It is customary for our family to celebrate ones birth by enjoining the troops for a dinner out, followed by cards,cake, candles and a cacophony of “Happy Birthday”. But as the troops have aged, home cooking has given way to Mickey D’s, Tejos, Ale Asylum, Rice and Roll and a host of other eateries. The tab has grown inversely proportional to their age.
And so have the cherished memories.
Last evening, we gathered all to give #1 her props, albeit a few days early. It began as an evening of pot stickers, sushi rolls and Sake. It then ventured into some bonding at Good City, some time spent in penance on the shoulder of I-43, then finishing up with the usual cacophony around the kitchen table.
Now what occurred between Good CIty and cacophony was disheartening. A life moment momentum killer that just so happened to open the legendary “what if” can of worms.
Our number was called. And there was an accident.
Could have been worse. But in the end, all we could show for this character building moment was a bruise, a wreck in the driveway and ample excuse for some long overdue discernment.
For we all walked away.
We all “sang”.
And we all woke up on December first.
Yet, we chose to default to our baser human tendencies and succumb to hindsight and guilt rather than embrace the immense measure of love and grace that happened to be sent our way.
A great deal of energy and emotion had been expended by all. Pondering the impact of every conceivable negative. As if we could go back, and effect change in the course of human events.
Like, why couldn’t our driver “see things” quicker? Guess? Anticipate? React? Make a different decision?
So, if we agree to look at things from this perspective, then we would need to abide by Hoyle. And approve of this equally potential view and rules of engagement:
What if there were no brakes, no veer right and only a crash at 60 mph square into the gas tank of the one that started this all?
What if there was a semi behind us? A tired driver? And 40,000 lbs heading at us at 60 mph, unable to stop before it was on and over us?
How about icy roads? Or another car to our right?
Sure, the events of the night rendered upon us a collective gut punch.
But as stipulated once before, all of us woke up today.
There are no hospital bills.
The American Family adjuster will be here this week.
More used Buicks are to be found.
Christmas is still coming.
And there will be ample opportunity to surpass the events of this birthday celebration.
After that, what more is there?