Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Best Present Ever

[Guest post by The Captain...]

I was leaving church mid-day. As I walked out, I looked over the Christmas trees that were left in our parking lot, and picked out a nice one; my friend P— said he'd drop it off at our house later that day. I thanked him and walked towards my car. My wife and daughter weren't at church today; they were at the gymnastics center south of town, because our daughter's coach wanted to give her a private lesson to work on her bars and floor routines, and Sunday was the only time he and the gym were available. Okay, whatever, they went to the gym while I hung out with God and some of my friends at church. My wife had texted me as services were ending; lesson complete, heading home. Then, as I neared my car, I got another text from her: "Please call me". The hair on the back of my neck stood up, because I just KNEW that something was terribly wrong. She should have been on the highway heading home by now, and she was never to text me while driving. I called her instantly. She answered in a broken tone: "T—, we're okay."

That told me that she was anything but okay.

As they pulled out from the gym entry road onto the highway, the light having just turned green, she looked to their left and saw a sedan getting very close, very fast. She locked her (anti-lock) brakes, the car decelerated rapidly, and she watched the entire front of her car snatched away and fly to her right, immediately followed by a flash of gold: a gold Lexus that showered our car with sparks and debris as it continued past. It came to a stop well to the far side of the intersection, connected to our car by a trail of various (car) body parts.

The woman who trotted back to our car saw my wife and daughter in the front seats, unbloodied and conscious, and blurted her relief to my wife. Didn't see the light, didn't have time to stop when your car pulled out, ohmyGod, you are all right, aren't you, your daughter is okay, right, ohmyGOD thank goodness for THAT, please don't cry honey I'm SO sorry, oh hell I'm crying too, aren't I, I've ruined your Christmas!

No, ma'am, you haven't ruined our Christmas. Yeah we'll have to deal with insurance and auto body repair and rental car people. So? Cars can be replaced. Repaired. Made new again. Or cast aside. But those two ladies in the front seat, they're precious beyond frakking words. Tow the car, we'll see it again soon. But let me wrap these two in a hug so long, and hard, and soaked with tears, that when I let them go they're going to look like they just got out of the shower, fully dressed.

It took an inattentive driver and a frightful collision of two cars to REALLY remind me of what's precious at Christmas-time, and every other day too. And it isn't anything under the tree, or in a store. So please, don't wait for something mind-blowing to remind you what you want most for Christmas. A smile...kind eyes...slipping your hand in theirs...goodnight kisses...and every other precious thing in-between. Don't take any of them for granted. Notice them all; cherish them all. God forbid you don't miss them until they're gone.

[I know how he feels...]