This week my daughter Abigail, age 24, was in a bad car accident in a city hours away from us. I received her call in the morning, while my mind was racing with the day’s work concerns. But the moment I heard the tone of her voice, my world stopped.
Time stops when tragedy occurs in our lives. And the gift of near-tragedy is that it pauses us long enough to realize how precious the time we have been given really is. And for us, thankfully, this was a near-tragedy.
My daughter is fine. She walked away from the accident only shaken up and achy from the experience, while her car was totaled.
I wrote the following reflection to my wife and three twenty-something children that day after the incident.
A Reflection on Abigail’s Car Accident
Abigail’s accident this morning could have had many possible outcomes.
We could have lost her. That would’ve surely changed all our lives in a radical way.
Everything all of us are doing right now would have come to a full and complete stop.
Or, she could have been hospitalized with very severe injuries, if not life-threatening injuries.
Our lives would have stopped then as well.
Or, she could have sustained injuries that left her debilitated for the rest of her life in some way.
Again, we would have come to a full stop.
Or, she could have been perfectly fine, a little shaken up, with a totaled car.
In this final case, we would have paused, been thankful for an hour or a day, then continued on with life as we know it.
Of all these possibilities, the latter was the one we experienced.
Thank you, Lord Jesus.
Abigail is fine, is a little shaken up, and is navigating the details of a totaled vehicle that ultimately has no life or breath in it.
At the risk of my children thinking I’m being melodramatic at this point, please remember that I have known young people who have died, were severely injured or were in comas after unexpected car accidents.
In each case, their life, and the lives of those who love them, came to a full stop. Nothing else mattered other than what had happened.
So, for me, I stop and gave thinks that our Abigail is fine.