Friday, May 2, 2014
R.I.P. Beloved Car
For the past week, my heart has been aching. My heart aches because my son's heart aches. It is amazing the intensity of emotion which wells when your child faces life's unexpected obstacles. If I could, I would turn back the hands of time and tell him to stay in on a Friday night, to spend time with his family instead of trotting off to spend time once again hanging with friends. Even if I had begged, he would have chosen to go, I know.
Last Friday night, Bryce was involved in an accident near the entrance to his best friend's subdivision. Thankfully, the friend's parents were on the scene within minutes (having heard the sound) and were able to be with him in his moments of shock and disbelief, anger and grief. He couldn't bear to call us and finally allowed his friend's parents to make the difficult call.
Once assured that both boys were safe and the driver of the other vehicle was without injury, I received the news that Bryce's car was bad enough off to have to be towed away. Despite the tremendous relief that my boy was unharmed, my heart sank into my knees. I know how much that car meant to him. I know the devastation he must have felt looking at it from his seat on the curb. I have been feeling the devastation of it myself, in small measure compared to his attachment. He was truly in shock.
The rear wheel came off and the axle was destroyed. A few feet further up and Bryce would have been in a world of pain. Thankfully, no passenger was in the back, behind Bryce. I replay the many blessings over and over, yet the ache refuses to dislodge. Such a shame! He only had the car for six months.
Life changes within the blink of an eye, truly. He had been on an emotional high in the day prior to the accident. He informed us that he was nominated for prom king. In addition, there is a vote for other titles, like "most intellectual," "most likely to succeed," "most ripped," and of course, "best car." He had also just secured a job with Papa John's Pizza as a delivery boy. Moreover, he was informed that he will be receiving a scholarship of some sort at the school's awards ceremony next week.
Now, the car has been declared a "total loss," since the rear suspension was entirely destroyed and would have to be completely rebuilt. The expenses for repair exceed the monetary value of the car. They don't take into account the emotional value of the car to a teenage boy.
Bryce is in mourning. He has lost his beloved car. He has lost his independence. He has lost a portion of his identity.
In the face of loss, we have to remind ourselves of the blessings. There are so many who aren't as fortunate, who don't walk away from such an incident unscathed. Bryce's school recently held an awareness event called "Every Fifteen Seconds," to drive home the realities of the consequences of drinking and driving and texting and driving. Bryce wasn't drinking or texting, but he could have been taken from us nonetheless.
Moreover, I recently received word that one of my former students was involved in a drunk-driving accident which killed his older sister. That young man is facing three to fourteen years in prison as a result of his mistake. We were spared such grim consequences.
Bryce will survive. Life without a car isn't the most difficult thing in the world. There are far greater tragedies life could hand him in the future. Really, if it had to happen, this is one of the better times to accommodate it. He is no different than any other high school senior without wheels. He can go to Purdue (his selected college) next year and get around using their excellent bus system. I went four years of college without a vehicle. He can do the same; indeed, none of the other freshmen will have vehicles either, since they are prohibited for freshmen.
No one was injured or killed. The insurance company will give us a settlement allowing us to buy him a beater car (probably what we should have done in the first place). He will have to step up to the plate and earn some money to pay the increased insurance rates. He will gain a greater sense of responsibility and hopefully other life lessons from this sad turn of events. While we have much to be grateful for, that doesn't dull the pain of loss we are experiencing. We pray that some good will come of this loss. As my up-beat cousin Karin ends her e-mail correspondence, ""Never regret a day in your life. Good days give you Happiness. Bad days give you Experiences. Both are essential to life. Keep going..."