I spent yesterday afternoon at Starbucks overseeing all the details of my book’s launch and answering a multitude of emails involved with that. I left right before 5 p.m. to make it home before our babysitter had to leave.
I was in a bit of a rush to make it home in time, so I didn’t stop to go to the bathroom before leaving. Bad idea–especially since I had downed a Venti tea and a glass of water while I was at Starbucks.
A few blocks from home, I stopped abruptly to avoid hitting the car in front of me that had decided to turn at the last minute. A few seconds after braking, there was a loud crash and a big jolt as the car behind me rear-ended me.
Getting out to investigate, I discovered it wasn’t bad at all–just some minor scratches and scrapes to add to the collection already on the back of our well-used van. I figured I could just get the other driver’s insurance information and be on my way.
I should have known it wouldn’t be that simple. 🙂
The other car was a 2012 Mustang in pristine condition. The driver, a very friendly woman in her 40’s, was quite upset about the whole thing. And she had every reason to be: the front bumper of beautiful car had a large crack in it.
She had already called the police and said they were on their way.
I talked to Jesse on the phone and he said it couldn’t be long for the police to arrive, so we pulled into a residential area. I also texted the babysitter to let her know what was going on.
By this time, I really needed to go to the bathroom and I also noticed that the gas gauge was almost completely on empty. 20 minutes had passed and the police hadn’t arrived yet.
Surely, it couldn’t be much longer.
Jesse was becoming a little frustrated that it was taking the police so long to show up, so he started texting and calling a few of his police friends to see if he could help expedite the process. It was to no avail.
After an hour had passed, Jesse headed home to pick up the kids. He stopped by the nearest police station and talked to people there but no one seemed to be able to help us.
I was ready to just leave the scene and file a report at the police station, but the other driver really wanted to stay and wait. She kept calling the police and they kept saying they’d send someone as soon as they could.
I didn’t feel comfortable leaving without mutual consent, so I kept waiting, hoping that every car that passed was a police car.
Finally, after an hour and a half of waiting, someone from the police station called the other driver to let her know that an officer was on his way. Yay! I was so relieved that we were going to get everything processed and taken care of.
Maybe, just maybe, I’d get home by dinner time. Seeing as it was our anniversary and all, I kind of wanted to make it home in time for dinner!
Well, I’m not exactly sure what “on their way” means but it was another 40 minutes before the officer showed up. Yes, we had been waiting there for 2 hours and 20 minutes.
The good news? The officer who showed up was extremely nice. He apologized profusely and then started having us fill out our paperwork.
It was about this time that panic set in: I couldn’t find my driver’s license.
I pulled every piece of everything out of my purse and wallet and went through my computer case with a fine-toothed comb. It wasn’t there.
I was trying to stay calm, but my insides were churning. My husband represents lots and lots of traffic cases in court and I knew this was potentially a very bad thing and I could get hit with a misdemeanor. I’ve never even gotten a ticket in my life, so I was extremely upset to think of that mark on my record.
Remember how I said that the officer was so nice? Well, that graciousness came into play here. I think he sensed my genuine panic and, after checking my record and seeing it was squeaky clean, he told me that he wasn’t going to charge me for not having my license with me while driving.
Whew! I heaved a huge sigh of relief, expressed immense thankfulness, and finished filling out the paperwork.
After we were done, the van had a lot of trouble starting because it was almost out of gas, but I got it to start and prayed the entire four blocks home that it would make it. And it did.
3 hours and 15 minutes after I left Starbucks, I finally made it home. After making a beeline for the restroom, I retraced all of steps to figure out where my license could be.
And then I remembered: when I went to get my passport I’d made up a packet of everything I needed–including my license. In an attempt to be responsible, I’d taken this packet out of my purse when I got home completely forgetting my license was still in there.
Even though it wasn’t how I’d planned we’d spend our nine-year anniversary evening, there were some blessings in it:
::I’m so thankful no one was hurt. It could have been much worse.
::I’m thankful that the other woman willingly took responsibility for running into my van. It’s much more difficult when there’s a dispute over whose fault it was.
::I’m so, so thankful that the officer showed me grace.
::I’m very thankful I discovered I didn’t have my license. Kaitlynn and I are flying to Florida on Sunday for a Family Life event and it would have been bad had I showed up at the airport and then discovered I didn’t have my license.
::I’m thankful that I found my license when I got home.
::And finally, I’m thankful that I drive an older van with lots of character flaws. If you already have quite a few nicks and dings and scratches, it’s not a big deal to add a few more to the collection. 🙂