I hadn’t slowed down enough to get the blood pressure relaxed or quench the “fight or flight” adrenaline that kept squirting into my veins.
And I was sitting outside the church offices asking for help with money.
I really didn’t want to be here.
I had spent months working and saving and auto-withdrawing to more savings to prevent myself from sitting here. I had to be 10 when Papa showed me the miracle of compounding interest. I counted all my receipts from my chore money then hoarded my paper route money until I bought a bike … to use on my paper route. Talk about reinvesting in the business! After Carlisle and the $6 dollar grocery run, I worked hard to always have money saved. When working fulltime, I set up savings account after savings account with auto-withdrawals for each so I didn’t have to remember.
Then I dipped into my savings for Shine.
Then I quit my job.
Then the part-time holiday hours disappeared.
It’d been over a month in my new job. I’d borrowed family money for my tires and was just getting my head above water to get rid of the credit card bill for good.
Now Sandy was gone. And I needed help.
It took a lot out of me to sit here, in the same seat as people who I judged for making foolish decisions. I was better than them I thought. And surely I would never need to ask for benevolence.
Boy was I wrong.
Who did I think I was? Am I exempt from tragedy? Does anyone asking for benevolence wake up one morning a year before and make it a new year’s resolution? I DON’T THINK SO!
We can save like a squirel, invest like a rabbit, and buy insurance like a turtle but we are all human. Stuff happens. Spouses grow cold. Parents die. Friends reject.
Just because I have something tucked away today doesn’t mean that tomorrow it won’t disapper like the “mysterious stock of Enron.” Don’t ever depend on money for your security. You’ll never have enough for you to sleep like a baby. In fact more will probably make it worse.
Our only security must be Jesus Christ. He is our rock and shelter in the storm.
He is our Life in the driest of places. I’m trying to remember He is all I need.
Spaghetti - I am your basic boring pasta. Cook me when you have no imagination.
Angel Hair - I am the ultimate lazy girl’s gourmet pasta. Dip me in and I’m done! Don’t expect me to crawl onto your fork for you though; I’m still high-maintenance and like a photo-shoot before enduring consumption.
Linguine - I’m the staple pasta you go to when you don’t feel like cooking but want to feel like you cooked something. I only take 9 minutes which is enough time to boot your *ahem* “computer” as you call it while texting Lisa about how you promise to check out the youtube music links she sent you. Add olive oil and some dried parsley from CVS and you can pretend you ate a meal. (Really though, you better eat something filling for breakfast or else!)
Fettuccine - I am the patience tester! I take all of 12 minutes to cook, pull me out too soon and you’ll forget you ever liked “al dente.” Cook me when you have the fortitude to use your fork and want time to write a post about how much you overanalyze pasta.
Rotini - I’m your pick if you don’t have enough drama in your life and you forgot your hair is plenty curly on its own.
Elbows - Where’s my cheese?
Bowties - No really I’m too high maintence and I’m allergic to your fork so don’t even bother.
Tri-ColorRotini - Seriously … you have time for pasta salad?!?!
Lasagna - You expect me to come withsauce and ricotta?! I have a dinner date for you. Her name’s Marie Calender.
And there you have it! If there’s any more useless information you need to help you through your troubled 21st century life I can upload a video blog explaining the names of my sunglasses! Sure, we all know about Dina the Massively Fabulous Diva featured in Way Beyond Myself, but don’t you want to see Sergeant’s “Matrix” impersonation?
I was going to write a lovely post about music. Or grace. Or hearts set on fire for Jesus. I was going to upload a vlog with video from the Stadium Easter Service.
But no … they’re going to have to wait.
I needed the nap.
Yeah, a nap.
Even making peace with the event, car accidents are exhausting. It’s my second of three days off this week and I just want my hibernation unit. Here’s today’s do-list:
Ask State Farm where to fax my receipts. Check.
