It is Sunday November 30th, and it is late. I can usually go to bed with the sunset, but tonight I can't seem to relax enough to sleep even with sleep medication and beer. I hate to admit that, but hey, we are friends and friends don't judge.
I was looking forward to a very relaxing Thanksgiving week. A calm pre-Thanksgiving weekend and then I would work Monday & Tuesday (doing virtually nothing) and finally have the rest of the week off from my job and for 5 glorious days I would relax. No relatives, no children, no cooking of a giant meal - I have never been a huge fan of the Thanksgiving menu and all the faldural - and I would get up late, take naps, eat what I wanted, watch TV, movies, lounge in the hot tub, and bake pies if I so choose (a skill I have mastered in every sense of the work mastered). On Thanksgiving my husband and I would go out to eat. Ahhhh, what could possibly come close to the sublime karma that surrounded my plans.
The one part of this plan that I have not mentioned is that my son was going to come home from college on Saturday and be home until Tuesday before going to spend the rest of his break with his sister and go to his Aunt's house for the Turkey Day celebration. No worries, This did not really affect my relaxation plans and as long as I got to see my son for any length of time, even just a few days, I was HAPPY!
"But the best plans of mice and men oft go astray". If you don't know where that quote comes from, you need to do more reading.
Austin left UGA around 4:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon. At the outside he should have been home 4 hours and 45 minutes later. I was alone at home as my husband went to see a friend earlier that day at 1 p.m. that afternoon and was supposed to be home in 'a little while" but 7 hours later I still had not heard from him and at about 8:30 p.m. Austin called. Not the 'I am almost home' call as I had expected. I was on the home phone with my husband asking where the hell he was when Austin called on the my cell. I answered, so now I was talking to 2 family members - trying to make the conversations work. On my husbands end I heard that he would be heading home soon. On Austin's end I heard only the words 'accident' and 't-bone'. My husband didn't have a chance. I literally hung up on him as he heard me yell the word "WHAT??"
As I talked to Austin he told me that a girl had turned left in front of him and he had t-boned her and he was in Eatonton. Eatonton is 4 HOURS AWAY from where I am at that moment - at 9 o'clock Saturday night - and I was alone in my house. I flipped out. My son needed me and I would not be able to get there for HOURS. He just kept saying he was OK, (so was the other girl that obviously doesn't understand the dynamics of turning left at a light), but it was not enough for me. I wanted to be there NOW. To hug, console, cry, give the stink eye to the girl that turned in front of him and to just generally have my son next to me.
I called and texted everyone I knew. No one was available. My sister eventually did leave her church service (her son was even preaching and I made her miss some of it) so I would have someone to talk to. I cussed like a sailor. I was mad, inconsolable, off the proverbial chain. My sister took it all in and tried to calm my nerves. She is a saint.
During all the back and forth calling with my sister, my son, my daughter, my son-in law and anyone else I could think of and getting no answers, my anxiety level sky rocketed. I needed someone who lived closer so that they could get to my son so he would not have to sit at a Dairy Queen for hours waiting for me to show up. Logan (son-in-law) finally got Sarah (my daughter - his wife) and she so graciously left a busy restaurant on a busy Saturday night (I am sure they were not thrilled) to go get Austin because she was at minimum 2.5 hours closer to him than I was. She retrieved him and his belongings and took him to her house. All that left me to do was to try to calm down and then get some rest and go to her house on Sunday to give him the long, hard hug that I needed to give him.
And so I drove to Atlanta on Sunday. And Eatonton on Monday to personally look at the car I loved that probably was no more. And home on Tuesday. And then there was car "looking" on Wednesday. Thanksgiving on Thursday - which I had to cook, because my son needed a good dose of home cooking.
Originally we had no intention of buying a car. I was going to drive a work truck and Austin was going to drive my Jeep Lola (She is a show girl - look up Barry Manilow and Copa Cabana if you have no idea what song I am talking about), although it would hurt almost as much as losing the 4 Runner in the prime of its life. But, I was trying to be practical. I could sacrifice my beloved Lola for a few weeks or months to save hassle and money. But of course it was not to be.
In our car 'looking' - which I really thought was 'looking' for me if my husband had his choice, I found that I did not like any of the cars Austin & I test drove. Not a one. Lola will always win in that arena. But of course Austin found a car he totally liked, but it was too much money. However - the car Gods were smiling down on the cute college boy - BLACK FRIDAY - apparently even car dealers are marking down prices for the once a year event; and mark down the price on the car he wanted they did.
I saw the gleam in my son's eyes - but all I saw were dollar signs and hemorrhaging money in my eyes. But we have GREAT insurance company. Insurance company/bank/investment/anything you need company. We called. Believe it or not in less than 1/2 hour we had financing for this new car - in Austin's name - with a promise to refinance once we receive that payout (so his monthly payment would be less) for the 2001 Toyota 4 Runner for that 'total loss' - a tear still comes to my eyes over that statement.
We went and bought that car. We offered them less than the "Black Friday Special" markdown and they took it. I feel it was meant to be. So by Friday Austin had a new car - and they repaired the one flaw we noticed. He drove it home a happy man with a new lease on life. He is back at UGA now. His new ride got him there safely.
As for me, and I know I am being selfish, I am so sad about the loss of the 4 Runner, there is a history there, It is a great loss. I am also so sad that there was no 'time off' during this week. It was run, run, run, go, go, go. I was on the road or road testing cars for the bulk of the week. Not one nap was achieved. No resting, no relaxing, and to tell you the truth I really needed that.
But if you are like me, your world revolves around your children. They take precedence over everything and anything you THINK you are going to do. It is a double edged sword. A sword I would gladly wield until the very life drained from my body. There is nothing more important to me than that my children know I love them above anything else and would do anything - even sacrifice my life to help them.
That my friends, is what true parenting is. The situation could have ended much worse, but it didn't. I have my son. A car I can replace, my children I cannot. So in the end - Thanksgiving turned out to be a very thankful week indeed. No matter how tired I became in the end.