So inadvertently I found out that my father was in a car accident last week. One that tore up his truck but left him unscathed thanks to some fancy driving and what he no doubt considers years of experience put to the test. While I am thankful my dad is ok, I’m a little ticked I had to find out about it from a passing conversation with my uncle. Now, for all the highway driving my father does, I’m sure he’s had a lot of close calls and brushes with danger – I probably don’t want to know about all of them. But when it tears up your truck and could’ve ended your life (as testing the tensile strength of a guardrail with a truck and jack-knifed trailer can do), I’d like to be informed – if only for the “hey just wanted to let you know I’m ok”. A friend remarked that he likely didn’t want to worry me since he was in fact fine. No, with him its stubborn pride that he doesn’t want to admit how close he came to being seriously injured. Like the time he fell off the roof and broke his arm – he didn’t want to tell me and have to admit that he screwed up, doing something he shouldn’t have been doing. (Gee I wonder where I get my stubborn-have-to-do-it-myself streak from?)
When we have a near miss we always release a breath and reflect on how lucky we were. If that had been a few inches closer, or if something hadn’t been where it was, or if that person had done X instead of Y, or if….there are millions of “ifs” that could have led to different results, but they didn’t so we’re still here in one piece. But instead of thinking ourselves lucky to have dodged a bullet, we should appreciate the cosmic slap on the head that says “wake up and realize what you have!” It’s rare that we ever actually do this – I’m just saying we should.
We survive against the odds through some cosmic quirk in events. We could’ve/should’ve been _________, but we weren’t. Whether it was ‘luck’, training, experience or the hand of God that got you through it, when you come out on the other side, when you’ve dusted off, surveyed the damage, changed your undies and called home, take a minute to remind your loved ones that they are in fact loved and you are still there to be loved in return (kum-bah-ya moment optional).