Happy Thanksgiving, Part 2: Accidents Will Happen

How was your Thanksgiving?  Our family had a great time in Waipahu celebrating with Keao’s family.  This year, I was in charge of bringing the turkey so I decided to try a different recipe.  Rather than do a wet brine, I tried a dry brine (although technically I heard it’s more accurately a salt-cure).  I’m not going to lie, I was a little skeptical because I couldn’t imagine how a coating of salt and seasoning could make the turkey moist and flavorful, but boy oh boy, let me tell you, the results were pretty darn amazing!  I think this is going to be my preferred method anytime I make a turkey.

After our nice meal we packed up our kids and began the long drive home.  Here’s where our story got a little more interesting.  You know, when you think about it, most things in life come down to timing and perspective.  Think about all the of the random encounters that happen and how you react to them.  As you know, many times those random happenings turn out great and your life is better because of it, but every now and then it doesn’t turn out in your favor and here’s where the perspective part comes in.  Here’s what happened to us.

We left Waipahu and were heading home on the H1 cruising along as normal with everyone heading home or trying to brave the crowds for the Black Friday sales.  We had just passed Pearlridge and we were getting ready to take the Honolulu/Kaneohe cutoff when we heard the screeching of tires and we saw the sudden appearance of brake lights.  I immediately slammed on the brakes and after my tires locked up we slid forward stopped short about six feet from the car in front of us.  Unfortunately for us, we then heard the sickening crunch of cars slamming into one another and felt the sudden jolt as the car behind us rammed into our bumper.

A little shaken up, I looked for a break in the traffic and pulled over to the shoulder to assess our damage.  Luckily, the car behind us didn’t hit us too solidly and everyone in our car seemed to be fine.  Both girls didn’t even seem to notice that we got hit.  Thank God for car seats and safety they provide!  We waited for the other cars to pull over and when they did we noticed that the bumper of the car that hit us was practically under the car.  Grabbing my insurance card and license I went to see if they were okay.  Understandably they were pretty shaken up as well.  A young girl, probably in her late 20s, was driving with her father sitting in the front seat and her mother and boyfriend in the back.  I later found out that they had been rear-ended not once, but twice.  The initial car that hit them sped off and the car following that car had no idea that anyone had stopped so by the time he reacted it was too late and he hit them as well.  Happy Thanksgiving indeed.

When the boyfriend approached me was a little more than displeased.  He wanted to know what happened and why I had to brake so hard.  He looked at the damage to his car and the damage to my car and pointed out the disparity.  I tried to explain what happened and then I asked him if anyone in their car got hurt.  He told me they all seemed fine and I just responded with how happy I was that no one got injured because cars can be replaced, but lives cannot.  That really seemed to calm him down and he replied, “that’s the main thing.  No one got hurt”.

The rest of the night was mostly waiting until the police came so we could make a report and exchange insurance and everything that goes with an accident.  But as Keao and I were driving home we talked about timing and perspectives.  Had we left the party a few minutes earlier or later we probably would have avoided the whole thing.  So much of how we got into this accident was simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  We managed to stop in time and so did the car behind us.  It was the guy behind them and hit-and-ran that caused to first impact.  Or we can blame the car two or three cars in front that caused everyone to slam on their brakes in the first place.

In the 1980s, Amy Grant, a popular Christian singer, sang about angels that are watching over us.  She sang, “God only knows the times my life was threatened just today.  A reckless car ran out of gas before it ran my way.”  So many near misses and random occurrences that we chalk up to fate or luck didn’t surprise God.  I’m not trying to say that he caused everything that happens per se, but I will say that it didn’t sneak up on Him.  In this case, we did get hit by another car but we did walk away remarkably unscathed.  It could have been much worse.  We would have gone home in an ambulance or maybe even not gone home at all.  The second part is perspective.  We could have been moaning about how unfair it us that the guy who caused the accident probably had no idea what he did or will not face any consequence or we can thank God what nothing major happened.  Being Thanksgiving and all, we drove home sincerely thanking God for protecting us and our daughters.  Like I told the guy that hit us, let’s look at the positive and be grateful no one was killed in this accident on Thanksgiving.  That would have ruined not only this year’s Thanksgiving but many more to come.

For us, this was a wake up call.  Keao and I agreed that we really need to let go of the minor, small things because there are so many important things in life that we’ll miss if we are only focused on the things we don’t have or the things that give us grief.  Rather we want to give our attention to what we do have and pour in to the things that matter the most: the family and friends that God has placed in our lives.  Although our holiday season didn’t start exactly how we envisioned it would, you can best believe we’re going to make sure it’s still going to be our best one yet!

IMG_0823This is the imprint of the license plate holder from the car behind us.  Remarkably, I think this is the extent of the damage to my car and it will be a nice reminder to make sure to always keep things in perspective.  

4 thoughts on “Happy Thanksgiving, Part 2: Accidents Will Happen

  1. Hi Scott, You know I saw Keao’s post, but I forgot that Franklin and I also almost had a slight mishap too on Thanksgiving. We usually have the parents and a few friends over to our house so we drove our cars across the street by the shopping center. We were waiting for the stop light to turn green/walk and were almost all the way across when a red van blew through the light, about 2 feet away from us. It was lucky that we just happened to see each other when we parked our car, because I was following Franklin (I went out to Safeway when I noticed -on my way back- that he was going to park a car across the street). I had stuff that I purchased, so we were strolling, instead of power walking… and luckily we did not have the girls with us, or they would have been goners. Who knew Thanksgiving could bring out the ugly in people? But it also brings out the good too… kicks you in the butt to remember what you should be thankful for.

    1. Wow! So glad you guys didn’t get hurt too! It’s too bad that everyone seems to be in such a rush nowadays. We do need to slow down and enjoy the holidays.

Leave a Reply