Thursday, February 17, 2005

So, much for my Lenten intent to post every day. We're a week into Lent and this is my first post. Oh well, as Anne Lamott says.

I was thinking yesterday about just how much single events can permanently change our approach to the world. I was out zipping around from meeting to meeting and realized that my gas tank was below about 1/3 of a tank and I just went into a panic. I started getting really concerned that I find a gas station right now and fill up. I could not rest easy until I knew that there was plenty of gas in my car. Then I realized that this is kind of a new thing for me. I'm not a person who has habitually run out of gas, but it seemed odd to be so concerned about it. Then I figured out the connection.

A couple of years ago, just 4 days after she got her driver's license, my daughter was in an accident, broke her pelvis and totalled her car. Like all other parents, I don't think I will ever forget getting that phone call and going up to watch them pry her out of the car and then following the ambulance to the hospital. But of all those impressions, one of the clearest is that when we left the accident site for the hospital, my car was almost out of gas. I mean, down to the fumes. All the way over, while comforting my son and making phone calls, I was terrified that we would run out of gas, not make it to the hospital and cause other people she needed to not be there for her because they were coming over to help me. We made it, but I was changed (in many ways). Now, whenever my gas tank gets low, I just get frantic to fill it up--what if something happens and I need to be mobile. I have a feeling that will always be with me.

Funny how single things like that shape our lives.