Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Fender Bender

Stopped at a red light.
On my way to work.
Minding my own business.

The ironic thing was that while I was still on the highway before I exited the ramp where this accident took place, I had intentionally passed an eighteen wheeler because I spotted something on one of his tires flapping.  My thoughts were to pass him before he had a blow out that caused me to wreck.  I did so successfully, but apparently a wreck was on my agenda for the day!

I got out and checked my car but did not see any damage other than a gash in the bumper, but I happened to notice something leaking from the car that hit me.  I approached a middle aged black lady who seemed to be in a daze.   She apologized, asked if I was ok, and asked if she should call the police.  I told her I was fine but I thought she should get out of her car since something was leaking and that yes she she should call for emergency help.  As we walked together to the front of her car, I saw extensive damage to her car that I had not noticed before. 

She was shaking and crying and could barely dial 911. I hugged her. 

Her apologies were many and sincere!  She told me a little bit about her situation.  Her husband was sick and had been in the hospital for three months.  He was still there.  She never told me what was wrong with him and I never asked.  She also told me she was on her way to the bank.  That was all I knew.

The emergency personnel arrived.  They made sure we were not hurt and then they began to ask  for  driver's license, insurance cards, and a description of what happened, etc.  After I gave them my information, I saw her sitting in her car in the driver's seat bending over the passenger seat going through a bag.  I could see several bags in her car, the ones you get to put your personal belongings in at the hospital.  She was crying.  I thought she was getting all of her things together before the tow truck arrived.  The passenger door was open and I saw a card fall to the ground so I walked over to her car, picked it up and handed it to her.  Through tears, she told me she could not find her drivers license.  The passenger seat was full of the contents of her purse but another card had fallen on the floor between the passenger's seat and the door where it was not visible to her.  It was her license.  Relief washed over her face.   

Before I left the scene, we exchanged names, phone numbers, and more hugs.  

A friend visited me later that evening and as I shared with her what had happened, she told me that during a time period when she was distraught because of having to place her mother in a nursing home she hit the back of another vehicle, one with a Louisiana license plate.  The lady got out of her car ranting and raving screaming to her that she needed to pay attention to what she was doing and that her personal problems were no excuse.    

Don't see any "beauty" here!

I went to my bed to read somewhere around 9:00 pm.  My phone rang shortly afterwards.   It was the lady who hit my car.  She apologized for calling so late  but wanted to thank me for my understanding and kindness.  She also wanted me to know she gave my name and phone number to her insurance company.  We talked for several minutes and I learned quite a bit in those few minutes.   Her husband, a long time diabetic, had initially been admitted to the hospital for bypass surgery in his leg.  While recovering from that, an abscess developed on one of his toes.  It would not heal and got worse.  His toe had to be amputated.  Three months later, but not before a  fall ripping open the sutures in his leg, a blood transfusion, a staph infection, a stroke, kidney failure, and dialysis he is still in the hospital.   She stays with him day and night even though it is over an hour away from their home.  He is the pastor of a church.  She had just learned from another church member before hitting me that the attendance at their church was beginning to suffer.  She was on the way to the bank because of an 800.00 debit to her account that she did not make.  Now an automobile accident.  And then as soon as she was able to return to the hospital she learned that her husband was going to have to be placed back on dialysis. 

It is not for me to try to understand why God allowed her to run into me and damage her car when she has so much on her plate already, but for some reason He wanted our paths to cross so he allowed our bumpers to meet.  I sincerely hope that this encounter will forever be my reminder that:

For you never know what a person may be going through! 

 (BTW: Her insurance company called me today.  They were extremely cooperative, even offering to furnish me with a rental car while the damages to my car were being taken care of. Not sure any of that will be necesarry, but it's good to know I can count on them.)  


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