Make a Dentist appointment. Check
Get a desperately needed massage for the first time in 3+ years. Check.
Make a Double Batch of Tapioca Pudding. Check
Read Awesome blogs about writing and living from cool twitter peeps. Semi-Check
And the “not-so-done”
Sign up for Disqus and try to connect comments with the Tumblr
Figure out how to remove the black bars so I can edit Easter footage
Switch my couch with my desk away from the A/C
Read Mom’s thorough Car research emails
Look at my financials and implement the budget tools I got from church… (I need some Big Person Courage Ovaltine for this.)
In the “Really … Let’s Not Waste Lifetime” category I messed up the video filters on Windows Movie Maker so I can’t even SEE the Easter footage… *sigh.* I could use a reboot.
Thus my day was spent. There’s just not enough of me. I think I’m going to turn off the computer, eat some Stouffer’s Lasagna, and reevaluate my life from there. And if I’m really brave I’m going to ask for help. Which means asking for prayer.
Tomorrow I’ll get through work as a ballerina in a backbrace on Aleve.
I need courage to face the future. My heart breaks for my generation. I want to help. I’m trying to DO SOMETHING! Can’t I have some rest before I go back into battle?
Hey there! I've joined up but not sure how to post to start discussions. Am I in the right area?
Glad to have you here! To be honest I am trying to figure that out! Figuring out Tumblr comments is on my do-list for today. I’m going to check out Disqus like Tumblr recommends and I’ll let you know when I get it set up. It might be today, it might be Thursday. I’ve got a full list. :-)
In the meantime, thanks for joining! My name’s Meg, nice to meet you! Are you enjoying the posts? Are they making you think?
For the people who’ve met one too many airbags, I’m sharing my story.
Thank God there was no broken bones or oncoming traffic. I could be attempting to fold clothes with a cast arm. I could be comatose in the hospital, white as oreo icing squished between two cookies. I don’t know why God allowed this to happen. I don’t know who He is going to comfort by my experiencing this suffering He ordained for me. I have accepted and recieved it as a knee scrape on my journey which will strengthen someone else along the path. And before you think I’m so holy my fart smells like roses, please read my immediate reaction to the accident. Authenticity requites openness. I live Inside-Out.
I’m not sharing this for sympathy or hugs with pats. If you’ve never had an accident with airbags, please comment wisely. It’s hard to understand the trauma of real world bumper cars.
10:39 am. I post a blog on change and ballet.
11:40 am. I leave the house. I need to be at work at 12:30pm. I’m determined to be on time.
11:45 am. Sitting at the stoplight to leave my neighborhood. I post a tweet. I set the phone down. The light turns Green. I make the turn. I feel the temptation to pick up my phone again. I think of “DoGoodorDoNaught’s” youtube comment on my video confession that I need to be a safer driver. I keep both hands on the wheel. I approach an intersection. The lights are green.
11:50 am. On the other side of the intersection, a vehicle makes a speedy left turn. It continues it’s journey. I admire it’s timing. A white truck pulls into the center of the intersection. I’m used to this. I expect the driver to notice my existence as oncoming, right of way traffic. More slowly than the previous vehicle, he turns. His vehicle is in my direct line of fire. I have no where to go. I relinquish control and accept the inevitable.
11:51 am. Loud bang. Smell of gunpowder. Airbags deflating. The moment has happened. “F***!” I’m angry. I know how much trouble everything is. I know how much time will be wasted patching life back together. At that moment, I don’t care if God thinks this is a good idea. I’m ticked I had to experience this again … and it wasn’t even my fault. I turn my anger off. “There’s no point in taking this out on anyone.” I get out of the car. He gets out too.
"I wasn’t expecting to meet you this way. I’m Meg." "I’m Jon." "I guess I’m going to be late for work. I’d better call them. Can you call 911? We’ll need some help." "That sounds like a good idea."
I call work. I’m factual. I’m ok right now, but I won’t determine anything until the adrenaline wears off.
