Yesterday was one of those days. After working in the rain for fifteen days straight, trying to catch up with everyone and everything in the sunshine was cathartic. The sun was shining brightly and all I could think about was how beautiful the Nashville’s skyline looks in the fall. I reflected on all the devastation and water I had seen over the last few weeks that made me so grateful for life. I was bubbling as I walked into several clients’ offices to say hello while dropping off proposals that had been delayed due to the downpours from the sky.
As I headed over to Gaylord to meet with a prospective client, I got a call that changed that cheerful demeanor. I was told that one of my trucks was involved in an accident. Dang...not now, I thought. I called to make sure everyone was okay. I was informed no one was hurt but a teenager was involved in the accident. My mommy heart was tugged at immediately and I whispered, “Not someone’s child”. I asked again if anyone was hurt. I know how many times I have called and tried to minimize the damage in order to keep the person on the other end of the call calm and I figured I was being given the same treatment. I was reassured that no one was hurt but I was analyzing the information I was given; four vehicles, in the middle of rush hour traffic, on I-65, with a teenager driving one of the cars sounded bad to my mommy ears. I rushed to the office to grab insurance papers and an emergency spill kit just in case chemicals were all over the highway. Even though the truck was prepared for occasions such as this, an extra kit made good sense to me.
Trying not to speed as I was driving, my Mom hat was switched to my CEO hat. I called back firing off questions trying to grasp the situation and assess liabilities. Have you checked on the other drivers? How much damage did our vehicle do to the other car? I asked for the sequence of the accident. What truck are you driving? That one…then take the signs off of the truck, we don’t need to make the news tonight. Have you spoken to the police? Have you canceled your other stops? My questions were non-stop as my mind raced ahead.
I knew I was close to the accident because traffic suddenly came to a stop. In Nashville, a fender bender can shut down an interstate so I could only imagine what four cars can do when thousands of commuters were on their way home. After endless minutes of barely moving, I was able to pick up speed. I turned the bend on I-65 to see my truck on the shoulder. A leg sticking out of the passenger side door of my green pest control truck made my heart skip a beat as I decided to put on my emergency blinkers to drive pass the slow moving gawkers. Not bothering to look dignified, I jumped from my vehicle to see what awaited me. I peered into the wrecked truck and asked, “Are you okay?” I was given a brief nod and I gave my star bug killer a big hug and a kiss. Trying to check for broken bones, he pushed me away to finish up his call with the insurance company. I looked at the truck and thought to myself that will never be repaired. It looked as if was crumbled paper instead of metal.
I checked out the car directly in front of me and I was sending up a prayer that my F-250 did not hit the smaller car. The trunk looked as if it was rolled back can of sardines.I knocked on the window to see if the driver was okay. Dressed in scrubs, the driver said she was fine and apologized about the wreck. I gave her a squeeze and thanked God no one was hurt. Continuing to check on the others, I passed by a new looking shiny BMW without an occupant and walked to the fourth vehicle, a SUV which was sporting an Ole Miss decal. I peered into the truck and introduced myself to the driver, an attractive mom who looked free from anxiety. Her son was the teenager in the accident and she came as soon as she got the call. An Ole Miss’s decal, a mom who cares, an unhurt cute son… instant friends. After shaking the hands of her son, the mom and I began conversing like we were neighbors instead of strangers. I asked the mom about the Ole Miss sign and she said her daughter attends the university. I lapsed into my “I am from Mississippi” and we asked the usual “do you know” questions. I mentioned the Music City Rebels Golf Tournament on Friday that is being chaired by my friend, Ken Ford. “Lots of Ole Miss Alumni will be in attendance,” I shared. She surprised me and said her son plays golf for his high school. Hmm…I knew blessings are often disguised but this was making me smile and giving me a few bumps. This accident was no accident. I was meeting great people on the side of the road. Why did this encounter have a familiar ring to me?
Seeing an opportunity among the wreckage, I recruited her son to play. Holmes Pest Control was a sponsor of the Music City Rebels Golf Tournament. I jokingly said as I pointed to my bug killer, “I am going to need another player.” Her son, fresh from an accident, lit up like holiday decor. He asked about his school’s golf team playing. We spent the next twenty minutes discussing the golf tournament and pest control. I was loading the mom down with pest control info for future service and her son was busy texting about the golf tournament. It was not long before we were joined by the children of the other driver. It was one happy reunion, drivers of wrecked vehicles smiling as if we had no care in the world. My children called to say they were on their way and I begged them to stay put. The party would have spilled over into the traffic if my three joined the festivities.
A wrecker arrived to tow the first car as the police was leaving. By then, we had solved every major crisis in the world. The mothers were great women who I am sure I will see them again, the police officer was genuine, I got a team for the golf tournament and my favorite bug killer just wanted to finish his route. I was grateful that no one was hurt and thrilled that I managed to sell pest control and promote a golf tournament on I-65. That fantastic happy feeling I started my day with was oozing out of my pores once again. I drove home with chemicals everywhere and one less truck in my “fleet” but blessed to have another encounter meeting wonderful people on the road less travel in my life. As I continue to meet folks on my journey, I am reminded about the goodness of people and the power that comes from having sunshine in your life.