There seem to be many days of late that I find myself wondering if I dare get out of bed. (And you can bet I won't be kissing any frogs.)
It seems that each time I turn around, that sneaky Mr. Murphy finds a way to hit me where it hurts. (And apparently, there are quite a few places.)
I knew when I made the choice to finally move, that it was going to be a long and painful journey. Each day brought a new and unexpected challenge, and forced me to look deep inside my heart to find answers to questions that I never thought I’d ask myself.
Some hurdles required finding money in places that I was convinced were empty. But along the way, I have found that along with unexpected challenges come unexpected gifts.
And finally on Mother’s Day, just when I thought that God had finally tired of having His way with me, I was jolted into reality. On my way to pick up Bitchy from work (her own vehicles location is a mystery) my car died. On a busy, busy street here in Oregon, it died. I managed to somehow steer it into a parking lot, and stop it with the emergency brake. After a harrowing, tearful, frantic couple of hours, I was rescued by several guardian angels cleverly disguised as a tow truck driver, my best friend, her husband and my brother.
And so this morning I drove an old loaner into the car-repair parking lot to find out the verdict. This particular garage is owned by a family whose children attended our school; the youngest boy was a student of mine in an after-school reading program. I always had a special place in my heart for him.
His older brother smiled at me, wiping grease off his hands and the sweat off his brow. He motioned me over to him as he continued to dig deep into the recesses under the hood of my paid-for car.
“Well,” he said, “it might just be this bolt that holds the crank shaft blah blah blah blah blah.” (For real. THAT is what I heard.)
I looked at him, going over in my mind the money I had spent and would spend this month. Should I bring up Sassy’s additional unexpected car repairs and field hockey tournament expenses? Or the surprising and ungodly amount of money for taxes that I hadn’t expected to pay because someone waited until the last minute to tell me to file separately? What about the various bills for house-related items and a down payment that was meant to insure a rent-to own agreement the end of May? And let’s not forget that date next week that I have with a person with a black robe who will determine if I have to pay “someone who shall not be named” alimony. (Cause we teachers are rolling in the money.)
I looked at him and felt the tears welling up.
“You know, I read your article in the paper every month," the dimples on his cheeks appearing as he smiled, “I love it- and the way you talk about those kids. I love my little boy so much, and it just makes me smile to read those stories.” Through all that grease and hard working sweat, he managed to lift me up out of my own little pity party.
And then he added, “If it’s only this bolt, it might be no big deal.”
“That would be a MIRACLE!" I said.
As I drove home, I starting thinking. You know what? It’s a car. It’s just a car. I’ve got one to drive, and I am in much better shape than many other people in the world.
Naw, I don’t need no stinking miracle. I know plenty of people who DO, and I’m not really one of them.
If I get a call tomorrow that tells me my car is in need of a proper burial, I’m thinking I’ll breathe a sigh of relief.
Because that means the person who really needs the miracle, just might be getting it.