Recently I noticed my towering stack of overdue books and tapes and called the library to renew them. I cussed myself as I added the nickels in my head. Then the librarian, Ginny told me they'd had a computer failure and that they had no record of my books, so just to bring them in when I could. I smiled as I hung up the phone and rejoiced in my lucky break, even though it wasn't so lucky for them. Having lost more than half the records, would the struggling library ever recover all their books? It reminded me of other lucky breaks I'd had over the years.
I'm a lousy record keeper and never balance a check book. I only know when I'm overdrawn that it's time to stop spending. Once our transmission died while visiting my mother down in Utah county. We had our car repaired at a local shop and then the month passed and I realized I wasn't yet overdrawn--an unusual occurrence for me. When I checked my statement, it was obvious that the car repair shop had never cashed our $1200.00 check. I waited another week, enjoying the reprieve from the poor house and then called them to find out what had happened. The man explained that my check was completely lost, and that they had no record of the work order, maybe he's the same kind of record keeper I am. He only knew that their records had come up short. As a thanks, he reduced my bill by $100.00 and I mailed them a new check. I guess in a way that was a lucky break for both of us. I could've gotten away with enjoying a free transmission, but as a friend said recently, "I have to be able to sleep at night."
Sometimes we breathe that big sigh of relief too soon. For example a few years ago, I was waiting at one of the busy intersections in Logan for a break in the traffic so I could cross the two lanes of northbound traffic and head south. When I got tired of waiting, I was hungry and probably day dreaming of a big bag of Cheetos when I took off and immediately realized my mistake as a Northbound car squealed to keep from broadsiding my Subaru. I believe I actually saw the panic stricken face of the man who almost hit me. My heart pounded as I made it to the median and felt extremely lucky for an instant. I was alive! I had not been in an accident, but my joy was short-lived as I heard a deafening crash of metal and against metal. The car behind the car who narrowly missed me, hit him. By now I was shaking. I was parked in the median with bumper to bumper traffic snarled to standstill. Already I could see the men involved in the accident surveying the damage to their cars. I couldn't find my emergency flasher button, which I knew was huge and right in the middle of the dashboard, but in this case I couldn't see it. My hands shook, but eventually I found it, pressed it, and stepped out of the car to face the victims of my impatience. The guy who had hit the other one was young, and sharply dressed. The other man was probably a bit older than me. The first thing I said was, "I'm so sorry!" Being sorry can help soften the blow. In this case, I had no one to blame and believe me if there had been someone I would have, but there wasn't even a car waiting behind me honking. I wish there had been. As the youngest child and only girl in a family of five children, I'm all for placing the blame elsewhere, but in this case--it was obvious. Yes the young guy who hit Richard, the only totally innocent man, received a ticket, but so did I. My lucky break, wasn't so lucky for either of them who had to repair their cars, but then I could've been hurt badly if Richard hadn't been paying attention and managed to avoid hitting me. I thanked him for not yelling at me, not hitting me, and then after being thanked by the police officers for not fleeing the scene of the crime, I headed home.
It was close to the most embarrassing moment of my life. I learned to be more patient and I've been known to wait at intersections now until there aren't any cars in sight. I've learned that my lucky break, might not be lucky for someone else. I've learned that sometimes you have to face the music, and you'll be stronger for it, humiliated, miserable, shaken, but stronger.