Sunday, January 10, 2010

T is for T-Bone

I was in a car accident last week.

It was relatively minor, I mean, the front bumper of my car was crunched pretty good but there was no structural damage and no one was injured. As far as accidents go, it was a decent outcome.

I had the right of way. The girl driving the other car had a stop sign on a cross street but she failed to yield and crossed my path without leaving enough room for me to stop. I hit the brakes with both feet and left skid marks and a cloud of brake smoke as if I was a NASCAR driver, coming into the pits. Her passenger’s side took the hit, T-bone style, leaving the signature of my Nissan imprinted on her Honda Accord.

The other driver was calm at first. She called the police and we waited in the 18-degree weather. After a few minutes, it registered with her what just happened and she became hysterical. She had no idea where she was, she couldn’t talk, she just sobbed.

Annoyed, I waited for the officer to release us so I could proceed to go out to dinner with my family. Sitting in my car, I remembered.

The last time I was in a car accident, I was 16. It was my fault. I rear-ended someone and wrecked my parents’ car. The lamination was basically still warm on my driver’s license; I had only been licensed to drive for a few short months. My father made me drive home from the scene of the accident; he didn't want me to become afraid to drive. I curled up in my bed and didn’t leave my room for 3 days. I was so embarrassed and ashamed and scared and sad. I didn’t want to face the disappointment of my parents. I crashed THEIR car. I felt like life was ending. So dramatic, I know, but it was a big deal when I was 16. Dad only made me pay for ½ the cost of the repairs and he never teased me or screamed at me or held it over my head at all. I guess he figured I punished myself enough. Life went on. It wasn’t the end of the world. It was a mistake; one that I learned from.

My heart got soft and mushy while I was waiting at the scene last week. I wanted that poor girl to know that life would go on, it wasn’t the end of the world. Before I left, I told her. Sometimes, I can be hard as stone when I’m wronged but this time I just couldn’t be angry or mean to her. I had been in her place and I knew how she felt. The kindness and forgiveness that I received from my dad so many years ago, healed my heart when I was at fault and I needed to remember that while I was aggravated that my car was busted.

But let me tell you, you should see my mangled license place. 

1 comment:

angie said...

funny that this blog is called T-Bone... i'm pretty sure that was your name about the time this childhood accident happened. lol.