Brenda’s Blog – May 17, 2022
“The car is in the house – the car is in the house!”
The message from my Mom set off alarm bells. What could she possibly mean? Her advancing Parkinson’s Disease caused minor confusion, but nothing like this.
I talked with my Dad and agreed to meet him at home. Arriving before him I walked in to see my sweet Mom sitting in a chair slightly dazed and crying. And much to my surprise her car was sitting squarely in the breakfast room nestled up against the kitchen counter. The car was indeed in the house!
To her dying day she insisted the car malfunctioned, sending her through the garage wall, through the very sizeable built in cabinet holding favorite crystal pieces and other sentimental breakables. The car was stopped by the heavy breakfast room table – thankfully. At nearly 75 she climbed out through the window, onto the table, and then down to the floor to reach the telephone.
The tow truck removed her very injured car and the process of piecing the story together began. There were no pointed fingers, just grateful hugs and prayers of thankfulness. Rather than replace the vehicle Dad acceded to Mom’s wishes and had it fully repaired and restored to health. But even though Mom never drove it again, it stayed with them until her death 14 years later.
What really happened? The insurance adjuster’s decision was simple: as she pulled into the garage she hit the accelerator instead of the brake. She picked up speed and drove headlong into the house… the car was in the house!
You may certainly have not experienced a shock like my Mom did, but can you think about a time when you hit the accelerator rather than the brake? How about decisions made in haste? What about purchases made under pressure? Or, words spoken in anger when a quiet, braking pause would have better served?
We can learn from Mary Alice Smith before our relational, emotional, and spiritual cars come crashing through a wall never intended for breaching.