The Brevity of Life Can be Found in Car Accidents
My day started like any other random Tuesday. I’m blowdrying my hair into a funky-faux-madina and I hear a super loud pop. I see something that appears to be a spring (which I now know to be a heat coil) fly across the bathroom and land in one of the sinks with a clink. I stand there confused for a moment and then I smell smoke and hear the blow dryer make a sound that tells me it has decided to take its final lap. My hair is not yet dry so I do the natural thing, I shake the blow dryer while watching smoke come out of it willing it to come back to life and be the little blow dryer that could. More smoke sputters out and I am confident something is for real on fire inside of it. I decide I should probably unplug it. I stand there in a towel, no makeup and my hair half wet and see my reflection looking back at me.
So this is how it’s going to be, Tuesday? This is how you are going to start? Fine. I chalk it up to an extra hairspray day because I am a boss when it comes to improv. Act like you’ve been here before. No blowdryer… No problem. I have another blowdryer in my gym locker and I can just swing by post work event tonight and snag it. I like that one better than this old clunker anyway… #ByeFelicia
The workday came and went. Super productive, super awesome. I kept my mind focused on the tasks at hand and didn’t let it wander too much to Friday’s awaiting pregnancy test. Late in the day my phone rings, I smile because, Hubbz.
It is in an instant that the brevity of life stands on my doorstep knocking, reminding me, this life is precious.
What awaits me on the other end is my strong, sweet, never-wavering Hubbz, except his voice is shaking.
“Honey, I was just in a car accident.”
My smile fades, my heart falls into the pit of my stomach.
“What?! Where?! What happened?!”
He tells me.
“I’m on my way.”
I’m speed walking through my building.
“God, dear God. My husband.” I pray. My prayer makes no sense but God knows the yearning of my soul. “God let him be ok.” I begin to plead my case. “God we have children to raise. We have babies to make. We have plans God.”
The cold Michigan air punches me in the face as I open the door to the outside. “Why am I not going faster?! Why aren’t my legs moving faster?!” I begin to run. I get to my car and fumble for my keys. I look at my hands and they are shaking. Somewhere between the time I got the call and the time I reached my car I had texted my people.
“PRAY. Hubbz was just in a car accident. Someone ran a red light and hit him. His airbag went off. I am on my way there now. This is all I know. I will text when I know more.”
I turn on the main road off campus and behind me I see an ambulance, lights blaring, sirens wailing…
“OH. MY. EFFING. EFF. JESUS. Literally, Jesus.” I hear myself say out loud pleading for Jesus to give me comfort (except I definitely didn’t say effing eff.) It is in this moment I realize that I have no idea the extent of anything. “He is ok enough to have called me” I remind myself. It is in this moment I feel helpless. “Jesus let him be ok.”
I arrive at the scene. Our truck… Oy vey. The General (because we name our cars) has seen better days. “My husband, where is my husband?! Why don’t I see him?!” My eyes are darting everywhere trying to find him. There are cars everywhere and traffic is so backed up because it’s going on 5pm. There are more emergency vehicles than I have ever seen in my life. I park my car in the only place that makes sense to me at the time… The middle of the intersection (oops) and I run to the truck just as the paramedic is reaching it. I see them open the door and there is my husband. My sweet man. He looks at me with those amazing blue eyes and I know he isn’t ok.
In that moment time and space stood still. In that moment nothing mattered. My broken blowdryer and bad hair day didn’t matter, the plans I meticulously made earlier that day didn’t matter, the to-do lists and post-it reminders didn’t matter, the work stress from an earlier meeting didn’t matter. None of it mattered because the one that I share it all with was not ok.
As I type this, Hubbz and his valiant heart are resting on the couch next to me with ice packs and painkillers to accompany his slumber. Bella asleep between us. I watch the rise and fall of his chest and I can’t help but reach over and touch him. I feel a tear make its way down my cheek.
I think back on the rest of the night. I had went back into my office that I had left in disarray. The dinner I was in the middle of eating because I had an event that night, the project I was working on still on my monitor, the planning for the week that I had been doing. I sat in my office chair for a moment and I looked at the picture of us on my desk. Hubbz and Wifey embraced in a hug to end all hugs with the biggest smiles ever, in a pretty little place called Pasadena. Suddenly the annoying things that happen in marriage aren’t so annoying. Suddenly the problems that seem to loom over us feel like pesky gnats that can be swatted away. Suddenly the things he does that drive me nuts are kind of cute and endearing (just don’t tell him I said that.)
I wrestle with this as I sit here. How do I keep these feelings at the top of my mind when the love isn’t super exciting and the days seem mundane? How do I not allow the demands of life to not invade our marriage? How do I remember how I felt sitting at my desk looking at that photo of us with a new perspective? I think this is part of being human and more important, this is what marriage is about. Perfecting the practice of keeping our spouses the most important thing in our life, second only to the God we serve. For as much as I want to remember this feeling of brevity, I know I won’t because I am human. Life will get back in the way soon enough and we will once again fallback into the doing instead of the being. For this reason I realize or better yet I am reminded, I need Jesus.
His favor. His grace. His love. Today, most important, His protection over the most incredible gift He’s ever given me.
The gift of Hubbz