My husband was in a car accident yesterday.
It could’ve been much worse.
He valiantly crosses what the locals refer to as the “GW” (George Washington Bridge) daily to run recycling plants in the Bronx. Sometimes I forget how dangerous it can be.
A poorly placed stop sign bred the perfect storm. Thankfully, both drivers emerged unscathed, but later Christian told me about the most remarkable part of the encounter.
The response of the “other” driver’s son.
He arrived on the scene quickly. Calm, cool, and collected, he advised his father to take the ambulance (NYC mandates their participation in their Motor Vehicle Collision response system) to the hospital as a precaution because he’d recently received a liver transplant.
The son assured my husband that his father was fine and discussed the details of the accident. Christian reported that the son bore no traces of anger or resentment, no disgust or impatience. He didn’t even mention being inconvenienced.
After the police finished their report and the men turned to leave, the son stuck out his hand.
“Nice to meet you,” he said to Christian.
One would never have known in that moment that my husband had just plowed into this gentleman’s father and messed up two cars. Even though all involved understood that the faulty traffic sign had caused all the ruckus, the results could have been markedly different.
This amazing son proved mature beyond his years.
I can only imagine all their family has been through over the past several years, and my heart goes out to them. During my dietetic internship, I had the privilege of not only walking through the entire liver transplantation qualification process but also seeing part of the actual operation. I’ll never forget the groans that rippled through the OR when the test results came back to the surgical team. The harvested organ was found to be infested with tuberculosis, so the patient was placed back on the waiting list.
Transplant families ride a horrendous emotional rollercoaster. They deal with terrible health and crippling pain, multiple medications and mounting medical bills, stringent evaluations and seemingly endless waiting lists.
Such trials of soul reap much wisdom. Or bitterness.
The young son yesterday had obviously chosen the former. He could’ve leapt from his vehicle, enraged and incensed with worry, but instead, he appeared to focus on being thankful that both drivers walked away unharmed.
What self-control. What grace. What wisdom.
May God bless he and his family through the weeks and months ahead. May the newly transplanted liver be happy in its new home and not face rejection. May the organ donor’s family be surrounded by God’s love and comfort during their time of loss.
And may I learn well from this wise man so that every time the dice of life throw something my way, I would face it with God’s wisdom and grace, standing ready.
Ready to roll.