jumped the curb and hit the day care? What if I had caught it, gotten knocked over and then run over by the car? On and on.

There are so many what-ifs it is overwhelming. But I hope to use this experience as a renewal to do better and be better, but Lord knows I'm human. Thank goodness He had my back on this one and I will pray He does in the future. 

When I think of the what-ifs my mind is drawn back to a story from Florida. There was a lady at my church whose son was also at my son's day care. He had similar problems to Brady and I wondered what his situation was. I eventually learned that when her son was 4, his brothers - 15 months old at the time and twins - both drowned in a pool. They were all with their mother at their grandparents' house and somehow the sliding door was left open, they got out, fell in and drowned before they were found.

I pray for that lady to this day. I cannot imagine the battle that wages within her and always will. I feel terrible for my lapse today, but it could have been so much worse.

Thank you, God. Thank you, God. Thank you, God.


  1. can't wait for after school conversation wiyh the kids!.... and so glad everyone is safe.

    1. Thanks, Sheri. Yes, I am so glad too!

    2. Sounds like one my "Albert" stories, for sure........... I am glad you and Brady are okay. And, nobody got hurt!!!!

    3. Yes, except maybe the part about the hot pink pjs...

  2. I am so glad you and Brady were safe and sound. I believe we’ve all been careless at some point or another in our lives but I hope this experience personally taught you an important lesson, Stephanie. Safety can never be compromised. Accidents can claim your life or the life of your loved ones in a snap, and no amount of insurance claim can bring them back.

    1. Well, fortunately it was just me and actually no one was driving the car! It was a 5-speed and the parking brake wasn't set, so it drove itself! Yikes!

      But oh my yes, absolutely, it has taught me a lesson. I have tried very hard to slow down since then, get up a little earlier, not get in such a hurry and have something go wrong. It is very easy to get preoccupied with all the things you have going on and forget one thing.

      I often think of this when parents of a baby go to work in the morning and the opposite parent than normal takes them to day care and in the midst of rush-hour and phone calls and worries they somehow forget and the baby dies in the car during the day. I cry and cry when I read of those things because you know that parent will never ever be the same nor ever forgive themselves.

  3. Those types of incidents can really be life-altering. You’re very blessed that nothing similar to the story of that lady you mentioned occurred during that time, and that talks with the car owner went smoothly. It could be really traumatic if an accident occurred due carelessness. Anyway, stay focused and be safe always!

    1. Yes, that is so true. And I am blessed, I still thank God to this day that it was nothing more than a blip in our day and we could just work it out and move on. We have to heed those wake-up calls and keep them in the forefront of our minds.


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