Last Friday after work, my daughter left Lincoln with her two little dogs and headed back to Plattsmouth for the weekend. The last meeting of her day had run late, so the sky was darkening by the time she got on the road. The evening was cold and windy with more snow predicted during the night and into Saturday. It only made sense to go right away and beat the storm.
I sat down to finish writing the pattern for my newest mug rug, a sweet mother giraffe with her new calf. I designed it for Mother's Day and for giraffe lovers like my daughter. I looked up from my typing to check the clock several times. I expected my daughter to call when she arrived home.
Mandy's call came at 7:15. When I saw her name on my phone, I thought she'd made good time, but the instant I heard her voice, I knew something was terribly wrong.
"Mom, I'm okay, but..." My heart lurched, and I tried to catch my breath. "..but, I've been in an accident." The police arrived just then, so I had to wait for her to call back and tell me more.
I tried to focus on "I'm okay", until she called a few minutes later. A friend and her husband had driven out right away, and the pups were in the truck with them. She said she was truly fine, and the tow truck and ambulance had also arrived. I didn't learn all the details until she got home an hour later.
She had been only a few miles from town, when she came over a hill and into a swirling wall of white snow. Although no new snow was falling, gusty winds were carrying Thursday's snow from the hilltop across the highway. Heavily packed snow and ice covered that stretch of road, and the visibility was zero. She was going slowly, but the snow blinded her, and the car skidded into a spin. She had almost gained control, and was trying to get her bearings, when she was hit by another car coming behind her over the same rise. Her car slid off the road, and down the embankment. If it hadn't landed in a snowdrift, the car and everyone in it would have tumbled into the ravine below.
Miraculously, aside form some bruising from the seat belt and the airbag, she was uninjured and the buckled-in pups hadn't been hurt at all.
On Saturday, a friend took Mandy to the lot where her car had been towed. She knew the car had been totaled, but she was surprised to see that both the front and the back were badly damaged. She only recalled one impact. The had evidently been hit from the front, sending it back into a spin, and then the back of it collided again with the other vehicle.
Mandy bagged up the items that had been left behind, and put everything into her friend's car. Before leaving, she decided to take one more look. Just to make sure nothing was forgotten.
And that's when she found it. Tucked in a corner of the pocket in the door on the driver's side was a small medallion in its plastic sleeve. Her father had given it to her the spring before he passed away. He had told her to keep it in her wallet for good fortune.
So she did. She placed it safely in her wallet. But when she got home that night, her wallet was still inside her purse.
I don't think I believe in guardian angels, but the events of the past year have sometimes made me wonder. Someone or something seems to be looking out for us. Each event has seemed to connect back to my husband in some way. Her father hated that car, and he scolded her for buying it. He told her the car was unsafe. It was too lightweight, had too many miles on it, and it didn't have the four-wheel drive essential for winter driving in Nebraska.
Mandy and pups got a ride back to Lincoln yesterday, and I was able to see for myself that she really is okay. She's off right now, buying a car. This time she's taking her father's advice. This one will newer and heavier, and it will come with four wheel drive and a backup camera.
The two pups are tucked in next to me on the couch at the moment. I'm looking at my mug rug picturing the mother and baby giraffe, and, once again, I'm counting my blessings. Mother's Day came early this year.
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