A detour

I don’t often write about what’s going on in my personal life on this blog. I’m the type of person who needs time to process what happens around me—I know better than to think I can come home at night and write something entertaining or meaningful about my day. So I usually confine my writing to projects I’m working on and handmade goodies I covet, but sometimes something so important happens that it creeps into everything I will do from that point forward.

Two weeks ago, my mom was in a terrible terrible accident. She was driving home on a country road when a driver crossing her path chose not to stop at a stop sign. These are not busy roads, he’d probably blown through that intersection dozens of times before. But this time someone was there, this time his decision broke all of her ribs, both collarbones and her pelvis. His decision filled her chest cavity with fluid, his decision made every shallow breath incredibly painful.

His decision will keep her in the hospital for almost a month. His decision will not let her sleep next to her husband for another six months. His decision will change the lives of everyone she loves.

My mom is amazing. She is dealing with the pain and focused on recovery. What she is taking away from all of this is how incredibly lucky she is to be here. One setback after another comes her way, and she finds the good in all of it.

I have been described as an aggressive driver. I’ve never blatantly blown a stop light or sign, but I do speed and probably take more risks than I should. I used to drive the same route a lot, much of the time on autopilot. What I am taking away from this is how much one decision can impact your life. How quickly the world can change.

As you head out to work this morning, remember what an incredible responsibility driving a car is. Honor the agreement you’ve made with your fellow drivers: Pay attention. Watch out for others, they may not be watching out for you. Obey speed limits and stop at stop signs. Those few seconds you shave off your commute are just not worth the risk.

Even if you think you’re invincible—or worse yet, you don’t care about yourself—you don’t want to be that guy who makes that one stupid decision to put someone’s mom in the hospital.

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