This morning at 6:52 a.m., while attempting to drive through an intersection in Marengo, Illinois, I didn’t. The sun was up and in my eyes, and instead of double-checking, I looked once and went. With my six-year-old daughter in the backseat, I looked once and went.
And was T-boned by a fifty year-old Jehovah’s Witness driving a minivan to a convention in DeKalb. Suit and tie, freshly showered. My daughter and I just left a campgrounds; dirty, tired, and now, experiencing mild shock. So much for my plans.
I take a special exception to God when shit like this happens. Where’s the special treatment? To which God could say, “You DID only look once”, but God’s not a jerk. Looking at my broken car being pulled onto the back of a truckbed, the driver picking up the numerous car pieces scattered on road and yard, and the totalled minivan in someone’s front lawn, touching the front steps, maybe God was there. All three of us refused medical treatment.
Neighbors came running out at 7:00 in the morning, still pajama’d, offering help and blankets for my daughter; two neighborhood kids, early twenties at the most, weird facial hair and black-ink tattoos, split and run; one to each car, making sure the engines are off and no fires are imminent. Five minutes later we use their bathroom.
I’m still numb from it eight hours later, but upon returning home, my wife gave me advice that had my sponsor saying, “Bless her heart.”
She suggested I call someone. I could first go ahead and soak it in for a while – sit in the dark on the couch in the basement and heave sobs of relief and anger, even as it kills my chest.
The fear? That this is me, really and truly, 100%. So what difference does anything make when the results are the same, and I’m putting my most important person on this planet in danger? Is it time for self-imposed ice float? Does my absence make everyone safer? Have my choices been burnt out and replaced with hard-wired drama and incidents in need of “just getting through”?
I meet for coffee with my sponsor’s sponsor. Members of the program can do one thing better than me, every time, and that’s calm me down. My associate gets me to start seeing things from the proper perspective. He relates and tells me what he did in a similar situation. I say out loud much of what’s stated above at below:
This accident is the end of my marriage, my family, my security, and whatever else rattled through my brain this morning. This accident was Exhibit GG-24. No more room in the filing cabinet. Case closed. The accountant in my head has given his two weeks, his job pointless. There’s no longer enough time left in my life to balance my books. The “s” word swung in and out of my ear, but I, thankfully, realize that I deserve more punishment than that. Okay, so from here on in it’s going to be one big rock-push that in the end goes nowhere? Well, at least It’ll keep me busy.
The above paragraph brought to you by my old thinking, and the deeper thought that this is all whistling past the graveyard.
“Ah, yes, the voice behind the voice,” says my guy. “Wait until you hear from the voice behind the voice behind the voice. That one’ll be telling the truth, right? Truth that you’re using to base your decisions and actions upon? And how’s that working out for you? You might not be drinking because you’re too busy controlling.” Or something to that effect.
So, for another day: Be thankful. And to all unpromised tomorrows: Be grateful. A day at a time.