Count your blessings even on worst days

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Be kind by living responsibly and doing right.

— Anonymous  

While at work Tuesday, I suddenly had a chill and an overwhelming feeling that something was not quite right. We had a bit of a break in the busy schedule and I asked my boss if I could step out to make a phone call, which is something I never, ever do while at work.

The minute my husband answered his cell phone, I knew something was definitely wrong. While working in another county, a woman had run a stop sign at a fairly high rate of speed and broad-sided him on the passenger’s side, spinning his full-size truck completely around in the street.

The force of the impact tore the drive-shaft and axle completely apart. He was feeling battered and bruised, stiff and light-headed.

Jail?

When the driver of the other vehicle got out of her car, the first thing she said to my hubby was, “Well, I’m going to jail. I don’t have a driver’s license and I don’t have any insurance.”

While my husband called 911, the woman scampered off to find a pay phone to call for someone to come and get her. When the police officer arrived on the scene, the woman had come back and the first question she asked is, “Am I going to jail?”

She inquired about the name of the judge who would hear this case, and commented that she was now even more concerned, because things never go well for her in his courtroom. She was far more concerned about herself than she was anyone else.

I was able to leave work and drive my hubby to the hospital emergency room. We spent more than four hours there, waiting for X-rays and other tests to be completed on what proved to be a busy night for the hospital staff.

Pain medicine

Because the accident happened while working, certain tests had to be run in order to prove that Doug was not intoxicated, even though he was the innocent one. The doctor ordered Percocet given to him for the pain while we waited.

It didn’t take long for the pain medication to help considerably, and at some point my husband of 27 years began introducing me to hospital staff as his girlfriend.

At some point, the song, Had a Bad Day came on the radio, and my hubby said that could certainly be his theme song as he grumbled about needing to get back to work.

As we left the hospital late that night, I reminded him that while on two pain medications the doctor ordered, he wouldn’t be working until he was better. Sounding a bit like a stubborn mule, he said there was no way he was going to be taking any pain medication.

And even though I filled the prescriptions, he hasn’t taken any. The following day, lots of paperwork had to be completed and more tests finished up in order to follow all the rules.

I was able to take the day off of work myself to drive him to various places. He was told he could not return to work until a doctor certified with workers’ compensation did a complete check-up and released him back to full-time work.

That bit of news did not go over too well. I quit counting after awhile, but I figure it must have been close to 50 times I heard my hubby say, “This makes me so mad!”

Rules

We live in a world where those of us who follow the rules somehow get to carry the weight of responsibility for those who do not. I cannot even imagine driving without a driver’s license.

There is simply no excuse, no errand important enough, for an unlicensed driver to get behind the wheel of a car which they do not own, and on which they do not carry insurance.

When the accident occurred, the weather was clear and it was the middle of the afternoon with good light, so there was simply no excuse at all for the collision other than a driver’s complete disregard for a stop sign. But, why should we be surprised that a person would ignore a stop sign while showing complete disregard for the basic laws of a driver’s license and insurance?

My husband has wondered aloud just how much work the other driver has had to miss due to the accident. We know she won’t lose her license, because she has none to lose. Her insurance won’t go up, because she simply lives her life without it.

We are awaiting word on whether or not the truck will be totaled. I’m just glad it’s only the truck that couldn’t leave the scene of the accident on its own accord.

It was a bad day, but it certainly could have been a catastrophic one. Even on the worst of days, we need to remember to count our blessings. Every once in awhile, we get a huge wake-up call reminding us to do just that. I’m busy counting.

About the Author

Judith Sutherland, born and raised on an Ohio family dairy farm, now lives on a 70-acre farm not far from the area where her father’s family settled in the 1850s. Appreciating the tranquility of rural life, Sutherland enjoys sharing a view of her world through writing. Other interests include teaching, reading, training dogs and raising puppies. She and her husband have two children, a son and a daughter, in college. More Stories by Judith Sutherland

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