Monday, August 11, 2014

Worrying from Afar

I was going to write a post about boats or bikes or farmers markets, but then Anna called.
In tears.

Last Monday morning, Anna arrived in the Atlanta airport from China after an exhausting six weeks of teaching in a foreign culture. Her pick-up person in Atlanta had dumped on her, so I had to scramble and get a friend there to pick her up. (Thank you, Kim!!!) At last, Anna got back to college. I told her she had to sleep overnight and rest. Not that one night of bad sleep is enough to compensate for flying half-way around the world, but it's a start. Anna was set to drive in her little red car to Brevard (90 minutes away) to spend the week with her friend and be the maid of honor in her friend's wedding this past Saturday.

Only ... when she was almost to Brevard, a sheriff rear-ended her little red car. (Sigh.) "At least he has good insurance," I thought. "I wonder if he gave himself a ticket," I mused.

When I last spoke with her on Tuesday, she was in good spirits, in her friend's mom's car, on the way to get a pedicure. I ceased worrying.

But her cell phone was flaking out on her. She could call, but we couldn't hear each other. So I heard nothing all week, but hoped the car was getting fixed, the wedding was happening, and she was getting at least a few hours of sleep at night, in all the bridal fun-and-frenzy that happens.

I didn't know exactly where she was, when she was leaving to drive back to Toccoa. But the girl can make it to China and back, right? How hard can it be to get a fender-bender repaired and drive back to college?
Well, evidently it's very hard when your phone doesn't work. In the end, in her utter frustration at not being able to call and work out the details, she picked up her unrepaired car, and drove it away down the mountain, the twisty mountain road #178, without a phone to call for help. When she reached the bottom at hwy.11, she smelled lots of gas, and she rolled into the nearby Mobile station. Looking at her gas gauge, she discovered she'd somehow lost 1/2 tank of gas on the road.

She could have died a fiery death.

As I said, she was in tears, exhausted beyond belief, incoherent, totally done-in.

And this is how hard it is to have a grown daughter (well, she is 22!) who is too far away to help, whose whole life feels like it's falling apart, whose phone and car are both broken, who decides to drive off with a leaky gas tank. I really lit into her on the phone for leaving town WITHOUT GETTING HER CAR REPAIRED. Except it wasn't really her fault.

Thankfully, we have friends there, and after a couple of phone calls, I had a man on his way to help her. She'll have to stay there with them, tow her car again, wait to get it repaired (this time, successfully), finally do some laundry (has she washed anything since China?), and sleep -- sleep at last. I wonder when the last time was that she had three good nights of sleep in a row?

Mr. Rogers (of the Neighborhood, remember?) told us all that when things are bad, look around for the helpers. What he really meant was that in all troubles there are people who are selfish and unhelpful, but there are also people who are giving and helpful, who are kind. Anna needed helpers, bless her precious heart. I'm so thankful for friends who are helpers. I knew I could call them, and instead of excuses or avoidance, they would say, "What can we do?" We should all be that kind of friend when someone calls in need.

I'll keep you posted about Anna. Hopefully she's learned a lesson or twelve this week.


  1. Oh my, poor Anna! I hope she will soon be rested.

    You mentioned Toccoa. Is your daughter going to college there? I went there 64-65, boarded there for my sophmore year. What a lovely place, although it's not the same as it was back then. Floods, fire, etc. have made changes. My husband and I drove through the grounds to see the falls, in 2006, as I wanted him to see a place that left me with memories tucked in my heart. Now I have more memories from our time there. He bought me a beautiful Corinthian wind chime at the gift shop, which I heard has burned down since then.

    May Anna fully recover from her ordeal, and may your sweet Mama's heart relax once more.


  2. Oh my. Bless all of your hearts. Glad things are falling into place now. That would drive me nuts too, but thankfully the Lord is watching when we can't.

  3. Poor Anna! We all feel so cut off from civilization when our phone isn't working. It gives us such a feeling of security to know we can call for help! I hope all gets repaired and she can relax for a while! :)

  4. Oh my!!! Poor Anna but rhank goodness for others x

  5. So glad your daughter is okay, and that she had so many helpers. You need some rest too, mom!

  6. Oh goodness, that is a terrible feeling to be so far away. I find that my 21 year old daughter thinks she is invincible right up until something goes wrong with her car. I hope all is going well now.


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