I look at Sandy. She spun from his sideways motion. Blood and Oil streak the ground. Faithful engine sits crumpled & bleeding. I never wanted to see her like this.
My hands start shaking. I know what needs to happen, but I can’t do it by myself. My shop is just up the street.
"Service Center, this is Ken." "This is Megan [We are on a first name basis] I had an accident just down the street from you. [My hand starts shaking. My voice cracks. I’m losing it.] Can you come and help me please?!" "I’ll be there."
12:05 pm. Official peole are already flocking to the scene like blood in a wound. Swelling. A wandering ambulance parks next to us as a shield. “Maybe you can get it fixed.” He’s an EMT. “No. The airbags went off. It’s dead.” I know too much.
Ken pulls into the corner gas station. “Thank you for coming.” “Of course. You’re ok. Cars are replacable. You are not.” My surrogate father hugs me. I hand my papers to the investigative cop. I show her my right arm. It’s scratched. Bag burn.
"This is proof both hands were on the wheel." She understands. Jon gets a citation.
The tow truck comes for Sandy. We’ll park her at Ken’s shop until her time comes. Her front is so mangled the driver has trouble hooking her up. An extra $50 bucks for the insurance.
She rolls away. The last journey my baby will ever take. My most faithful companion is leaving me. 8 years, she was so strong. I loved her so much. Excluding my five-month fling with the ill-fated Cordelia, Sandy’s been with me through everything. At least now I have people I can hide inside of. And I was just savoring what a journey we’d had.
Ken drives me to his shop. Ruth takes me in her arms. We pray thankfulness. I know I’m safe. I’m alive … and for that we are happy.
5:00 pm. I’m almost at work. Victor is my Dodge Avenger Date for the week and he very kindly took me to the urgent care. A few more phone calls. A few more x-rays. “It’s just a contusion, but we’ll get a radiologist to double check.” My knee is bruised. Thank God that’s all. I like my patelas hockey-puck solid, not cookie crumbled. I like jumping.
5:05 pm. I park in the garage. I’m not used to a buff macho car like Victor. I take my time finding a spot. The Hertz kid whined I wouldn’t buy his insurance. Self-centered sales person. I guess he hasn’t met any airbags lately. Get over your quota and care about people. I just put a bunch of stuff on my credit card that is already carrying more than it can handle. Get some life experience and find some compassion.
5:10 pm. My associate gives me the low down. We’ve had a busy day and there are projects to accomplish. “We can do this.” My back brace squeezes me so tight I wonder how corset-laced girls ever ate anything. Beauty is funny. We move the shelves, fold the shirts, even get Miss Manila Quin in the window. Her sisters are hiding in the closet, begging for attention. They’re not going to get it.
9:30 pm. The drawer is counted. The shirts are straightened. The deposit is made. I lock the door and go find Victor. I’m not used to push-button key. The “Click” sounds so nice, like a choir of miniature apprentice gears harmonizing on the unnoticed beauty and simplicity of “Science, at your service.” No one thanks him unless a wire breaks. Then we crank and kick the fridge. But not tonight. Tonight the simple harmony of a remote unlock is singing the comforts of my fortress Avenger. Victor takes me home. It’s been quite the journey.
It was all there. Every struggle from my four years of crushing (excluding heartbreak).
There’s no way for me to summarize what each of those words represents. And I experienced it all in seven days. The darkness tried to convince me I was still the weak, incapable person hiding from the world in a sunless apartment enslaved to guilt.
I’m still a weak person … but I have Jesus.
I had Jesus then. But now I know how to face this crap:
HE is my Strength.
HE is my Song!
He is my Joy on a Sunless Day!
Did I still cry? Yes, absolutely … I kind of abandoned makeup after my car got totaled. Did I make some “reactionary mistakes?” Yeah, I sure did. A couple of doozies too. Am I moving on? Yes I am.