Thursday, April 15, 2010


One week ago today, my daughter was involved in an auto accident. She was stopped, waiting to turn left and was hit from behind by a car. There was a third car involved, but it is still unclear who hit who before her car was hit. Her car was pushed forward about 50-60 feet before it stopped in the opposite lane. The result is below.

We are thankful that there was little personal injury-she had a bump on the head and was stiff for several days following. Because the bump was visible, the EMT's recommended that she go to the ER. That's where her friends came in.

Her first call was to her Mom (even after 3 boys, the words "Mom, first of all I'm okay" still make your heart stop) but her second was to her best friends on campus. Within just a few minutes they were there, staying with her during the police investigation and helping her get her belongings out of the car before it was towed. Then they loaded her into their car and headed off for the ER.

The trip to the ER wasn't too bad (ever the ham, we have a picture of our daughter posing in a hospital gown), and they were able to be back on campus a few hours later. Of course there was a stop at a pharmacy along the way (and a side trip to Bojangles, I later found out). All in all, things could have turned out a lot worse, and for that we are thanking God.

In the ensuing week there have been a lot of phone calls to three different insurance companies, the state patrol, and the towing company. We're really not much clearer about what happened today than we were that afternoon. But the shining moments of the whole episode have been from my daughter's friends.

In addition to carrying her around that night, they have checked in on her daily to make sure the bumps, bruises, and stiffness didn't become something worse. They talked with her professors about classwork and tests. They made a couple of trips for her as needed. They did what friends do: they were there for her when she needed them, anticipating needs, taking care of things, just being there.

Yesterday my business took me from one end of the state to the other, and I was going to end the day about 1/2 hour from my daughter's school. I asked her to check with her two friends, and if everybody's schedule worked out would they like to meet me for supper? Since college students rarely turn down a supper off-campus, the answer was yes.

I met them at a restaurant about 30 minutes from campus, and as soon as I saw them laughing all the way across the parking lot to the front door I knew why my daughter had a bond with them. Supper was a three-way non-stop conversation about school, summer jobs, the accident, and life in general, with an occasional interjection by me. The conversation was accompanied most of the time by the girls singing along with the music playing in the restaurant, including hand and facial gestures. The time went quickly - an hour and a half of friends being friends. Soon we had to leave - the girls for a stop by Dunkin Donuts on the way back to campus, me for the three hour trip home.

We're thankful our daughter wasn't injured. We're beginning to understand why people have negative attitudes toward some insurance companies in multiple car accidents. We're bummed that the car is probably going to be a total loss and not sure how we're going to replace it.

But the shining moment of the whole episode has been the beautiful reminder that we all need friends that are there when we need them. Our daughter is blessed with many friends, but especially a couple of girls who define what it means to be a true friend.

Thanks for being there girls, and thanks for the reminder last night of what it means to enjoy life.

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