“Hon, we are stuck in the highway. Something is wrong with the car…”
I stared at my cellphone screen for a long moment, wondering if I was reading it right. My heart was racing and each beat was like a loud cymbal that reverberated through my whole being.
I was rooted to the spot, unable to form anything coherent with my mind. Actually, there were two things in my mind… one that I needed to change my son’s clothes and find a way to reach her… and two to call someone for help.
My mind raced as to who to call – a few names coming to mind but dismissed warily for apprehension that I might be disturbing them instead. I was raised to be independent, to rely on my strengths and to keep my troubles to myself.
Except of course, now, it is different…
The phone rang.
The sudden blare of the ringtone snapped me out of my stupor.
“Hi, Hon” I answered nervously ‘How are you?’ Are you ok?’ How are the kids?’ My mind was literally bursting with questions. My instincts told me to run out and find them… common sense forbid it off course.
“We’re alright. I managed to park the van on the shoulder and *** is coming to pick us up. I want to call AMA but you have the card.”
My breath was erratic. Elation mixed with dread played on my mind. Elation, that they were ok but dread at all the implications of it.
I managed only monosyllables as answers.
“I called our appointments and cancelled some we cant get into because we don’t have a car… and hon, you have to call Auntie, it is important” she was composed.
In retrospect, I find it odd that she was the one who was calm and I was the one with frayed nerves. I couldn’t believe that she was thinking that coolly in the face of that situation.
“I will…” I answered, though my mind was still sorting itself out.
“Ok, she is here. We’ll call the auto shop and have the car towed. Gotta go”
And the line went dead.
I stared at it for a long while, not knowing what to do now.
I found myself going to the sink, opening the tap and washing the dirty dishes there. I had to keep myself busy, I said to myself. If I just stood there doing nothing, the minutes would drag…
The doorbell rang. I snapped rigid at the sound, my mind conjuring scenarios so bad I quaked visibly.
I half walked – half tiptoed to it, only to see through the blinds that it was her.
My relief was palpable. I embraced her as soon as she got through the door. Life flashes before your eyes, they say of these kinds of moments. The thought of losing someone special is hard… and everyone who has ever had a wife, a child or a parent knows this emotion.
“Thank God, you’re safe honey.”
I wonder how another person would have acted in our shoes at this instant.
For one, our wedding is just nine days away. Our money is running dry because of the car repairs we did and now that car is dead again. Our wedding food is on a strict budget. With our credit and savings almost gone, we have to make do with what we can, praying to God that He will see us through.
A lesser soul would’ve cracked under the pressure.
Add to that the clashes of personality that happen when people of different backgrounds meet.
Weddings are meant to be happy.
As a couple and a family, we are… We find a reason to smile with each trouble that comes.
But when the scope is widened and the rug is pulled from under us, it is human nature to find sadness there.
I wish for many things. I wish our car didn’t break down…. I wish I won the lottery and I wish that people would set aside their egos to let everyone enjoy the day without reservations…
We are flawed human beings…
I’ve always known that…
This world is flawed too…
But in the smiles and the hugs we as a family share, I find that ray of Hope that God has promised…
The Devil might use a lot of weapons against our resolve, even well – meaning friends, but as long as we have that ray of hope that Jesus has promised, we will survive…
…and survive we shall…
God Bless and wherever you are, in whatever state of life you’re in, smile and know that Hope remains…