16 July 2009

The Day Of Sighs

Now and then a day comes along just to remind you that life is not under your control.

After an unusually efficient workout, the setup as it were, I came home to finish working on a memorial service I am conducting tomorrow. My spouse, needing a grocery item or two, announced she was going to the store and so I was puzzled when my cell phone rang a few minutes later.

“I’ve been rear-ended,” she said, hastening to say she was fine but the car was strongly dented. I hastened off with camera and husbandly eye the short distance to where she and the young lip-pierced man who hit her were sharing information. A police officer came by and when we all left about 30 minutes later, he had issued the man a ticket and we went home to call insurance companies.

Of course, I set aside the Memorial to start the claims process, which took another hour so that it was nearly noon when I sat down to compose the memorial.

Another phone call, this from the office, telling me of a family in need of pastoral attention. A relative, not a member, was barely clinging to life after a terrible accident. Of course, I called them and they said please visit later that day, when they expected to pronounce him dead.

Into the shower now, and then while the spouse was having the car estimated, I made some progress on the eulogy and stuff. She came back telling me not only that it would be between $3-4,000, but that as it was an old car and we did not have collision insurance we would likely get only $500. Something was said about a mini tort, which sounds more like an appetizer than an insurance payment.

I am dumbstruck. Someone hits me and I have to pay $4000? Yes it is 18 years old, but it truly has less the 30,000 miles on it. It is in excellent condition and now I have to face paying gobs of money because someone else hit it.

Settling my ire, I went to the hospital, where stayed for most of two hours until the whole family arrived, one from out of state, and the doctor came in to make the formal decision that the man was dead. Lots of tears as he was in his 30s. A prayer that even I cannot finish without my voice cracking, and then back home. A eulogy awaits.

“By the way, honey,” my spouse says, “the body shop guy called back and said that because the car is so old it will probably cost more like $6000.

I was planning on a pilgrimage to Spain this fall, a little solitude among the Moorish walls of the Alhambra and visiting the cathedral of Toledo to hear Mozarabic chant. It’s been eight years since I was overseas and have missed it a lot. It seems I will probably miss it even longer now.

Then I wrote this. I’ll finish the eulogy next. Then to bed, the gym, to the radio station and back to church.


Robin Edgar said...

Say good-bye to the old car. Buy another used car for $2000-3000 and go to Spain with the rest that you will have "saved". . .

Anonymous said...

How about cash for klunkers?

WFW said...

Robin, I think Instanbul is cheaper and so that may be my compromise.

Anon, My old crunched car got 22 mpg, even back in 1991. It does not qualify. We cared for it and maintained it so that it is worth far more than its 'book value,' but spending $6k to repair it simply makes no sense either. Catch 22 (mpg)